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How video games are making the world a better place in 2019

2018 may have been a good year for video game releases, but it was also a year when the industry’s reputation took an undeserved blow. In addition to the Trump administration’s continued scapegoating of the media, Fortnite leading to increased concerns about the impact of gaming on children, which ultimately led to The World Health Organization classifies video game addiction as a mental disorder.

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How many people play Fortnite?

News often feels like it’s trying to tell us that the world sucks, and video games are part of that, but a closer look at the future offers more hopeful information. Video games are actually good, they help make the world a better place. This year, games have been used as a tool to educate, unite, and build a brighter future, going well beyond providing gamers with a space for escapism and entertainment.

Let’s start with the battle royale in the room. Fortnite’s lightning-fast rise to fame in 2018 may have brought a whole new group of gamers to the multiplayer world, but that success has been accompanied by a mainstream media sensational response that has raised concerns among parents following the latest news. is understandable. Their children were thrown aside. † The debate over screen time and age ratings continues, but love it or hate it, Fortnite has the potential to be a positive platform in 2019 when there are plenty of others online. “3rd place‘ Like Twitter and YouTube are not up to the mark.

take Fortnite Weather TeamA group of scientists live and play Fortnite together as they discuss climate issues and interview key figures on the topic, such as the director of NASA’s Office of Ecosystems and Carbon Cycles, and educate an audience of Fortnite fans with the first giveaway to find a popular video game together .

Following last year’s success, the 2019 Climate Fortnite squad has begun releasing new Clima Gamers websiteconstriction channel, and more streaming initiatives outside of Fortnite to educate younger generations about climate topics. They currently have 1,000 subscribers on Twitch, and this year they will continue to expand on the platform and work on climate change, one battle royale at a time.

Games as a Service (Public)

Weather Fortnite Squad isn’t the only example of video games taking action to educate people about the biggest problems of our time. ecological is an early access survival game coming out this year in which players must build a civilization from scratch without destroying the planet in the process.

In a reactive ecosystem based on ourselves, you must gather scientific data to come up with sustainable laws, work with others to protect and preserve the environment, and build an economy that doesn’t threaten everything into climate collapse. .† Developer Strange Loop Games is just one of many studios trying Reinvigorating edutainment For the modern audience in 2019, it’s a genre that teaches real-world themes to its player base through the lens of interactive entertainment.

Also this year mars horizon, an upcoming space simulator co-developed with the UK Space Agency, in which players must manage space exploration activities and complete all the real-life details of it.At the same time, Nintendo Formal cooperation with Game Academy This school year brings its Labo cardboard kits to classrooms across the United States, all to engage young children in the basics of design technology. Fun learning is becoming an increasingly popular educational philosophy, and Labo has proven to be attractive to children, so this partnership makes perfect sense. Nintendo tested a similar project in Canada last year with positive results, and you can expect it to have an even bigger impact in 2019.

“Video games can positively impact lives in ways most of us don’t see or understand.”

With an estimated net worth in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the gaming industry continued to seize opportunities to support philanthropy in 2019. Quickly made gamesA nonprofit that organizes speed racing charities in the U.S. has raised $2.4 million for foundation for cancer prevention, his next fundraiser will be in June. March, player gives Its annual event, where thousands compete and play together, will raise money for the Gamer Outreach Foundation, which provides gaming equipment to children in long-term hospitalization.

Simultaneously, 2019 Festival of Change Games It will bring together policymakers, developers, entrepreneurs and nonprofits to “share and learn how to harness the power of games for civic engagement”.These organizations and others such as bonus lifeModerate packagingand AbleGamers Charity Together, they will take further steps to support major philanthropic projects in 2019 (to name a few).

Speaking of AbleGamers, this will also be due to an eight-year law that finally takes effect, which will also require that internal communications (i.e. users, on-screen text) of U.S. games be available to those with visual or hearing impairments.This is thanks to International Game Developers AssociationSince 2003, he has been driving better communication accessibility in the gaming industry.

this 21st Century Video and Communications Accessibility Act of 2010It also requires, as officially known, that starting in 2019, every game “with disabilities must be involved in some way in the design or testing process,” itself another step toward making games more inclusive as a platform.

fight for victory

While the World Health Organization’s conclusions on gaming addiction may cast a cloud over the scientific conversation about gaming, the debate over gaming’s effects on the nervous system is constantly evolving, even if you’re unlikely to hear it. they do not. Not an exciting news headline. Take early 2019 as an example, Newly published research from Memorial University and Université de Montréal Revealing that video games can preserve or even improve cognitive abilities in older adults, as evidenced by the Silver Snipers, the world’s oldest esports team, recently told CNN Their competitive European tour gave them a healthier, happier lifestyle in their later years.

Even putting aside all the evidence, it’s hard to deny that the people, projects, and passions of the video game industry won’t last forever, and history is our most trusted prophet.2018 alone has brought us dozens of unexpected and uplifting anecdotes that keep popping up throughout the year, such as the Ninja Theory donation $50,000 from her Hellblade: Sena’s sacrifice benefits American mental healthMicrosoft unveils Xbox Adaptive Controller or Bethesda that will change the world Fallout 76 previews a 12-year-old boy with terminal cancerI’m sure we’ll hear examples of similar moving stories over the next 12 months.

Video games can positively impact lives in ways that most of us don’t see or understand, though they undoubtedly need to be addressed in the long run as critical growth pain points. These barriers, from AAA predatory gambling to the gambling addiction problem mentioned above, are real and insurmountable. But, as with any emerging art form, these are questions to be addressed, not excuses to ignore the medium altogether.

As a beacon of technology and culture, video games are an irreplaceable cog in modern life in the 21st century and beyond. The sporadic and overreacting accusations from those making other proposals are not only a good way to recognize their value to society, but also to learn how to use them more effectively to bring about the kind of change we want. Already seen in 2019.

To learn more about how video games affect the world and the people who play them, read the scientific explanation here Why they are good for our brains

Content

How video games are making the world a better place in 2019

2018 may have been a good year for video game releases, but it was also a year in which the industry’s reputation took an undeserved hit. On top of the Trump administration’s continued scapegoating of the medium, the rise of Fortnite has led to heightened fears about the impact of games on children, culminating with the World Health Organisation labelling video game addiction as a mental health disorder. 
Read more
How many people play Fornite?
The news often feels like it’s trying to tell us that the world is bad and video games are partly to blame, then, but a closer look to the future offers a more hopeful message. Video games are good, actually, and they can help to make the world even better. This year, games are being used as a tool to educate, unite, and build a brighter future, well beyond their function to offer pockets of escapism and entertainment to those who play them. 
Let’s begin with the battle royalephant in the room. Fortnite’s meteoric surge in popularity throughout 2018 may have introduced an entirely new audience of players to the world of multiplayer gaming, but that success was twinned with a sensationalised response by the mainstream media, bouncing off the understandable worries of parents concerned about their child’s latest obsession. That debate over screen time and age ratings is still playing out, but – whether you love it or hate it – Fortnite has the potential to be a positive platform in 2019, when so many other online ‘third places’ like Twitter and YouTube are falling short. 

Take the Climate Fortnite Squad, a group of scientists who stream and play Fortnite together while discussing climate issues and interviewing key topical figures like the Director of NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office, educating an audience of Fortnite fans through the initial draw of playing a popular video game together. 
After finding success last year, the Climate Fortnite Squad has kicked off 2019 with the launch of a new Climate Gamers website, Twitch channel, and even more streaming plans beyond Fortnite designed to evangelise the climate conversation to the younger generation. Right now, they’re edging towards 1000 subscribers on Twitch, and this year will see them continuing to expand on that platform, working to beat climate change, one Victory Royale at a time. 
Games as a (public) service
Climate Fortnite Squad isn’t the only example of video games taking steps to educate people about the biggest issue of our time. Eco is an Early Access survival game, due to release this year, in which players must build a civilisation from scratch without ruining the planet in the process. 
Set in a reactive ecosystem based on our very own, you’ll have to gather scientific data to propose sustainable laws, work with others to conserve and protect the surrounding environment, and develop an economy that doesn’t threaten to send everything into climatological meltdown. And developer Strange Loop Games is just one of many studios attempting to resuscitate edutainment for a modern audience in 2019, a genre of games that teaches its player base about real-world topics through the lens of interactive entertainment. 

This year, there’s also Mars Horizon, an upcoming space simulator developed in collaboration with the UK Space Agency, where players must manage an entire space exploration campaign with all the real-life particulars that it entails. Meanwhile, Nintendo has officially partnered with the Institute of Play to bring its Labo cardboard kits to classrooms across America this school term, all in an attempt to engage young children with basic principles of design technology. Learning through play is becoming an increasingly popular philosophy in education, and Labo has already proven itself appealing with kids, so this partnership makes perfect sense. Nintendo tested a similar program in Canada last year to positive results, and you can expect to see more of its impact to come to fruition throughout 2019. 

“Video games can positively impact lives in ways most of us can neither see nor comprehend.”

Estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars in net worth, the games industry is also continuing to make good on its opportunity to support noble causes in 2019. Already, Games Done Quick, a non-profit that organises charity speedrunning events across America, has raised $2.4 million for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, with its next fundraising jam taking place in June. In March, Gamers for Giving will be holding their annual extravaganza where thousands compete and play together to raise money for Gamers Outreach Foundation, which provides gaming equipment for children coping with long-term treatment in hospitals. 
Meanwhile, the 2019 Games For Change Festival will bring lawmakers, developers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits together to “share and learn how they can leverage the power of games for civic engagement.” These organisations, alongside the likes of Extra Life, Humble Bundle, and the AbleGamers Charity (to name just a few more), will together make new strides in supporting important philanthropic projects in 2019.

And, speaking of AbleGamers, thanks to an eight-year-old piece of legislation that’s finally coming into effect, this will also be the first year in which games in the US will be required by law to have their internal communications (i.e. user interfaces, on-screen text) accessible to people with visual or hearing impairments. This is thanks to the work of the International Game Developers Association, which has been lobbying for greater communication accessibility in the games industry since 2003. 
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act 2010, as it’s officially known, also requires that “people with disabilities must be involved in some capacity in the design or testing process” of each title from 2019 onwards, which itself is another step on the ladder in the path to making games more inclusive as a platform.
Play to win
And while the World Health Organisation’s conclusion on gaming addiction may have cast a dark cloud over the scientific conversation around gaming, the debate over their neurological impact is always evolving, though you’re less likely to hear about the more positive findings when they don’t make quite as compelling a news headline. At the beginning of 2019, for example, a newly released study from the Memorial University and Université de Montréal revealed that video games can maintain and even improve the cognitive capabilities of the elderly, as evidenced by the Silver Snipers, the world’s oldest esports team, who recently told CNN that their competitive tours around Europe are providing them with healthier and happier lifestyles in their senior years. 

Even putting all of the evidence to one side, it’s hard to deny that the people, projects, and passions of the video game industry won’t continue to be a force for good, with history acting as our most reliable prophet. 2018 alone gave us dozens of the kind of unexpected, uplifting anecdotes that pop up throughout the year without fail, like Ninja Theory donating $50,000 of its Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice profits to Mental Health America, Microsoft releasing the world changing Xbox Adaptive Controller, or Bethesda previewing Fallout 76 to a 12-year-old with terminal cancer, and I have every faith that we’ll be hearing similar examples of heartwarming stories over the next 12 months. 
Video games can positively impact lives in ways most of us can neither see nor comprehend, in spite of their critical growing pains that undoubtedly need addressing in the long term. These hurdles, from triple-A predatory gambling practices to the aforementioned issue of gaming addiction, are real and unignorable. But, like in any emerging art form, they’re problems to solve, not excuses to dismiss the medium outright. 
As a beacon for technology and culture, video games are an irreplaceable cog in the workings of modern life for the 21st century and beyond. The sporadic, hyper-reactive accusations by those who suggest otherwise would do well not just to recognise their value to society, but learn how we might use them more effectively to bring about the kind of change that we’re already seeing in 2019.
For more on how video games can impact the world and the people who play them, here’s the scientific explanation on why they’re good for our brains. 

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