The ever so fast-growing video game industry has progressively become more mainstream. After one of my co-workers made a pop culture reference with Mario, I recognized just how influential video games have become in our day to day.
Most surprisingly, I found online that just over half of gamers are female. Most of the first-person-shooter-types are probably scratching their heads right now. But, let’s not forget about the app store. Candy Crush is still considered gaming. All of those people who were born into the gaming revolution (the Pongers, PacManers, and Space Invaders) are beginning to have children of their own. The human culture is undergoing a massive shift into gaming. Those who used to be bullied for gaming are now getting bullied while gaming online (but seriously, let’s stop this bullying all together). All to say that everyone is gaming; it has become as standard as breathing, walking and drinking water.
I’m sure most people reading this are familiar with the show Black Mirror. For those unaware, Black Mirror is a Netflix show that takes place in a futuristic, dystopian society. Every episode introduces different characters, settings and stories. The protagonist will always go against the guidelines of the given situation their put in. If you check out the show (which I highly recommend), you’ll see a reoccurring theme of video game influence. Entire episode plots are based around gaming. Sometimes the protagonist must win a game to escape the monotone routine of the society they are placed in. Black Mirror has grown insanely popular and is currently one of the most viewed TV shows in the world.
In Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s recent hit song “Reborn” Kanye’s verse ends with “All of you Mario, it’s all a game”. But rap isn’t the only genre bringing video game references. How about Lana Del Ray’s song “Video Games” (duh!). And a billion other references too!
The living proof that video games are becoming one with pop culture is the movie Tron. Originally it released in 1982, and the entire premise of the movie was a video game. The majority of the movie takes place in this virtual motorcycle hyper-retro racing game. The movie was so successful during its initial release that they decided to do a re-make of it in 2010 dubbed the “Tron Legacy”. This film crushed it in the box office.
It was inevitable that video games were going to merge with popular culture because of their ever-so-fast evolution. With VR coming more and more into the image, what kind of effect do you think it will have on popular culture?