Cover Image: "Games Playmanship" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Sklathill

As the gaming industry continues to grow, we're now seeing its influence in many more spheres than ever before. That's only natural: you can't have game studios, hardware producers and everyone else in between generating $91 billion in revenue back in 2016 without a few industries sitting up and taking notice.

In fact, as you look around today at various industries and societal pastimes, you can see the direct and indirect influence of gaming. Whether it's a company using technology made popular by gaming to show off its products in a new light or popular games being used to create a new level of entertainment, the industry's hand has touched a number of things.

With this in mind, we've picked out some of the most prominent examples of how gaming has influenced the world at large.

Gaming Influencing Entertainment

"Pound 2016 Photos by Matt Demers" (CC BY 2.0) by MattDemers

As well as being entertaining in its own right, gaming is having an impact on the entertainment industry. Take, for instance, the recent deal between Facebook and ESL. The social media platform is now home to 1.94 billion active monthly users and its partnership with competitive gaming organization ESL will give them instant access to 5,500+ hours of eSports content. As well as live streams of the latest eSports events, Facebook users will get to watch original programming via their desktops and mobiles.

Although gaming streams have been around on Twitch since 2011, the entrance of Facebook signals a move towards the mainstream. Where the largest social media site in the world goes, people often follow and this would suggest that the type of content we're now consuming is changing. OK, conventional forms of TV/video entertainment aren't being completely usurped by gaming. However, the fact you can now watch eSports events in the same way you'd watch a traditional sporting event is a clear sign that things are changing.

Gaming Influencing iGaming

Image: Lottoland

Another industry that's often influenced by gaming is iGaming. Over the last decade, online casino software developers have taken inspiration from a variety of console games.

For instance, those that play games with real money on Lottoland will get a chance to play Star Raiders. Based on the classic Atari title released in 1979, this online slot aims to recreate the sights and sounds from the original game. Naturally, being a casino game, this online slot has a betting twist and players have the chance to win a five-figure sum of money.

Why would developers want to take a classic like Star Raiders and use it as the basis of a new game? While there are plenty of reasons, the main one would be familiarity. When you recognize a certain character or a game setting, everything naturally becomes more engaging and entertaining. Because you feel a certain affinity with the theme, because it evokes certain memories, you're much more likely to connect with it.

Gaming Influencing Advertising

"L1000888-Edit-2" (CC BY 2.0) by Guido van Nispen

The final industry that's definitely been touched by gaming in recent months is advertising. Although virtual reality (VR) wasn't designed specifically for the gaming industry, it is where it's made its name. Thanks to developers like CCP Games creating content for VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, people around the world are starting to experience the power of VR in an entertaining setting.

However, just as VR is transforming gaming, gaming VR is helping to transform the world of advertising. According to a Google paper, VR will have a huge impact on advertising in the future thanks to its ability to transport us to somewhere different. Indeed, citing a study from Ericsson ConsumerLab, the paper outlines how consumers are excited about the prospect of "seeing items in real size and form" through VR technology. Car manufacturers have already jumped on the bandwagon and created a range of "virtual dealerships" where customers can browse a selection of cars without actually being there.

Although it's fair to say advertising would have picked up on VR technology without the gaming industry, it's also fair to say that it's helped to speed up the process. Because consumers have been enthused by the idea of VR and shown how powerful it can be courtesy of the gaming industry, it's now being accepted in other forms.

As gaming continues to grow, there's no doubt it will continue to influence many more areas of our life. Whether it's bringing another layer of entertainment to another type of gaming or giving us something new to chew on, gaming will continue to be a catalyst for many years to come.


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Last Updated: May 30, 2017

About The Author

Fil 0
James, a lifelong gamer, is a freelance writer who occasionally contributes to Ten Ton Hammer.

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