The Mass Impact of Videogame Technology
Authors: DeFanti, T.A.
Publication: Advances in Computers, vol 23, pp. 93-140, Marshall C. Yovits
The art and science of computer graphics are barely 20 years old. In the past 5 years, a mass-produced form of interactive color graphics has appeared and touched our lives. It has largely eliminated people’s fears of computers, has bypassed language, cultural and age barriers, and has made participatory fantasy available to anyone with twenty-five cents. When measured by traditional entertainment industry methods, the box office take of this form, the videogame, has ranged between $5 and $12 billion a year, depending on whose figures you trust and how much income goes unreported. Assuming $10 billion a year, and throwing in the $3 billion home videogame business, this new use of interactive computing generates income three times that of the music (record) business, three times Hollywood, and exceeds the commercial billing of all the major television networks combined. Thus, the economic force behind videogames is greater than that behind the dominant form of communication in our culture, the form which elects presidents and dictates our desires. This force thrives on new entertainment ideas and is mercilessly pushing the state of the art in hardware, software, and interaction techniques.
Date: January 1, 1984
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