Gaming: the ever-changing medium

By Eli Bolus and Chase Gosman

By 1972, one of the first home video game debuted.  Pong soon became a household name.  The creator of “Pong,” Bushnell, only produced 150,000 units initially. It was a treat to have a friend or neighbor with a copy to play with. Today video games have taken a new form; with the iPhone and other mobile devices, gaming has been forever changed.  More people want to be entertained on the run instead of sitting down at home for an intense gaming session.

“I like mobile gaming because it provides a distraction and it is on the go,” said sophomore Garrett Glass.

Instead of being a huge event to get to play a new game, usually accompanied by hours of continual playing, it is now a quicker “on the go” event for many.  While there are still many gamers who play for hundreds of hours, the majority prefers the more casual approach.

Freshman Jody Schmelz has a balance between the two. Schmelz plays more on his Playstation 3 than he does on his phone but usually has several games of “Words with Friends” going on at one time. This is a prime example of a mix of serious and casual gaming.

Also, instead of gaming being a solitary sport pitting man against the computer, it is now an incredibly social event with games like “Words with Friends” and “Draw Something” topping the charts on iTunes App Store.

Though some do one-on-one competition, others go for a more global approach.  People like sophomore Mackenzie Power compete on a larger scale, battling for the top scores on games like “Temple Run” where the objective is to get the largest amount of points possible while dodging obstacles and collecting coins.

Many people enjoy posting high scores on Facebook, in hope of impressing friends who also play “Temple Run.”  Power, for example, has a high score of 13,905,202 points.

Even though this score may seem impressive to some, it comes to Power quite easily. It is simply something to pass the time.

“I don’t play it that often. Maybe once every two days. It’s just all skill.”

Everyone enjoys it for their own reason. Power said she likes “Temple Run” because it is addicting and she feels like the person in the game.

“I live vicariously through the football player,” said Power about one of the playable characters in “Temple Run.”

Not only is mobile gaming a fad among high schoolers, but it has spread to adults also. Senior Kelsey Moburg said her mother has a passion for gaming. “I like ‘Angry Birds,’ but my mom is addicted to it.”

Other people like junior Gordon Heltzel prefer mobile gaming for social reasons, “[‘Words with Friends’] gives you a chance to interact with people from school outside of school.” Heltzel also said he has upwards of ten active “Words with Friends” games at one time.

In this changing world, one thing remains the same, people want to be entertained, be it on the go or at home.

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