Gaming varies from very personal alone time to playing with masses of people, sometimes this crosses over, take WOW there can be a lot of social interaction but the thing that payers need to remember is that those people that your talking to could be anyone, they aren’t with you in reality and some of them (not all) are creeps.
LAN parties are fascinating thing in themselves, people coming together, from a couple of friends to hundreds of people which travel from all over with there computers for hours.
Gaming culture is generally perceived as something lone male teenagers do but all different people play games, there is a diverse range of games available suited to everyone. Take the Wii people that aren’t ‘hardcore’ gamers can pick up and play games such as Wii sports and Mario Karts with friends (or on their own) making gaming much more social.
Games are often seen in a negative light but they can be good for reaction times and concentration. There was a study of trainee surgeons, 303 trainees were tested and after 20mins of playing Super Monkey Ball they performed quicker and more efficiently (on average 11 seconds faster) with less mistakes.
Gaming used to occupy a lot of my time but it doesn’t so much anymore, now and then I play but I think the reason I firstly was that I was broke and secondly I was bored.
Gaming seems to be more ‘mainstream’ nowadays. Brain Training for the DS is a vastly popular game which can be played my most people (could be a bit of a challenge for really small kids) and yet it seams like the most boring concept for a game ever! I personally hated mental maths at school so why would I want to pay £20 to do just that, also it insults you last time I had a go it said I had the mental age of a 65yr old! But this sort of game does show a shift in who the games industry is trying to reach out to….everyone.