The entertainment industry is a wide umbrealla, and when hearing about it, people might immediately thing of the heavy hitters like movies and music. However, video games are also increasingly conisdered a part of that bracket. The days of it being a niche hobby are long in the past, but to those who still do not enjoy games like others do, this can feel like an odd addition. Are they as popular as something more generally accessible, like movies? In order to answer that question, you need to look at multiple factors and even defint what popularity refers to in the first place.
Absorbing Genres and Styles
Games themselves are incredibly diverse – and what you think might have to be essential for a game to be counted as one might not be at all. Games like Kentucky Route Zero provide highly acclaimed experiences with relatively little interaction, and some like Immortality, could even be considered an interactive film. On a much less extreme scale, you can see how the narrative-focused, high-budget games of Death Stranding, The Last of Us, and God of War all use motion capture to convey a film-like story.
This absorbing of genres does not just apply to how movies and games are becoming more alike; it is also about how previously isolated experiences – such as casinos – have been digitized and arguably absorbed into this umbrella. Playing online pokies is easier than ever, thanks to this, but it is also an experience that is arguably completely different than what you would get from a physical venue. That might be something that draws in a different crowd, bringing them in from the world outside of gaming and bolstering its popularity.
The Money Being Made
It might be that all you have to do in order to get an answer to this question is look at the amount of money that gaming can bring in as an industry. Even just looking at one aspect of this industry can illuminate this – as with mobile gaming and how lucrative that can be by itself, without even taking the wider world of PC and console sales into account. However, observing how widely these latter platforms have been absorbed into mainstream culture – from references in other forms of media to billboards and posters in public spaces dedicated to the latest blockbuster games.
Streaming Platforms as Game Distributors
It is also interesting to examine areas where these two domains have been somewhat merged – as with Netflix and its latest initiative to function as a gaming platform, movies, and TV. While this is still something that is in its infancy, it gives an indication of the way that things might be going in terms of merging the capabilities of entertainment platforms. A similar approach can be seen with the latest gaming consoles and how some of them strive to be equally capable of allowing access to movies, music, and TV shows as much as video games.