By Kim Tran
Playing video games has been a favorite hobby for many Novato High students. It is a craze that will likely never go away, and it’s always evolving.
According to the article “Multi-Platforms Gaming: For The Win” by Nielsen, U.S. gamers 13 and older are spending time gaming for 6.3 hours a week. Mobile gaming on smartphones and tablets are also seeing rapid growth in usage.
Nielsen reported that 33 percent of gamers use PC and 34 percent of gamers use 7th Generation consoles.The gaming obsession takes place on both personal computers and video game consoles. 7th Gen consoles include Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
How do Novato High students compare? At Novato High, the students surveyed claimed to play games from 30 minutes a day to 3 to 4 hours a day. In that time, they play all kinds of different games on different systems. These systems have a wide range, including computers, Playstation, XBox and Nintendo consoles, and smartphones.
In a recent study, the Huffington Post reported that “children who play console or PC games for an hour or less tend to be more social and satisfied with life.” However, if one plays longer than that, it could be problematic.
Freshman Davey Cameron enjoys gaming in his free time.
“Call of Duty, Battlefield, Battlefront, Infamous, Borderlands, Skyrim, Fallout,” Cameron said, as he listed his favorites.
Senior James Sher described one of his favorite games, The Last of Us.
“I think right now I only play one game, it’s called The Last of Us. I love that game; it’s amazing. I play multiplayer,” said Sher. “Currently, I play Fallout 4 also.”
In addition, other Novato High students eagerly discussed their favorite games.
“Battlefield 4, just because it is the most fun and accurate,” said Cameron.
Freshman Nancy Muntunga enjoys the sports games, especially basketball. “NBA 2K because it has cool graphics,” she said.
Students also explained what new games they are anticipating.
“Red Dead Redemption 2 because it looks fun and is an open world game,” said Cameron.
“I’m impatiently waiting for Mass Effect: Andromeda,” said Sher. He said he is also looking forward to the release of The Last of Us Part II as well.
Mass Effect: Andromeda, a third person shooter game, is going to be released on March 21st. Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world game set to release sometime in 2017. The Last of Us sequel, a survival horror game, has no confirmed release date but is currently in the works.
With the large amount of gamers on campus, it is a great coincidence that the city of Novato houses one of the biggest video game publishers in the country. 2K is a video game company located in Hamilton. Some notable games that they have produced include Mafia III, the Bioshock series, NBA 2K, Borderlands and WWE 2K. Mafia III, which was released this past October, is 2K’s fastest selling game.
Brandon Lai, Assistant Producer and Concept Artist at 2K, provided some insight about the popularity of both computer and console games.
“Mobile is more popular because it’s so accessible,” said Lai. “But, they pretty much all are in a tie, it’s preference. People like controllers and people like the keyboard and mouse. It’s just how the gamer feels comfortable.”
Back in 2013, Nielsen reported that mobile gaming on tablets increased throughout the years. That number has evidently grown here at Novato High.
Looking ahead, Lai is unsure how much of a role Virtual Reality (VR) will play in the near future.
“It could do a whole reversal where it’s just doing too much damage to the visual brain or could be completely advanced, where it is only VR and everything else is just dust and in the past,” said Lai.
Senior Yeyoung Kim provided her thoughts on the future of VR.
“They say virtual reality is going to be a big thing, but I’m not too sure because it will be more expensive and many people won’t be able to afford it. I think it will stay PC or XBox,” said Kim.
Annelise Gonzalez, a senior at Novato High, discussed the future of video games.
“According to E3 2016 last year, there will be certain games that will be remade such as Final Fantasy VII, but it will be delayed again,” said Gonzalez. “As well as the new Nintendo Switch announced this year recently in January with some very promising games.”
The relation of video games and addiction is a topic that has been up for discussion by parents and doctors.
Lai explained that video game addiction could be due to wanting to experience a virtual world.
“It’s like a book but it’s a visual digital experience. It’s like anything you like to do as a hobby; you’re addicted to it,” Lai said. “You read multiple stories and imagine, where as this one is laid out for you to experience the world or whatever the have for you. It can be addicting because it’s not real. You’re going in and playing things you cannot do in society...you can be the bad guy. That’s the appeal.”
The future of video games is still unknown. However, there will always be high schoolers excited to play them and many of those people are right here at Novato High.