Friday, December 7, 2012

[News] Video Games Recognized As American History

Video games have been accepted and archived into the Library of Congress.  According to the library, its mission is to "support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people".  With the importance that video games have played in the last 40 years or so I think its past due time.

There's no doubt that video games have always had a certain negative stigma in mainstream culture.  They make kids dumb and they drive people to murder are two catch phrases of a moment that has been tied to video gaming.  But it seems with the commercial success of the gaming industry, it can no longer be denied its position in society and history.  To put it in perspective, a quick search shows that the United States movie industry generated about $72 billion dollars in revenue for 2011.  But the gaming industry generated $130 billion in revenue for the same year.  (Keep in mind these are U.S. figures only.  Globally the numbers come out about the opposite with the movie industry on top.)  That is impressive no matter what kind of old man lenses you look through.

As of now, the collection consists of over 3,000 games (every platform invented) and 1,500 strategy guides says David Gibson while being interviewed by Trevor Owens on the Library of Congress website.  They also will archive the actual system platforms themselves in the future.

I constantly tell my kids about the good old days of gaming but now I feel like the historical value is validated in a certain way.  It's not just me ranting anymore but an authority of sorts confirming what I've thought all along.  This can be nothing but good for the industry, the consumer, and the gaming culture alike.  What does all this mean plain and simple?  Video games can be recognized for their creative value.  Why is any particular movie considered a work of art but a great immersive video game is not?

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