From Sub-Culture to Popular Culture; Gaming’s Big Leap Forward
Gaming has certainly went through a huge amount of change in a relatively short period of time, were once the only options were to visit and arcade and play on the rows of machines neatly set-up in a line, options quickly changed and gaming became available at home with handheld devices and console, and then even that change happened extremely quickly as gaming soon became available from the palms of our hands with our mobile devices always in our pockets – player and viewer numbers in gaming are higher than ever before but what has helped take gaming from a sub-culture of niche enthusiasts to the popular culture giant that it is today?
Content creation has certainly helped move things forward in this front – the growth of the two premier platforms of YouTube and Twitch have bred overnight household stars with some of the biggest having millions of subscribers and followers, and some even managing to pull in tens of thousands of viewers daily on their live streams too – before where gaming had only been as accessible as the platforms you had personally or could reasonably gain access to, now you can simply hop online with your phone with the tap of a button and watch some of your favourite creators playing games you’re passionate about – but it has also been a big reason why numbers for some of the biggest games like those available here to grow too, as it does require any specialist equipment to get involved. The biggest events in the likes of esports also pull in hundreds of millions of viewers per year too, rivalling even the biggest traditional sporting events, and showing just how far gaming has come in this regard.
Big stars from movie and TV have also helped to change the perception on gaming too as it’s not uncommon to see a-list celebrities have a big feature too, just looking at recent games with the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 and the huge role Keanu Reeves played in not only promoting the game, but also being a big part of the story, has helped gaming move further into popular culture as often some players may only be willing to try something out because their favourite movie star is featuring. The development on motion capture and newer tech has helped this too by bringing further realism and have certainly helped to promote games further.
It’s certainly an exciting period of time in the gaming space and many newer titles have become the very definition of popular culture, and certainly show no signs of slowing down in what is on offer given how many studios are now more than willing to shell out a little extra to get a big name on board to further gaming excitement.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.