How Video Gaming Is Driving Social Change

The latest surveys show that about 40% of the entire population on our planet play video games regularly. That is more than three billion people, which is a great force. As with any type of media or form of art, which is truly applicable to video games, they can be used to drive social change globally. And many games have been used to do exactly that. It is not obligatory for a game to be built around a specific social message to make a change as it depends on the impact it will make on people. Here is how games can actually change the world.

Social Influence of Video Games

As a form of media and an outlet to impact the world, video games become more and more powerful every day. The gaming community continues to grow, and it is a huge force that can make a significant change. Here is how video games and the gaming community make our world a better place.

Developing impactful games – while the primary function of a video game is entertainment, it can be easily paired with a powerful message. Just like movies, songs, or art projects can convey a certain message, computer games can do the same. From simply diversifying your playable characters and NPCs to include people of different backgrounds to building stories around environmental issues, social topics, and various acts of injustice – games can deliver everything.

Donating to charities – each year, the gaming community raises hundreds of millions of dollars for all kinds of charities. This is possible thanks to such convenient solutions as live streams on different platforms. Gamers use YouTube and Twitch to live stream their gameplay and gather money for topical charities and urgent needs.

Even though the sphere of game development and gaming, in general, is still largely dominated by men, the picture continues to shift as we speak. Every day, we can see new games and gaming channels led by women, people of color, queer people, and more.

Games That Cover Social Issues

There are many games that use their voice to cover a wide range of important topics. From social issues to personal hardships, many video games work as an outlet to shed light on such problems. Here are some of them:

  • Mental health – there are games that either cover a range of mental disorders or help with relieving anxiety: Limbo; Night In The Woods; Celeste; Gris; Life Is Strange, etc.
  • Environmental problems – some video games cover environmental topics: Flower; Shelter; Plasticity, etc.
  • Child abuse - Papo & Yo; Lisa: The First, etc.
  • Life and death – from terminal illnesses to dealing with dying or losing your loved ones, there are many games covering this difficult issue: That Dragon, Cancer; To The Moon, etc.

Of course, there are still thousands of games for pure entertainment. And not every video game covering social topics completely revolves around it, which allows enjoying the game without thinking too much about it. Games themselves and the gaming community make the world better every day thanks to their great influence.