Monday, November 13, 2006

Games are good for you!

Finnish media has (finally) understood that violent games are not the total picture of digital game cultures. Tomorrow morning YLE's AamuTV (Morning TV) will discuss about beneficial games (serious games) which educate e.g. about nutrition, world hunger or recycling. World Food Programme's Food Force is an excellent example of successful combination of play and education/edification. Helsingin Sanomat NYT published an article about it on Friday.

And this week SubTV will air documentary on The Sims. The Sims does not belong into the same category as beneficial games but it certainly enables people to play on social relations, fame/fortune or even life/death. The documentary nicely shows how virtual hobbies can have an influence to the real life even though the game would not be MMOG (massive multiplayer online game) or other ways networked experience.

Social, informational and physical games are developing into interesting sub-cultures of gaming. As most of you probably know The Sims is the ultimate best seller of digital games. The Sims and its sequals have sold over 25 million units. DDR (Dance Dance Revolutions) have some 2 million gamers worldwide and even informational games are on the rise thanks to Food Force, sites such as Nutrition Explorations and McDonalds. I should also mention PSP Lonely Planet guides as that is a KILLER idea. I really liked the interface and the whole idea of portable, durable and updateable Lonely Planet guide.

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