The basics and personal experiences
Games can now certainly be considered mainstream. How many people do you know that don't at least own a Nintendo Wii at their house? All-too-often now you'll see the oldies crack out Wii-Fit after one too many wines and cackle as they try to complete the balancing games, eventually falling over and rushing to the toilet for a quick spew.
Early last week, I attended a bucks party LAN party. Yep, you read that right, a LAN. No, we didn't hire a Stormtrooper inspired stripper. No, we didn't go out on the town and tape the husband-to-be to a tree. But, we did drink one-too-many 'amber fluids' over the course of a few (gearing) instance WoW runs and extremely hilarious Dota2 5-man alias quests full of troll builds like Natures Prophet (read: profit) with four Gloves of Haste in his inventory at one time.
How many birthday parties now involve a 'warm-up' to the club based around semi-drunken Call of Duty or Mario Kart 8? If you take a close look, the way we celebrate occasions, or simply just hang out with friends, has changed quite a lot over the years and will continue to evolve.
Back it up with some statistics, shall we?
Back in April 2014, the Entertainment Software Association published a report claiming that 59% of Americans play video games and 51% of households own two consoles on average. This is alongside findings reaching back to June the 13th, 2014 where Sony themselves claimed that nearly half of their PS4 audience has never known the joy of owning a PS3 - which is something like the following (strong language warning!).
What can we conclude from these two reports alone? Discounting the older population (60 plus) and the youngsters (12 and under), the majority of our population considers themselves somewhat of a 'gamer' and play video games on at least a semi-regular basis. Friends are said to be made through a few common circumstances, including location, interests and commonplace. Guess what, if you and your mate both go to school together, like video games and live not to far away, it's likely you've caught up in the past, will catch up soon, present or later, or meet to play some kind of video games.
The other conclusion drawn is that the 'new age of the gamer' is now here. As I previously stated, Sony released information that half of its PS4 crowd doesn't even own a PS3 - meaning that a bunch of people are getting into console gaming for the first time.
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