Grow up – play computer games?

The games industry has been one of the stars of the UK’s economy over recent years, with its importance being recognized in this year’s Budget in a bid to create jobs and drive the country forward as a European center of technology.

The home games console system has made similarly huge strides recently, moving out of the teenagers’ bedroom and into the living room – usually on the kind of big, crisply detailed TV which is becoming the center of family life once more.

It also plays DVDs or Blu-Ray films, and gives access to almost limitless online content through apps such as BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm or YouTube. It pays to remember that, as more and more content is bought, downloaded and streamed online, the value of a catalog of physical copies of games can easily run to hundreds of pounds.

Move your body

One of the major developments of the last few years is a big change in how we interact with our games. The Nintendo Wii, with its ’nunchuk’ controller, uses the clever technology of motion sensors and accelerometers to transform the movement of your arms into action on screen – allowing players to take part in games such as Wii Sports at a new level.

And while Nintendo has often successfully incorporated this approach into a range of different genres, the approach has been taken a step further by Microsoft with its Xbox 360 Kinect device. With this plugged in and its ‘eye’ pointing towards you, a controller is not needed at all – your body movements are tracked and mapped to the screen.
These and other devices, like the Wii’s balance board, frees us from the sofa. New lifestyle and fitness games and applications give you a way of trying out new activities in the comfort of your home. These include tracking your family’s fitness goals, trying your hand at yoga, or learning dance moves to your favorite pop songs.

Social screen

Of course, the current generation of machines hasn’t just moved out of the bedroom – it has vaulted straight out into cyberspace. Online play is typically configurable with a myriad of options to find like-minded players around the world.

For many games, online play is the yardstick by which their chemistry is measured, whether they are driving games, real-time strategy simulations or sports sims. Others take a traditional, social experience – for example, playing music together – and make it more accessible, such as the Guitar Hero or Rock Band series.
Console systems and their accessories are increasingly an integral part of a home entertainment system. In addition, the value of a catalog of games can run into the thousands.

Quality home insurance is a must to help protect your home and your family. There is also the reassurance that if you do have a valid claim, the insurer can help you find approved repairers to help sort things out.

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.