Gaming Particularly as a Form of Entertainment Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Gaming, particularly as a form of entertainment has evolved throughout time. Over the past centuries gaming has taken many shapes and forms. Usually, the more popular games of the past required strategy and opponent anticipation. As society now moves towards the information age, many games have migrated to a digital format. The migration of gaming from physical games to that of a digital format is not without its strengths and weaknesses. As will be discussed in detail throughout the document, digital gaming offers much strength in relation to its physical counterpart. For one, digital gaming is faster, more convenient, and offers seamless access. However, in some instances it can be impersonal particularly over long distances. Physical gaming, is more personal, teaches proper sportsmanship, and develops closer relationship. Depending on the individual's desired outcome, particular gaming formats offering varying benefits to the consumer. Monopoly in both its physical and digital form exhibits many of the qualities mentioned above. Although monopoly is played and accepted under both formats, each has its own distinct strengths and weaknesses relative to the other.

To begin, more than a third of U.S. consumers play digitally-downloaded games. And 16% of them say they only play games downloaded digitally while not playing any physically-acquired games. This directly correlates to the overall digital growth of the monopoly digital platform. According to IGN, monopoly has been downloaded over 2 million times over the past year, whereas the board game has sold 234,567 units in America. This is in response to the growing demand for internet and internet-based gaming. More individuals now desire a quick and efficient manner of entertainment. With the information age quickly expanding across the world, consumers now seek quick entertainment solutions. Digital gaming provides these solutions as it allows consumers to quickly access the monopoly games they desire and enjoy. With traditional monopoly board games, two or more individuals are usually required. If only one person has the desire to play, it can be difficult to play the game overall. This problem is alleviated through the new digital format being used by consumers. Now, through the use of the internet, individuals can play monopoly with one another without geographic boundaries. Through online means, a consumer in America can play a monopoly digital game with a consumer in Europe.

The overall monopoly format is no different in this regard; the digital format offers unparallel connection to various regions of the world. As such, the popularity of monopoly has grown with the overall growth of the internet. This digital format allows anybody with an interest in the game to have the ability to play it. The physical version of Monopoly requires at a minimum, two individuals to play. These individuals may be difficult to locate in a timely fashion. With the digital format, there is a large supply of consumers willing to play the game. Long wait times are eliminated through the digital version of monopoly as oppose to the physical version. As such, the digital version offers more convenience to the consumer as compared with the physical version. By eliminating wait times, the digital version of monopoly is much more user friendly. Consumers can access the game as they see fit, rather than waiting on other consumers to join.

The biggest difference between the monopoly video games and the monopoly board game is that video games can be played alone, while board games have to have at least two people to play. Board games are meant to be played with others face-to-face, which builds a personal relationship with them. While monopoly video games are a very solitary process due to geographic constraints. Even if players are chatting with faceless users halfway across the world, personal relationship are generally hard to create without some form of physical interaction. This problem is compounded due to the fast paced nature of digital gaming. Generally, consumers play the game without any personal interaction with others they play with. As such, they quickly leave the overall gaming experience without much interaction. Monopoly in particular is a very long game. As such, social interactions help improve the overall experience. The digital format of monopoly only allows consumers to video chat or text, which is does not provide the same experience.

Luis Escobar from www.luisescobarblog.com said, "The problem I've found with video games is that even when you're playing alongside someone, there is still a level of detachment from the person you are playing with because you're sitting next to them and watching a screen and not sitting across from them and looking at them." Video games have a certain level of detachment embedded in them because they can be played alone. This has implications for the overall development of children. In some instance, children who play video games in an avid fashion, tend to not develop strong social skills. By playing digital games solely as oppose to interacting with individuals, children may have the tendency to feel isolated. Video games cannot substitute for the social interaction that board games provide (Lieu, 1997).

Monopoly is predicated on the social component. The ability to deal with other competitors, the ability to laugh and enjoy the company of others is the foundation for the gaming platform. The digital format takes a certain degree of that away with the use of the internet. In addition, as Luis Escobar noted above, consumers now tend to play games with a sense of detachment which further deteriorates the overall board game experience.

In addition, monopoly video games have rules programmed in to them and board games have rules written out. Unlike video games board game rules can be changed to make the game more of a challenge or easier for others. The social interaction allows for negotiation and alterations to the game. Monopoly for instance, involves negotiation with opponent regarding property. It teaches basis principles of financial management and budgeting. The rules of monopoly can even be altered to reflect the differences of skill level. In addition, in Scrabble, people can let questionable words or words that are spelled oddly into the game, while the videogame version has a list of words that can be used.

Price of entry is also a very profound difference between digital games and board games. The price of a new system or to upgrade a computer to play the latest games can cost more than $500, and new games sell for over $40 each. While older games drop in value as newer games and systems come out. Board games can keep their value for a longer time because there is no change in the games. When comparing video games to board games, board games are relatively inexpensive. Normally board games are about $30 to $50 when new. While older video games often sell for less, used board games in good condition will hold their resale value better than a video game. Board games require no technology so there is no technology depreciation, which can cause them to have a much longer shelf life than a video game. Board games are played on a flat surface so there is no need to buy new equipment to play newer board games, while video games may need new systems to play the new games. Due to the rapid business cycle of digital gaming, new, more expensive consoles enter the market every 5 to 7 years. These consoles can range anywhere from $200 to $599 depending on the specifications. In addition, these games often required software, which, when new, can command prices of $60 per game. Avid gamers can easily pay over $1,000 for the console and its games. In addition, gamers will need to pay for fast internet connections, and subscription services to the console manufacture itself. These fees can range from $40 to $60 a month in…

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