Gaming

Courtesy of CrossComm, Inc.

What if the winning coach of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament chose the height of the hoop and the distance of the three-point line for the next year? Here in North Carolina, winning the majority in the state legislature lets lawmakers do something similar with the state’s electoral maps.

Mikkey Girl / Disney

2.5 billion people around the world play video games. From Words With Friends to League of Legends, games are revolutionizing how we relate to one another. In many ways, gaming has become its own culture. But it might not be exactly what you'd expect. Most gamers play on their cellphones and nearly half are women. Most people playing video games are doing it with other people. And in response to hate-speech online and IRL, marginalized gamers are creating sanctuaries. On this edition of our Embodied series, host Anita Rao explores what gamers can teach us about socializing. 

A new study finds that video gamers' vision may be better than that non-gamers.
Rebecca Pollard via flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University say people who play video games regularly tend to see more around them.  A recent study used a fast-paced visual memory test on gamers who often play action games like first-person shooters, and compared the results to non-gamers.  It found the gamers consistently scored better, meaning they were able to gather more information in a short amount of time. 

MUSE Agent Sid Tripp in new Lab Rats Video Game
Lab Rats Studio

Video Games of all kinds are top sellers this time of year – and North Carolina is quickly becoming a major player in the industry. The Triangle has become a new mecca for gaming software and design.

Leoneda Inge: "So, you’re going to play the game for me?"

Shadie El-Hadad: "Yeah, I’m going to play the game for you. So this is MUSE the first episode, we are doing episodic content."

An online game developed to help bring awareness to the needy at Urban Ministries of Durham is helping keep the organization afloat.


McKinney advertising agency developed and launched the online game SPENT earlier this year.  Players live close to the edge of joblessness and homelessness.  And at the end – they’re prompted to donate to Urban Ministries of Durham.  Patrice Nelson is Executive Director of the non-profit.  She says SPENT has brought in 41-thousand dollars so far.

People involved in video games are converging on Raleigh today. The East Coast Game Conference is a two day event that attracts programmers and developers from across the U.S. and Europe. Troy Knight is the operations director for the conference. He says the industry is an important and growing part of the Triangle's economy.

Troy Knight: "Within the Raleigh and just Wake County region we have about 40 plus game companies which consists of about 1,200 plus employees that work out there. The average salary is roughly around $79,000."

A video gaming convention in Asheville is bringing together game developers and scientists to discuss the future of science-based games. The conference is called Gaming the Future. It will unveil a climate change game called Fate of the World. Gaming the Future spokeswoman Karen Tessier says the convention brings a new industry to western North Carolina. 

"Asheville has quite a reputation for art, design, technology, and science. There are several hundred scientists working here. We already have some other gaming companies locating here, which we're quite excited about."