Like all media businesses, the games industry is changing fast. What makes it different from the rest is that it has welcomed change and innovation and thrived on it. It is now growing in all sorts of unexpected ways. For example, the best players can earn money (sometimes a lot of it) from “e-sports”—that is, video games played professionally, in front of a crowd. And after years of talk about an imminent “virtual reality” revolution, it is the games industry that has perfected cheap, convincing simulations of the real world. Technology pioneered by games is now being put to use in fields from military training programmes to molecular biology and virtual showrooms for cars. The industry has even spawned a management technique, “gamification”, that applies the psychological principles of game design to motivating workers and engaging customers.
Photo of logo of MLG Orlando tournament held in October 2011