History of Video Games • The first gaming companies were based off of pinball and other such coin-operated games. • The first known patent for an electronic game device was a cathode ray missile simulator, patented by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr and Ray Mann in 1948. • Video Games were introduced as a viable commercial entertainment medium in the early 1970's. • Space Invaders was the first wildly popular arcade game. The game actually caused a shortage of the Japanese 100 yen coin, requiring the Japanese government to mint more. • In 1980, a Japanese game designer named Toru Iwatani created Pac-Man for Namco Inc. This brought non-violence and female appeal to a primarily male demographic, and singlehandedly heralded the “Golden Age” of arcade games.
History of Video Games The Home Market! • In 1975, the home market was introduced when Sears, Roebuck & Company begins selling the “Tele-Game Pong” video game system, a video game designed for Atari entertainment by Allan Alcorn, for use on television sets. The system was made by Atari, under contract to produce 150,000 units. “Pong” was a smash hit, and remains popular even to this day. The rest, as they say, was history. The home video gaming console was here to stay.
Who Plays Video Games? • 69% of American heads of households play video games. • The average game player's age is 33. • 25% of gamers are over 50.
Industry Sales • Consumers spent nearly 6.6 billion dollars last year on video games, more than doubling the total in 1996.
Industry Major CompetitorsHome Console Specific • Nintendo • Microsoft • Sony
Nintendo Wii – “Wii for All”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5cPVP_llfo • Two strange Japanese men travel in a tiny, bright blue and white, foreign car bringing the magic of the Nintendo Wii to all in the land: • They encounter many people of different ages, races, sizes, backgrounds, lifestyles, social classes • They travel to people and families living in suburban areas, farmland, cities, dorms, and businesses • At first, people have no smiles, but after playing the Wii they are happy, smiling, and laughing. (At the end of a playing session, one of the Japanese men gets bumps fists by a new teenage friend and another gets bear hugged by another male suggesting that they are now pals) • Some of the games they play are goofy and you see the people making a fool out of themselves by doing things they normally wouldn’t do (Grandpa playing a game where he pretends to do the hula hoop) • The two Japanese men arrive at places that seem to have nothing going on, nothing interesting- until they show up!
Nintendo Wii – “Wii for All” • Intended Audiences: • people of all ages, races, sizes, backgrounds, lifestyles, and social classes, including: • overweight people • older generations (parents and grandparents) • people that aren’t familiar with gaming (refer to the two men living on a bare farmland that look clueless to the new gaming system) • expert and hardcore gamers that need more challenge (teenager shooting down airplanes on his TV)
Nintendo Wii – “Wii for All” • What does it suggest? • People of all ages, races, sizes, backgrounds, lifestyles, and social classes can enjoy playing the Wii. • Playing the Wii creates a special bond between friends resulting in more fun time together • Playing the Wii helps families (including kids, teenagers, parents, grandparents) spend more quality time • Overweight people can engage in physically rewarding activities (overweight grandmother beating the teenager in boxing match) • You can have fun playing with complete strangers and become best friends after playing together • the Wii can make peoples’ dull lives full of excitement, joy, and quality
Nintendo Wii – “Wii for All” • What does it suggest? (cont.) • Their slogan, “Wii would like to play,” suggests that strangers (or something foreign) or just any family or group of friends wants to use the Wii to engage in quality family time, make new friends, or have more fun with the friends you already have. • Playing some of the goofy games can help you do things that you normally wouldn’t do- all in good fun. • The Wii and the controllers are white - the color of perfection • What the ad doesn't say: • Buying the Wii and games doesn’t guarantee happy and fun relationships • Playing too much can ruin relationships and lives by keeping you in front of the television and not being out in the world, spending time with others, and taking care of responsibilities • Some people believe that playing violent games can be a negative influence on people, especially young kids • Playing the Wii doesn’t mean you will make friends out of complete strangers or your bond with your current friends or family will become stronger • Not everyone will be open to playing the Wii
Nintendo Wii – “Wii for All” • Jib Fowles Emotional Appeals: • Need for Affiliation • Spending time and having fun with family and friends • Need to Dominate • Teens can let out their anger by playing violent games • Most games challenge you to beat a boss or opponent • Need to Achieve • You can play against anyone in many games (bowling, boxing, tennis, etc.); overweight and older people can have a physically rewarding experience
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND"http://youtube.com/watch?v=irPVI0jTij0 • Playstation 3 floats in open space seemingly explodes into a large black mass with several "arms" sticking out of it • The camera zooms in and out showing different, racing, action, and adventure games. • Every time the camera zooms out to the large black mass it has taken a different form (eg: hands, guns, octopus arms, guitars, disco balls, cityscape) • Highlights explosions, usage of swords and guns, destruction, Blu-Ray high definition, Playstation Network • Features very dynamic camera movement
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND" • Intended Audience: • Young males. • The fast paced commercial appeals to this demographic. Explosions, guns, fighting, and fast moving cameras are used to attract and keep their attention.
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND" • What does it suggest? • This console will allow you to explore new worlds, race cars, fly planes, play sports at a professional level, fight in combat, kill giant robots, be a rock star, etc. • PS3 provides excitement with its games, entertainment with HD movies, social gaming with friends over the internet • Tagline "Play beyond" hints that this system will go further than anything you have played before. • Jib Fowles Emotional Appeals: • Need to aggress: • Depiction of fighting, explosions, guns. These are things that appeal to many teenage boys and young men. • Need to dominate: • In order to finish, you need to defeat your opponent, destroy the boss, etc.
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND" • Jib Fowles Emotional Appeals: (cont.) • Need for Escape: • People play games to take a break from real life or to experience things they would not normally get to experience in real life • Need for Aesthetic Sensations: • The commercial itself is very easy to watch because of the organic nature of it. The ad appears seamless as the camera zooms in and out from the games to the shape shifting black mass.
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND" • Music: • Additionally, the commercial has an accompanying rock soundtrack also will appeal to young males. The music is meant to pump up the viewer and get him excited about this product. Lyrics help to provide the message of excitement and to highlight how they should want to have this in their home: • Lyrics: • Ladies and gentlemen, good evening / You’ve seen that seeing is believing / Your ears and your eyes will be bleeding / Please check to see if you’re still breathing / Do you want it? / Do you need it? / Let me hear it / Ladies and Gentlemen • Colors: • The commercial, aside from game footage, is mainly black imagery over a white background. Usage of black signifies power, strength, and authority. White is the color of perfection.
Sony Playstation3 - "PLAY B3YOND" • What the ad doesn't say: • High cost of the system and games as compared to competition (Playstation $500 / Wii $250 / Xbox360 $375) • While the games look nice, the graphics alone don't make them worth playing • Small number of high quality games. Not many that can be played online.
Recent Influences on Consumer Attitudes • There has been an ongoing controversy regarding graphic violence in video games titles such as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt. Some psychologist believe that such violent video games promote violence among the youth. • Senators Clinton and Lieberman introduced legislation in 2005 to censor video game violence. The bill was called the “Family Entertainment Protection Act.” • Several people have died due to overplaying games.
The Video Game Industry has Responded With: • A rating system for games, much like the one for movies, so that violent video games do not fall into the hands of minors • The “Family Entertainment Protection Act” failed spectacularily on the floor of the Senate. Video games receive the same protections under the first amendment as art, film, and literature do. • Many games such as World of Warcraft and others now have systems for discouraging long term play.
The pioneers of the early video game industry could not have even imagined how the buisiness is now. The video game industry is often compared to Hollywood and the film industry. Massive advertising campaigns whose budget equals the development costs of the project rake in huge sums of cash. Halo 3, a popular video game, made more sales in it's opening night than Spiderman 3 did during it's entire box office run. Is there a downside? In Conclusion
Resources • Violent Video Games Can Increase Agression - APA • A History of Video Game Consoles • A Study of Video Gaming – The Economist