Is 2007 the big breakthrough year for games entering mass media consciousness?

Games have been blips on the radar on and off for a while, but it seems as though things are gathering substantial steam lately.

For example, I barely watch any TV at all and even I haven't been able to avoid seeing the hypnotic BioShock commercials. At a recent party I attended, people who were obviously not gamers were discussing it over chips and salsa. Not in any detail, but more like asking each other if they had heard or seen it and if so, what did they know?

An even bigger example is the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. The magazine has featured video game reviews sporadically, usually months apart and only very sparse coverage even then. Flipping through his pages this afternoon, there was a two-page story on Halo 3 and how it's expected to log the biggest single-day gross of any product, in any media, ever.

… and if that wasn't proof enough, Brain Age 2 was advertised on two half-page spots in the popular movie reviews section. I don't think I've ever seen a videogame advertised in such a mainstream magazine before. Maybe getting Nicole Kidman to do a commercial for the title was worth its weight in gold?

There are a handful of other examples (Wii at the watercooler, anyone?) but this year more than others before it seems as though games are getting greater attention and going higher-profile then they've done in the past—and people thought to be traditionally non-gamers seem to be listening.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been playing games since arcades were a thing and Atari was the new hotness. He's been at GameCritics since 2000. Currently, he's juggling editing duties, being a homeschooling dad, a devoted husband, and he does try to play a game once in a while.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:

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dave
dave
13 years ago

As video games become more and more mainstream they become bigger, more polished productions, and yet the actual quality of gameplay declines. In terms of production values, something like BioShock or Oblivion is phenomenal.. And yet their gameplay is simply inferior to what we had 10, even 15 years ago. It’s sad.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

I suppose that video games are starting to reach a broader audience, but I still think the price barrier is too great to really reach the mainstream. $600 for a PS3 and at least $250 for either of the other home consoles is just too much for most people that have a passing interest. When I look at the biggest games coming this year, most of them are still targeted at the male teenager audience. Halo 3, Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, Metroid Prime 3, etc. There are some Wii and DS games that may appeal to both genders, but I still… Read more »

Dean
Dean
13 years ago

The other way for video games to go mainstream is simple attrition. A lot of older folks will never care, or only care a little. It takes time for people who really care about video games to climb to positions of power in society.

Dean
Dean
13 years ago

In America, people have an easier time understanding video games as sport than art, so games’ll probably get their first big permanent perch in the mainstream in the form of some televized tournament series.

The Wii remote helps by making the player ache and sweat. I think that’s a prerequisite for audiences to accept it as a sport. If the player is too sedentary, the audience won’t be impressed. It doesn’t look cool.

Games as art? That works for Japan, but here…