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Higher Education

Chapter 6: Games: Technology, Industry, and Culture

Computer games are big business. As in any big business, they are covered extensively by both the mainstream media and technology media and specialty publications. Some of the more important game sites include the following:

You can generally find the latest from industry sources, by doing a search for “video game statistics” in a search engine.

The chapter mentions Bogost’s Persuasive Games, McGonigal’s Super Better Games as well as Vancouver’s Ayogo as examples of serious games. Many more exist and the category is constantly expanding. You can search in both the Google and iOS app stores for games in the health, education, fitness, and science categories to see how rapid this growth is.

Time magazine published a two part series on the history of video games, including some excellent videos. You can find it here:

Videogames have undergone a number of business model transitions, going back to the days of codes entered from manuals to cartridges to disks and dongles. You can read a short summary on this Project Disco page. You might also want to view this slide presentation on some of the newer business models.

Industry insight is nice to have, but for scholars, it is often just as important or more important to get the views of researchers and fellow students. The conferences and associations of researchers are some of the best places to find that information. Almost all of the previous topics have associations of researchers, and the topic of games is no different. One of the more prominent of these is the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA). This association hosts events throughout the year as well as an annual conference.

The Canadian Game Studies Association is smaller, but also hosts an annual conference and maintains a web presence. Florence Chee, interviewed in the book, has a Twitter feed and Sara Grimes, also mentioned in the chapter, Tweets about kids and games.

The game industry is quite large in Canada, especially in the big centres of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. There are also significant clusters elsewhere, such as Edmonton’s Bioware, and games are growing up everywhere in part because it is much less daunting to create a mobile or online game than it is to do a console game.