Non-Gamers Should Care About Gaming

Venture Beat had an unusual article on why non-gamers should care about gaming. It’s a pretty interesting read, but what’s really interesting to me is the very idea itself.

As a gamer, I take the existence of my hobby and its industry for granted. I also assume, rather ignorantly, that there’s a certain barrier between me and non-gamers, even if it’s changing. That’s a given, a cultural assumption.

Of course as the article notes, it’s not true. Gamification, causal games, more games, etc. really do blur (and destroy) the gamer/non-gamer boundary. This boundary breaching is probably happening faster than many crusty old gamers like me may realize because of casual, mobile, and geek being chic.

So now that I’m actually thinking outside of the shrink-wrapped box, what do I see coming up in the gaming/non-gaming boundary:

  • Goodbye to boundary in the next 5-10 years. The only reason not to game will be because you don’t have access to the technology or the time. But gaming will be very omnipresent.
  • Design meltdown. Once gaming is so widespread, with more audiences than it’s used to, designing games is going to be more challenging. What demographics will game designers run into that they never encountered before?
  • Getting more businesslike. Gaming has had many a moment of not-exactly-professionalism. When it’s more widespread, that’s going to have to change. Expectations for businesses, of performance, of support, will alter.

What does it mean for future and current gaming professions:

  • If you’re not thinking out of the box you’re not moving ahead. Get ready to embrace a less bounded game world.
  • Act professional. It’ll make sure you survive and it’ll be expected.
  • Stop making the same damn game. Your audience has changed.

– Steven Savage