A palpable enthusiasm captivated the U.S. and abroad on the eve of September 25th 2007 as audiences suffered through a tangible anticipation awaiting the largest entertainment release in history. The release had nothing to do with a big-budget Hollywood film, or a Grammy-award winning artist releasing the album of the decade. Rather, September 25th 2007 marked the release of a video game. Halo 3, to be exact, first day sales of which reached $170 million in the U.S., setting a national record for the highest gross of an entertainment product within 24 hours of its release.
Halo 3 went on to gross $300 million in its first week. More than one million people played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the first 24 hours of having the game in their consoles. The release of Halo 3 cemented the gaming industry within modern society and represented the industry’s jump from time-wasting novelty to a full narrative experience. It is worth noting that it did so in an incredibly short timeframe.
The statistics are staggering. In June 2011 for example, the global video game market was valued at US$65 billion. It is not only impossible to measure how much gaming has permeated our society and culture, but it would be a futile effort to try and conduct such an analysis. Today, video games unquestionably have the most diverse demographic across any aspect of entertainment and gaming means various things to different people. While “hardcore” gamers pride themselves on long console or PC gaming sessions, a new subgroup of “casual” gamers have appeared in recent years due to the emergence of indie developers and social networking media.
But how do we define the very culture behind the industry? One that has been shaped and molded over the decades into a global phenomenon. Every person throughout modernized society plays video games in some capacity. Who are these people and what are they playing? How does gaming affect their lives and enhance it? XPerienced Gaming will attempt to demonstrate how video games have transcended entertainment en route to becoming an art form in and of themselves. Click on any one of the site’s categories and witness a culture and industry that each and every one of you has assisted in creating and shaping.