Geography and Gaming

The geography of video games is an area which has received attention from geography researchers over the years.

Last year some 3.2bn people played video games, about four in ten people worldwide. The number has risen by about 100m a year, with a big jump during covid lockdowns in 2020. In rich countries two-thirds of people play, nearly half of them women. And though gaming is disproportionately a young person’s hobby (nine out of ten British 16- to 24-year-olds play games) older folk are picking up the habit, including half those aged 55-64. Worldwide, there are more console owners aged 35-44 than aged 16-24, says Karol Severin. 
As he puts it, gamers are no longer just “young guys covered in crisps”.

Source: The Economist.

Phil Jones
has written about the sense of place that can be evoked by a game, and I attended an excellent session that he presented.

Chris says accurate simulation boosts immersion.

"There's this storytelling that happens with lighting and weather," he says.

"Those two conditions coming together can create drama, create tension."

Chris, who studied environmental science before becoming a games developer, says the next generation of games will be able to take things even further, more closely copying how weather forms in our real world.

"Things like evaporation rates, low and high pressure zones and cloud formation and what that actually means for the gameplay experience and how immersive that world can be."


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