Game Studies refers to the study of games as a discipline, tracing its history and development from its roots in board and card games, to the present day, when computer and video games have completely changed its face. A game is a carefully structured form of engagement, normally undertaken for pure fun or entertainment, and sometimes utilized as an educational resource. Games are different from other disciplines, which tend to be carried out for monetary remuneration, and from literature, that is more often a expression of philosophical or aesthetic elements.
The first evidence of board games and their influence on the development of European culture can be traced to the Middle Ages. Chris Crawford, in his book Euroculture, notes that during this time period, Europe was deeply influenced by many different board games, most notably, the French version of croquet, also known as anglaise-de-chaude. This board game had a profound impact on French intellectual life, as well as the way that French society came to view itself. It was soon after this that the idea of gaming took shape, with the creation of the first computer games such as the Monopoly, Risk, and Chess. The development of the european board game resulted in the further evolution of the system of playing a game, with the development of such concepts as scholastic and metallurgical reasoning.
In the nineteenth century, things were further refined with the introduction of the English language and the English educational system, leading to the further domestication of such games into such ‘thinking machines’ as Monopoly and Risk. Computer games became a very popular medium of entertainment, as they offered a number of complex, non-intuitive challenges. Many experts believe that we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of potential applications of technology in our modern world. With such a multiplicity of possible uses for computers and games, what seems to be a dead end may just be starting to bloom into a completely new realm of human interaction.
Gambling has long been considered a deviant activity, one which is completely against the grain of civilized living. Yet the gamin culture has spread its influence into other areas of life, including video games. Video game systems such as Play Station have become exceedingly popular in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and even Africa, thanks to the proliferation of cheap and easily obtainable PCs. These systems allow players to create intricate worlds in which to role play and build elaborate social networks, trading systems, and even entire online empires.
Gambling and the related technological implications of these highly competitive games are the subject of a new documentary film called ‘The Gambling Machines’. The movie traces the development of these systems from their humble beginnings, all the way through the evolution of online casinos and gaming websites to the modern digital casinos of today. The film is both entertaining and informative at the same time. It is hoped that by studying the history of this extremely prolific industry, it will help future generations avoid the mistakes made during their younger days. The film also touches on some controversial topics like the pros and cons of gambling and the effects of gambling on society in general.
Today there are hundreds of thousands of computer games available to virtually anyone. Video games can be found for consoles, personal computers, handhelds, the Internet, or game consoles. They are becoming more sophisticated and realistic every day, so much so that many children now spend a large portion of their daily sessions actually playing video games. Computer games have also helped to fuel the rise of countless online communities and social networks. These websites are a great place for people to meet and talk about their interests, form cliques, and even form friendships and relationships.