top of page

Gaming ... risks and opportunities

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

by Aila (with the help of Joe McPhail)

Video games are now bigger than the movie and music industries combined! (1) The world’s largest companies like Google, Facebook (now Meta) and Apple along with dozens and maybe hundreds of other companies are investing in video games. What was once a niche industry is starting to permeate many aspects of our lives in ways that make “Gaming” hard to define. This is helped by “Gamification” which is the process of including game-like features into everything from social media to education.

When people talk about “Video Games” it is not always clear what they mean. Gaming has been evolving since the creation of the first video ever, “Tennis for Two” back in 1958. This was a console game that two people could play using a customized remote specific to Tennis for Two. Watch this video to see how it works!

The first thing I noticed is that it looks really boring. The graphics are about as basic as one can make them. None of the colors we expect today or fancy graphics. But hey…it was the first ever!

Console games continued to dominate for decades before the personal computer starting gaining widespread adoption in the 1990s. Steve Jobs got into computers in part because of his work on video games. Here is a clip from the movie “Jobs” (2013) of Steve Jobs working at Atari … which at the time was a leading video game maker. Notice how simple these games like "Pong" were over 20 years after the first video game.

Games today are becoming increasingly immersive and available on demand. We can have games in our pockets, our glasses, computers, TVs, watches, and tablets. We can play with people anywhere in the world in real time and stream them to thousands or more if we want.

Gamification is so powerful at increasing engagement that aspects of games are coming into many activities that I never pre