10/03/16

Technology

A Game For Every Mind

Let’s face it – we play video games because it’s fun! But it also helps us think better too. The ability to ‘move’ or ‘do’ is mentally engaging in both fun and educational aspects because it creates possibilities, which are sometimes far fetched in the real world and at times really super close (think Virtual Reality).

In games, you can change outcomes. You do one thing, something happens, either way, you get to go again – redo, relive, restart. Maybe you wanna go further in the level or maybe just win with a better score. Five stars instead of two and a half. So this time you do something differently. Play, learn, and repeat (kind of like real life – we learn and we grow).

When you’re out in a crowd, it’s safe to say that one out of five people sitting down with a smartphone is connected to the Internet, playing some sort of game or using some sort of app. With today’s computers, phones and gadgets, online games are getting pretty slick. That’s why the number of gamers around the world is on the rise. The thing about online games, especially the good ones, is that they let you have a totally immersive experience – an aspect of online gaming that keeps getting better. Then, you get rewards, which the best games out there give you – a community.

In Brunei, the number of gamers is quietly thriving. It’s still a mixed bag of sub-cultures, distinguished by the time you play, who you know, whether you’re on PC, Mac, tablet, phone or console, and then the game of choice. You’ll find most gamers playing at home, or with a few close friends. There are groups on social media where players find local-based or far-flung kindred souls and create virtual clans. They sync their schedules to get on the same mission at the same time. And these bonds can become super tight. Die for each other in a battle? No problem. Recognise one another on the streets? Maybe not yet, unless players decide to take online offline and take it to another level – face to face.

If you’re not a gamer, the amount of time spent online for games may be puzzling. But games have a lot to offer. Like in virtual worlds, where you can style your character or create and run a city for example. Now that you’re the mayor, you may suddenly become curious about how it really works in the real world. In multi-player online role playing games (MMORPGs) you play with the added bonus of writing the storyline with others you meet online.

And while you’re busy having fun, all the technology that’s being used in online gaming is transforming the world. Virtual Reality (VR) and the sort of Augmented Reality (AR) you experience when you play Pokemon Go, for example, are used in real life for education, healthcare and business.

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