20 years – this is the new age, which the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle/USK) now reached themselves. Founded in 1994 the USK now celebrates their 20th birthday. In all those years USK has conducted more than 37,000 classification procedures in terms of legal protection for children and young persons and tagged with their in Germany famous age rating labels for the age categories USK 0, 6, 12, 16 and 18.
Over 34 million Germans play digital games. Gamers are of all ages, education background and income classes. As the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU) announced, 20 percent of regular gamers are older than 50 years.
Games have made it into mainstream of society and more and more game types for a variety of gaming interests are developed. An example are Serious Games.
At this year’s gamescom industry party fundraising for the Non-Profit “Gaming-Aid e.V.” was part of the fun. In total money and goods of a value of round about 3,000 Euro were donated. Party guests were able to buy lottery tickets and special gambling tokens and use these at various slot machines to win one of many great prizes. The collected money of the lottery ticket and gambling token sale was now donated to the non-profit organization. Furthermore the organization receives all prizes that were left over at the end of the night, so that they can put them up for an auction and hopefully make a good profit.
Adventure games, everyone still knows them from school, strengthen confidence, courage as well as the ability to communicate with each other to achieve shared goals. The prosocial impact of these games is accepted in the field of education. But can this effect be transferred to the more and more realistic console and online games when played in a cooperative mode?
With an exceptionally strong innovative drive the gaming industry pushes the boundaries of hard- and software every year. The industry has become one of the most significant ones in the entertainment sector. The industry generated 2.65 billion Euros in sales – and this is just in Germany. At the same time the music industry only made 1.12 billion Euros in 2013. Accordingly the gaming industry presents their novelties every year at gamescom, the world’s largest trade fair and event highlight for interactive games.
However, amongst all the state of the art technology some outdated tech is celebrated in hall 10.2, which does not need any light show or entertaining hosts to excite: the exhibition Retro Gaming. On 1,300 square meters plenty of associations, projects and private collectors once more showed the history of computer games. Visitors were able to marvel at dozens of game consoles, computers, handheld devices and gaming machines of the last four decades. Some of the highlights were classics like Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari 2600. We would like to take this opportunity to take you on a little time travel through the history of video games.
Various studies show that video games can improve motor skills and build up a good social behavior. But they can do even more: More and more people state opinions that games can help overcome diseases and make sad people happier. We have investigated these opinions and found out about Dr. Jane McGonigal. Being a game designer, she is convinced that computer games can help people living a better life.
More than 100.000 sold games within 12 months: This is the criteria to fulfill in order to get nominated for the BIU Sales Award in Gold of the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software). The winners have been chosen: in total five games made the list of the most successful games in the German market in August.
For the field of digital games, the BIU Sales Award is something like the gold disc in music: Since 2008 especially successful full price versions of digital games in Germany have been awarded with it. The basis are the sales figures collected by media control GfK INTERNATIONAL GmbH. Here comes an overview of the five winners of the BIU Sales Award in Gold for the month August:
Please tell us a bit about yourself: How did you get into cosplaying and when did you start?
I guess you could say I have always been a cosplayer at heart, as Hallowe’en was my favorite time of year growing up and I often made my own costumes and props as a way of bringing my favorite characters to life. I attended my first actual cosplay con in 2010 and I have been hooked ever since.
Virtual Reality is no new trend. First virtual reality headsets were already developed over 20 years ago. However, the technology of the displays and sensors was not convincing and appropriate consoles were way too expensive back then. Meanwhile a lot has changed: Virtual reality headsets more likely look like ski glasses – with only one screen in front of a user’s eyes and motion sensors the gamer moves through digital worlds. The motion of the head is recorded by head trackers which transfer the motions from the real into the digital world. The experience is unique: The boundaries between reality and virtuality blur. Usually we recognize our surrounding through our senses eyesight, hearing, smelling, tasting and the tactile sense. With a virtual reality headset one dives into a second reality, because the sense of seeing, which we trust most, perceives the virtual world.
Together with the Cyberith Virtualizer moves of the entire body can be simulated in video games. The metal frame from Cyberith, in which the gamer stands, has sensors in the base plate, on the posts and ring. The movements are connected to the virtual world that the gamer sees through the virtual reality headset. The fascination a gamer experiences is called immersion. One’s own person is recognized less in the reality. Therefore the identification with the avatar increases. This sounds absurd at first, but means in the end, that we will no longer let Mario Götze shoot the goal for us but participate in the world championship ourselves.
Virtual reality games will become more important in the future and the trend is to involve more senses little by little. Besides the virtual reality headset itself as well as the Cyberith Virtualizer one of the innovations is the gaming vest from KOR-FX. The vest produces noises from the game and enables the gamer to feel the gameplay. We are excited to see what comes next and will keep you posted about the latest developments in the virtual reality sector.
Inspiring innovations, exciting events and visionary, imaginative games sphere – gamescom 2014 will stay on its visitors’ memory for a long time. One of them has particularly fond memories of the world’s biggest trade show for gaming: cos player Luka. The 28 year old wowed fans and jury alike and thus managed to secure the second place at this year’s gamescom cosplay award.