How Digital Games are Influencing The World

In 2021, the gaming sector contributed $226.5million in revenue. Based on these figures, it’s clear that digital games development will be a crucial pillar of a modern, digital, and creative world. Developing digital games involves every type of media – animation, sound, music, and cinematography. Besides the direct economic benefit, games production adds complexity, talent, and a range of transferable skills to the economy.

According to the Digital Australia 2020 report, two-thirds of locals play video games, and in 2018 retail video game sales reached $4.03 billion. And these stats are just for Down Under, not other continents on the globe. The games industry has a similar turnover as the film and recorded sound industries combined. People are engaging with games as an art form. The NFSA (National Film and Sound Archive) acknowledged the important role of video games in contemporary culture. They announced that, going forward, “games collecting will be part of our normal collecting operations”.

“In 100 years’ time, when someone comes and looks at our collection, we want to be able to accurately reflect the culture of the time — the culture of now — and games are absolutely fundamental to that,” NFSA curator Thorsten Kaeding said.

Now, eight games from a cross-section of age and formats, from cassette to cartridge and optical disc, to full on digital. These games will be preserved for future play and archived alongside the NFSA’s 3 million strong collection of cultural artefacts, which are just part of what makes Australia a great place to explore.

The games being archived are:

  • The Hobbit (1982)
  • Halloween Harry (1985/1993)
  • Shadowrun (1993)
  • L.A. Noire (2011)
  • Submerged (2015)
  • Hollow Knight (2017)
  • Florence (2018)
  • Espire 1: VR Operative (2019)

The first intake spans almost four decades of gaming, starting with the 1982 text-based adventure title The Hobbit, which is considered one of the first major games produced, and was internationally recognised as the Best Strategy Game at the inaugural Golden Joystick Awards in 1983. (The Hobbit has also previously been archived in the Internet Archive of Classic Games).

According to Dr Veronika Megler, games offer much more than entertainment or economic value. After playing The Hobbit, people have stated that they have been influenced by the game – it taught them to read at higher grade levels, to learn English and to interact with other people. Games have a lot of power besides mere entertainment. Even some of the table games at Mandarin Palace can be integral in teaching people how to think strategically and to plan ahead.

Reasons to Use Games in Workplace Learning and Training

Learning through games is becoming a tool to help motivate and strengthen development across all areas of study. People don’t want to be taught parrot-fashion (short-term retention without understanding).  In order to learn and remember something, you have to take in the information with full comprehension. That’s where gamification comes in.  According to the Australian Government Department of Education, gamification increases student engagement and learning by including game-like elements in learning. Using games to teach your team new skills is an innovative and modern method.

Gamification promotes motivation and engagement, as it uses elements of game design in eLearning programs. In this way, you learn something new in an interactive and fun way, thus more information will be retained and understood.

Employers are always looking for new ways to promote learning. There are many different types of games available. The one common goal they share, is to engage the player.

Reasons to Use Gamification in Learning

Gamification can be used to increase resilience and commitment in learners/employees, to promote learning, and to make the learning process fun.

Games Build Resilience and Commitment

If you achieve a goal through hard work and resilience, by getting up and trying again after failure, and then finally achieving your goal, you feel good about the achievement and the effort that went into it.

You learn by doing a task – repetitively (if needed), by committing yourself to seeing it through until you have reached your goal, and by having the resilience to keep going.

Learning through games teaches you the skills needed to see something through to the very end. Learning takes place through perseverance, as you want to finish the game. The game must not be too difficult as you might give up. It also must not be too easy as you will get bored and won’t learn much.

The best team players are fully committed to the job. They overcome any hurdles in their way to their goal.

Games Promote Learning

Learning through games help learners to retain information because it promotes knowledge retention through active participation.

Motivation through recognition – this can be intrinsic (a sense of achievement) or extrinsic (physical rewards or external praises). People are motivated through recognition and will work harder if they receive acknowledgement for their efforts. The best results come from employees who enjoy the process of learning.

Learning something new takes effort. We all lead busy lives, and having to learn new skills can be daunting. Making the process more enjoyable takes some pressure away and can motivate employees to put in their best effort.

Learning happens when you feel something. The things we remember most are attached to specific feelings. Through games, we actively learn and if you can apply positive feelings to the process, it will leave a more positive impression on you than if you were to simply learn through reading.

You also learn through reflection. Through gaming, you get an opportunity to look back on your work and analyse what you might have done different to get a better outcome. You can redo tasks until you are satisfied with the solution/outcome.

Games are Enjoyable

Everybody needs to work. Unfortunately, many people detest their jobs and hate the idea of learning something new to keep up with an ever-changing work environment. One of the reasons for this negativity towards leaning, is that learning is boring and difficult. Teaching new skills through gaming can be fun.

Games are enjoyable and can make the process of learning much easier for the end user. We all crave confidence, and we want to feel competent in our work environment. Due to most learning techniques, many employees fail to accomplish this. Through gamification, learning can be fun. There is no fear of failure, and a better learning experience is promoted.

Having fun promotes intrinsic happiness.  As a result, learning becomes more sustainable and long-lasting.

We all learn at our own pace. Through gamification, you create a way for the learner to measure their own progress and development, and to enjoy the process along the way. There is no competition, and the only winner is you once you complete the game.