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These days it is rare to find coverage of the gaming industry that does not highlight its alleged pitfalls.  That is why this recent article from the Chicago Tribune stands out as a booster of video games as relevant media.

Though the article dedicates about 75% of its text to educating the reader as to just what a “GTA4″ is and how it fits into the world, the rest is all about the dedication and perfectionism that went into the game’s development at Rockstar.  A specific emphasis is placed on the importance of good writing in the process of video games evolving into the “literature of the 21st Century.”

It’s refreshing to see mainstream focus on the gaming industry without the Jack Thompson-esque dramatics.  If this article makes even one non-gamer see the industry as something more than Pac-Man and cop killing, then it is a huge success.

Do you folks think GTA4 is a step in the right direction towards mainstream acceptance of video games as more than “toys?” Or does the controversy surrounding the series overshadow any potential positives?

  1. avatar PlutoniumOre

    Well I think President Obama’s use of advertisements in video games during the election also showed how there is a potential here for a large untapped market for commercials etc. Could we see Coca Cola commercials in the next GTA or even live ads that change everyday?

    And I think with people losing there jobs and having less play money I think the Game industry can only grow as people try to find activities to do without going out.

    Video Games are an escape and I think as the markets get wore more people will want a safe escape.

  2. @PlutoniumOre

    I’m going to have to agree with you on all counts.

    We’ve seen the in-game advertisements increasing over the years, and as almost every platform is connected to the internet, I believe updated in-game advertisements are not far off.. unfortunately.

    Additionally, December was the highest grossing month for video games since something like February 1997 I read. If that isn’t proof that this industry is recession proof, I don’t know what is. Eventually people that readily dismiss games will take a deeper look.

  3. Great post Tim, you should get plenty of comments on this one.

    I agree with Ore as well. I also think at the same time that people will only choose to buy the certain game.

  4. Even though I couldn’t get into a GTA game since 3, this is a great article; it makes me consider renting GTA4.

  5. avatar Nicholas

    You will always have those who see gaming as a childs-play – but there is no denying how gaming is becoming more than just a thing to fill up time on the weekend. I think we will see gaming accepted as a serious hobby probably when the current generation become adults – I think in the next 5 years?

  6. Thanks for reading and commenting, folks.

    @Chris Carter:

    You should try it out! You may have some trouble getting used to the loose driving mechanics, but this game is a thorough immersion and very enjoyable!

    @Nicholas:

    I really do hope people come around by then. It gets frustrating having to defend the merits of gaming time after time. People just need to pick up a controller and find a game for them. I would love to do a sort of game-matchmaking service that paired games with people of any skill/experience level. Show them why we love it!

  7. I agree, I hate it when people say that gaming is silly, when a lot of them haven’t even tried playing them for a sufficient period of time.

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