Videogames: Breaking the Stereotypes

Most of us periodically deal with computer and telephone games in everyday life. They gradually disseminate all over the world becoming a means of making profit and simply the best option of leisure. In parallel with the indescribable spread of videogames, a group of concerned specialists, parents and experts began to reveal their negative sides attributing terrible featuresi. Till now the positive sides have been covered to a very low extent as it is very difficult to mitigate the hardened stereotypes. The main objective of this analysis is to figure out what videogame is, to demonstrate its positive sides and reveal why the given stereotypes emerged.

What is a videogame and why are they so widespread all over the world. Computer or video game is a program designed to organize the gameplay. These games are multigenre, (action, adventure, tactical and so on) produced by different companies (Ubisoft, Konami, Sony Computer Entertainment and others) and designed for different age groups and devices (Sony Playstation, Xbox and so on).

The first computer games emerged in the mid-1950-si. Computer games supplemented TV and Radio, the monsters of mass culture. One may note that in parallel to the development of the sphere the society began to define the topics of games.

Initially videogames had limited circulation because very few people could afford to get acquainted with the fantastic novelty. Children were ready to stand in queue for hours. Also there were organized competitions and even the simplest game became a greater fun, than, for instance, football. The hardships following the Second World War did not seem so dark in the world of games. And finally, in the 1970-s some people were given a chance to play from their own home sitting in front of TV: it was sufficient to buy a console. Beside console, in the 70-s the game “Pong” emerged, which allowed to play the famous “Ping-Pong” against computer. At first sight the so-called novelty provided a basis for many other serious projects. In the 1980-s the famous “Nintendo” company, as well as the prominent game “Puck man” emerged. However, the real game earthquake began in the 1990-sii. Consoles became more available in the USA, Europe and Soviet countries. Gradually the concept of “gamer” emerged. Especially 10-18 years old boys were infatuated with videogames.

The new era brought about a set of changes. The content and quality of the games changed drastically and the number of gamers increased for several times. It was conditioned by the daily increasing role of techniques. Women, as well as adult men appeared among gamers. People included video gaming in the means of entertainment. In the mid 2000-s game plays included not only computers, but also cellphones. The number of game lovers rapidly increased and they became an indivisible part of people’s routine life. As videogames became available, the demand for them increased. At that time video games started to be stonediii. The negative sides of the games were exaggerated, while the positive ones were not spoken about, also the optimal game span was defined 30 minutes.

Are really the video games a means of dictating one’s will and propagating violence? Undoubtedly, games have negative sides being voiced periodically, but there are also many positive sides. It is necessary to adopt a comprehensive approach in order to have a full understanding of the issue. Now we are going to turn to the general question of our analysis: is it possible to break some of the stereotypes.

Gamers. Famous American game publisher “Spill Games” studied thoroughly the game market resting upon not only the visitors of its site, but also the indices of the monsters of game publishingiv. The results were astonishing. The number of people having some ties with videogames reaches 1.2 billion (approximately 17% of the world’s population). Furthermore, the total income of the game publishers constituted 70.4 million dollars. The number has been increasing for 6% annually. The internet becomes available all over the world on a day-to-day basis. It is not a sole means of solving practical problems. A huge number of people prefer to spend their time online. Game developers are aware of this that is why portals of online games (Miniclip, Fog and others) were created. The 44% of internet users plays online games. The number of online gamers in Turkey reached record level, which is 70%.

As a result it became possible to classify the preferable games according to age and gender. For instance, girls from 10 to 15 give preference to culinary games, while women to online puzzles and the men to sport games. The medium game span is 40 minutes. A new question arose: when do people play. The answer is almost always simple. Some prefer to play while waiting for a bus, others in bed and while watching TV, and the people playing in toilet took the 6-th place constituting 34%.

Telephone games were condemned more during the last months. The reason was “Pokemon Go”, which made a fuss. “Pokemon Go” is a virtual platform with thousands of players, who aim at gaining maximal number of pokemons. The game spread instantly. Many accidents occurred because of Pokemon Go. Jerson Lopez de Leon, 18 years old resident of Guatemala was the first victim of the game.

The increase in the popularity of the game did not impede the development of classic gambling. Consoles enabled to enjoy incredible graphics. Such a development of games brought about a situation when some gamers wasted astronomic sum of money to enjoy the latest games. The hours spent on devices had a negative impact on people, some of them were isolated from the external world. Some people equated the concept of “gamer” to the introvert, unsociable, isolated and dreamy people. The expression “Computers and video games are guilty in everything” disseminated, became an idiom and is still applicable. One of the main reasons of such an instant dissemination of the expression was the ability of videogames to influence simultaneously some organs of sense (sight, hearing, motion and so on).

Let’s break the stereotypes. We should not ignore the positive sides of video games while enumerating negative ones. Sometimes hardened thinking hurdles the mentioned process. What shall we, our children and parents gain from video games?

  1. However odd it seems at first sight, the research of American media company “Mentalfloss” showed that videogames help those who suffer from dyslexia. Drastically changing sights, important dialogues of the characters force people to concentrate.

  2. Games are able to alleviate the pain. During the gameplay our attention is almost totally focused on the activities occurring in the computer.

  3. The ability of quick concentration is of a great importance, and very often the life of the hero depends on our decisions. Accordingly, one should conclude that videogames develop our ability to concentrate quickly.

  4. Some sports games (football, car racing and tennis) develop our joints making them more moveable. The reason for this is the fact that they demand more buttons to be pressed for one combination.

  5. There are games directed to develop the intellectual abilities of a gamer. The further development of the game depends on the decisions made by the gamer. The causation can make the end both negative and positive. The reason for the spread of such games is the fact that they enable people to feel themselves as a creator, to appreciate the importance of their decisions for the heroes. There are games having 20 ends (Heavy rain). Chess is considered to be a classical example of a logical game. Game producers enable people to play chess online with famous masters of the game. Unfortunately, these games are spread among gamers of 40 or more.

  6. Armenian youth does not have a chance to play new, but already famous games (Heavy rain, The last of us, Life is strange and so on) in their native language, so it is a great opportunity to develop their written and oral speech.

  7. Videogames are also a means of getting acquainted with the past. Undoubtedly, sometimes game developers add some elements of fantasy (Assasin’s creed), even historical incorrectness can be met, but generally, they succeed in presenting the given era and color. For instance, Rome: Total War, Crussader Kings, Rise of Prussia, Cossacks: European Wars and so on.

Cyber Sport. While speaking on the positive sides of video games, we should also touch upon the cyber sport. Cyber sport is a game contest, during which computer technologies are used. Virtual platform is also necessary, inside which main actions occur. Thus gamers living all over the world test their abilities. During the cyber sports championships the games, where the factor of chance can be detrimental, are banned. Only the skills of the gamer should influence the final result.

Years ago the naming of cyber contests as a sport arose debates. It is noted in the official definition of “sport’, that an activity involving a competition both in physical and intellectual platforms is sport. Cyber sport presupposes a big exertion of intellectual abilities.

Those who win cyber contests gain astronomical sums of money. Very often the mentioned fact serves as an incentive. For instance, the Chinese “The Wings Gaming” team was awarded for 9500000 dollars as they took the first place with their game “Dota 2” in The International 6 held in 2016.

Videogames as a means of making money. Video games gathered great momentum and became an indivisible part of people’s routine life in the 2010-s. There were creative and smart people who converted their hobby to a means of making money. For instance, YouTube, the highly famous site pays money to those youtubers who have some number of subscribers and views. Fellix Shellberg is the first in terms of the number of subscribers. Currently Shellberg has 48057640 subscribers. 20 years old Felix started his YouTube channel and began to record his games. Gradually the number of subscribers increased, and Felix, who was famous under the nickname Pewdiepie, began to present also his entertainment videos. The novelties of the most famous game producers appeared instantly on this channel, and the Felix’s opinion on the game can be detrimental. The famous gamer has earned 12 million dollars during these years, 1 million of which he has allocated to philanthropic funds.

There are other famous gamers. For example, Dmitri Kuplinov is leading in Russia. There are no famous people in Armenia shooting game plays. One of the main reasons for this are the high prices of the professional attributes.

The absence of game play shooters does not mean that there is no game developing company in Armenia. On June 15, 2015 the game “Shadowmatic” appeared in App Store. The authors of the games are the workers of Triada Studio Games. Shadowmatic quickly received high rating and won the prize of Apple Design Award 2015. Shadowmatic is a stirring puzzle where you rotate abstract objects in a spotlight to find recognizable silhouettes.

How to become familiar with video games? It is possible that beginners would not be able to figure out what game is worth their attention. As in any sphere, there are prominent names in game producing which equated to quality (Ubisoft, Rockstar, Sony Computer Entertainment). We are going to present 10 games which are considered to be masterpieces of game producing and are worth your attention. The games belong to different genres and are designed for different age groups.

  1. The Last of Us
  2. Heavy Rain
  3. Life is Strange
  4. Max Payne 3
  5. Call of Duty Black Ops 3
  6. Need for Speed Most Wanted
  7. Outlast
  8. Dark Souls
  9. Beyond: Two Souls
  10. Fahrenheit

Conclusion

The stereotypes connected with video games have emerged since the 1980-s. The reason was very simple. As almost any new phenomenon, which could have revolutionary outcome, games began to frighten people. Humanity became frightened of cars which absorbed their children. It is typical of human to fear the vague, the new which differs from our imagination of “normal”. Gradually the rumors on the negative effects of games lessened and the games were identified with evil.

Today it is almost impossible to avoid the contacts with the world of video games. They are everywhere. Games draw our attention due to well elaborated advertisement. Certainly, video games have a set of negative sides, about which we have already spoken. It should be noted that any problem can be viewed from different angles. Games will spread more and more throughout years. Let’s stop speaking only about their negative sides and use them in our favor.


  1. Большая олимпийская энциклопедия. В.Л. Штейнбах

  2. Классификация подходов к исследованию феномена геймерства. Я.И. Матюшенко

  3. http://www.australianetworknews.com/highestpaidyoutubestars-2015-muchpewdiepiemakelastyear/ [ 05.11.2016 ]

  4. http://mentalfloss.com/article/29489/earlyvideogameads [ 04.11.2016 ]

  5. http://www.cybersport.ru/news/top-10-krupneyshikhprizovykhfondovvistoriikibersoprta


i In the 1950-s game producing was developing in the USA and Europe. The USSR was not a game-producing country

ii “1990’s The Rise of Video Games-Didi Games”. In the article of Didi Games those changes, due to which video games spread, were described.

iii The reasons for stoning were the following: increase in the number of gamers, the becoming of videogames an indivisible part of routine life, the cases of anti-social behavior


Author: Lusine Hovhannisyan: © All rights are reserved

Translator: Khachik Makyan


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