Gaming has always been considered a geeky pastime for nerds and adolescent young boys who don’t fit in. The types that will never get a girlfriend so instead spend hours in their bedrooms living out another life via the medium of video games where they can become leaders of an alternative world.
How the world scoffed and looked down on this lowly form of entertainment that they could never understand. The cool kids were great at football and were always out getting laid, and maybe even picked on those geeky game loving outcasts.
That’s the way people have seen gamers for a long time, many years before American movies would flood the world with tales about struggles between Jocks vs. Nerds which is basically the same film made a thousand times.
It seems, however, the world has changed and this was proven recently when Call of Duty: Black Ops became the ‘biggest entertainment launch in history’ generating revenues of $360 million in its first twenty-four hours on sale in the US and UK. Put aside any feelings you have about the COD Franchise for a few moments (Never! – Andy) and try to digest this piece of news. In a twenty-four hour period, one video game has generated more money than any movie release, album or any entertainment ever! The thought that video games can now sell more than movie and music releases combined is simply staggering.
Considering James Cameron’s epic blockbuster Avatar made $232 million in its opening weekend, it puts things largely into perspective, especially considering that Call of Duty Black Ops even looks like it will beat last year’s five day global sales record of $550 million.
Other research suggests that the average age of a gamer in 2010 is now 32 which is a far cry from the adolescent boy locked in his bedroom. This Christmas families will no longer be huddled around a table playing Trivial Pursuit until the early hours but will probably be playing Microsoft Kinect, Playstation Move or the Nintendo Wii.
This year, even commuters on their way to work were found to be playing Angry Birds on their phone of choice every morning, at the same time and place to make the most of that usually nauseating journey.
The sport loving Jocks will now be playing COD and FIFA with their mates from the pub, whilst the gaming purists will be keeping it real with something a little more cerebral or unique. Whatever your background, social standing, age, colour or creed, gaming is now the number one form of entertainment which offers something for everyone, and this is now official.
Like any summer blockbuster movie, the Call Of Duty franchise will divide public opinion and whilst the fanboys will tell you it is simply the best online game you could ever play, the critics will tell you that mug punters are paying big money for what is essentially the same game year after a year, which is nothing more than a cash cow for Activision.
Even Cubadebate, a state-run Cuban news website waded in with ”What the US couldn’t accomplish in more than fifty years, they are now trying to do virtually” in response to the opening level set in the hours leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the US military’s attempt to topple the Castro regime.
With the game set to make $1 Billion, lets hope that future DLC Map Packs will be a little cheaper under Treyarch, after many disgruntled gamers were left unhappy last year when the COD MW2 map pack was sold for £10.99 which consisted of only three new maps and two maps from a two-year old Call of Duty game.
Whichever side of the Black Ops fence you are sitting on has little relevance at the moment, what is important however is that everyone is now talking about gaming and that it is now the number one choice for entertainment.