Instructional Associate Professor Chang Yun Provides Insight on Video Gaming Industry
This article was originally written by Adam McCann and published on WalletHub. Visit their website for the full story.
Gaming can be both an expensive and a time-consuming habit. For advice on maintaining a healthy gaming lifestyle and insight on the industry, WalletHub asked a panel of experts, including University of Houston instructional associate professor of computer science at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Chang Yun, to share their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What tips do you have for someone who wishes to indulge their gamer habits without breaking the bank?
- What tips do you have for parents looking to monitor video-game content and prevent children from spending too much time playing video games?
- Which is more cost effective: a subscription model akin to Netflix that allows users to access a catalog of games or purchasing games individually?
- Do you believe the popularity of esports will continue to rise? Will it ever rival major sports leagues such as the NFL or MLB?
- Should esports betting be regulated differently than sports betting in general?
- Despite the current economic crisis, the video game industry is thriving. What will be the long-term impact on the landscape of this industry?
What tips do you have for a person that wishes to indulge his or her gamer habits without breaking the bank?
Let me offer you a "GET-OUT-of-the-box" type of answer. Why not let go of a consumer mentality and have a producer mentality? Start to develop a game! Unlike in the past, there are ways he/she can produce a game relatively easily. He/she can learn industry-standard game engines such as Unity and Unreal to start the basic game development. Many learning materials are available either in the engine websites or YouTube. All he/she needs is to put up his/her mind, learn and build the game. He/she will learn the joy and taste of accomplishment through the process. He/she will learn these far more satisfying than burning time and money only playing games. As he/she gains more experience, he/she will be able to learn more advanced game development topics and, slowly, begin to build more sophisticated game(s). Also in the process, he/she will meet like-minded indie developers who may join and work together to build larger-scale games than he/she can as a single-person developer. By the way, this is all FREE.
What tips do you have for parents looking to monitor video game content and prevent children from spending too much time playing video games?
- Check ESRB rating: Purchase only games that do not exceed "E for Everyone" rating. This way, the parents can prevent their children from being exposed to themes not suitable for their age.
- Other activities/hobbies: If the parents want their children to spend less time playing games, they will need to get them interested in other activities/hobbies. If not, there is NO WAY to prevent them from spending an excessive amount of time playing games.
- Lead by example, not by word: A child mostly learns from his/her parents’ actions. Unfortunately, myriads of words by parents will not influence him/her the way they want. If the parents themselves spend many hours playing games, their child will do the exact same. For this reason, the parents need to set an example by restraining playing games too much themselves. I say this because current parents' generation, Millennials, are also known to spend a great deal of time playing games themselves.
- Teach to build the game, not to play the game: This answer is same as my answer from the previous question. If the parents can teach their children the joy and satisfaction of building games, how much benefits they can reap in their early age! They will start to learn designing, programming, 2D/3D asset development, etc. By the time they are to join a college/university, they will have around 10-year experience in production, designing, programming, and/or asset developments.
Which is more cost effective: a subscription model akin to Netflix that allows users to access a catalog of games or purchasing games individually?
It depends. If a user is an avid player who prefers to focus on and play one game at a time, purchasing each game individually may be the best for him/her. On the other hand, if he/she is a hardcore player who, by the definition and requirement to be qualified as a hardcore player, regularly purchases multiple games and spends great deal of times in each month, purchasing the subscription is the right way.
Do you believe the popularity of eSports will continue to rise? Will it ever rival major sports leagues such as the NFL or MLB?
Yes, it will be. Since the Millennial generation, exposures to the high-tech, virtual, and/or internet environments have been on the rise. Same goes for the games also. This trend will continue to advance while traditional, physical sports may gradually lose their fan base. At a certain point, the popularity and fan base of eSport may exceed those of major sports leagues.
Should eSports betting be regulated differently than sports betting in general?
Not sure. Why? Because outcomes of each competition may be fabricated more easily and readily than traditional sports? By the way, if it were to be regulated, who would (or should) regulate them?
Despite the current economic crisis, the video game industry is thriving. What will be the long-term impact on the landscape of this industry?
The gaming industry will thrive... in unhealthy ways. Sadly, and unfortunately, we will witness a striking majority of releases being sequels and/or remakes in the foreseeable future - the industry will focus on these instead of creating brand new original games thanks to the guarantee of profits as established fan bases will buy these sequels/remakes with enthusiasm. In addition, we will witness the toxicity of in-game purchases (i.e., DLCs) on the rise beyond the tolerable rate in the name of profit margins. At a certain point, many AAA game publishers and developers will be accused of primarily serving stockholders/investors rather than the players/fans. By the way, what I also fear is multitudes of future releases delivering dazzling/eye-popping graphics but coming with buggy contents and lower fun/immersion factors....
Best Cities for Gamers
Globally, video gaming is a $159 billion industry, and video game sales have received a huge boost during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no signs of slowing down. Year-to-date hardware sales are already up 81% compared to the previous year, and software sales are up 18% even without including digital downloads.
Some cities cater to gamers by hosting the biggest events in the industry. That includes matches at e-sports stadiums or gaming conventions, though many such events have been canceled due to COVID-19. Other cities offer the opportunity to get a career in the video game industry through college programs and company locations.
In order to determine the best cities for gamers, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 22 key indicators of gamer-friendliness. Their data set ranges from average internet speed to video-game stores per capita to number of esports tournaments.
For the full article, visit WalletHub’s website.