Media Arts professor discusses National Video Games Day

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Happy National Video Games Day to all gamers out there!

According to Statista, a data website focused on marketing and consumer behavior, the video game industry has raked in over $95 billion  in the U.S. in 2022 alone.

Gaming options continue to grow for consumers, with arcade bars like Transmission on Main Street and Bang Back Pinball Lounge in Five Points providing places for game lovers to socialize.

University of South Carolina’s Media Arts Professor Chaz Evans teaches courses on the production and development of video games. Evans encourages his students to come up with new concepts for video games.

“(Video games) don’t seem to be going away. Quite the opposite. It seems like they’re finding evermore ways to occupy our time in different corners of our life that we didn’t think they fit into in the past. All the more reason to make sure that we are teaching people how to make video games in more thoughtful and conscientious and fully-fledged ways,” says Evans.

Evans says discussing the cultural impact a new game will have is just as important as learning how to create it.

“To teach them in a technical vacuum misses out on so much about how we are communicating with each other through them and how much they mean to us. And so the way I build a course, they have to be taught in a larger cultural context,” says Evans.

So what’s next for the gaming world? Evans says interactive art exhibits with customized ways to play have become one option for the future of gaming.

He also feels the virtual reality world of the Metaverse is still a work in progress.

“There’s still very few people who are using virtual reality as a part of their regular media diet. And it’s been a very long time that it’s been on offer. The thing I would like to see happen in that type of idea is to see people make strange, impossible, experimental, and absurd ideas that just don’t exist anywhere else. Because that would be such a fulfillment of that alternative dimension that we could make with technology,” Evans says.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, more than 214 million Americans play video games, and 64% of adults in America play video games in some form.

Categories: Local News, National News