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5 Benefits of Gaming in the 21st Century

Being a gamer in this day and age has its advantages — we’ll tell you the top advantages to gaming now over the days of Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat.

5 Benefits of Gaming in the 21st Century

So, in case you haven't heard, the PlayStation 4 has been announced. It's "the future," according to Sony, and as gamers in the 21st century, it's just another thing we've got to look forward to in our rapidly evolving hobby of choice. 

Here are five benefits of gaming in the 21st century.

Downloadable content

Back in the '80s, '90s and even the early '00s, if you enjoyed a game but had completed it and wanted more, you simply had to wait for the developers to make a sequel. If they didn't make a sequel, then you'd just have to play through the game again.

Fortunately, we now have DLC, where developers can feed us new content on a more regular basis for a little bit of extra cash. DLC is regularly criticised due to the dodgy business practices of companies such as Capcom, who have been known to use it to exploit their customers, but developers and publishers who utilise it well give added longevity to their releases, and that's nothing to complain about.

Customisation

Today you can customise just about every facet of your gaming setup. A few decades ago, you either played your games using a primitive home console on a modestly-sized television, or you played your games on a PC that oftentimes simply refused to run in the way that it should.

But nowadays you can play your games on a TV that's both huge and affordable, you can kit the room out with surround sound to make it feel like you're really there when those nameless terrorists start shooting in your direction and, if you're a PC gamer, you've essentially got the whole world at your fingertips, interchanging graphics cards until your heart's content so the graphics displayed on your monitor make your eyes bleed.

A vocal community

If Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts were released today, the negative reaction following the reveal that the end of the game isn't actually the true ending, and that you're required to redo the entire game all over again in order to properly complete it, would've been so vehement that Capcom would've probably had to issue DLC containing a more sufficient conclusion.

The internet has afforded the gaming community the opportunity to make their thoughts heard, and while this has sometimes led to the kind of pitchfork-brandishing typically reserved for Frankenstein's monster, it has also meant that games such as Aliens: Colonial Marines have been thrown into the stocks where they rightfully belong.

Rapidly advancing technology

In 2006, the Wii introduced us to motion-control by virtue of its waggle-stick controller. Just four years later, Microsoft released the Kinect, which turned us into the controller.

As the years progress we become less and less impressed by technology, instead taking it for granted that we live in an age where it seems to become more advanced by the day. I've previously discussed this in my article 'Video Games Are Great But No One is Happy', but my point remains valid: technology is evolving so quickly that we don't seem to be able to be blown away by it anymore, which is surely a good thing, right..?

All-encompassing hardware

Home consoles used to be nothing more than a box you shoved your games into, but now they seem to do everything other than butter your toast in the morning. Since Sony informed us that the PlayStation 3 "Only Does Everything," consoles have been competiting with each other to see who can perform most of their owners' daily tasks. 

Streaming movies, checking Facebook, listening to music, watching TV, playing Blu-rays – compared to just over a decade ago when the PlayStation 2 being able to play DVDs was considering groundbreaking, we've got it exceptionally good in 2013.


Paul Tamburro is the UK Editor of Crave Online. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTamburro.