Video Game Culture

Who are you when you play video games? This gallery explores cultural interfaces through the construction of identity/culture as well as how these devices alter both how we communicate with each other and how we explore cultures different from our own.

 Oregon Trail, one of the early computer video games released to many schools to use as an educational tool. The game depicted aspects of a family traveling on the Oregon Trail including the hardships that individuals suffered while traveling the trail. How does this game construct an image of American culture? How does it represent gender identity? How does it represent status? How has your identity been constructed by playing the game?

 How does playing Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo change your identity? By playing video games we all become another person in a way. We become invested in a fictional world with fictional characters. How does Super Mario Brothers represent our culture?

 Another early and iconic image of video games, Pacman has been a classic video game still found in some restaurants and arcades today. How can this image of a Pacman game represent our culture?


World of Warcraft i(WoW) s a hugely popular game not just in America, but globally as well. Users can communicate with each other through the game and fight together as well. How does this game alter our identities while playing as compared to some of the earlier games, such as Super Mario Brothers. In Super Mario Brothers, users may play with another person, yet their characters cannot interact with each other, nor can they play at the same time as they are able to in WoW. How can this change in interaction alter our construction of culture? Can we create construct identities through WoW that we wouldn't have been able to otherwise?

Everquest is yet another role-playing game that enables widespread communication with friends and other people. Everquest was popular before WoW hit the scene. How can role-playing games construct identity if they are representing an identity other than one's self?

The Wii game system, the latest updated Nintendo system is another currently  popular video game, wherein characters can be created and interaction between the characters is possible in particular situations during the game. The Wii can be played individually or with a  large group of people, as the limited amount of controllers are not longer important because they can be shared. How does the physical interaction of a group of people playing Wii effect our identities versus playing games by ourselves?

Halo is another popular online communication fighting game. It is based in a military-type setting rather than a fantasy setting like WoW. It is interesting to note that the American military have used video games to advertise for recruiting.  Are we escaping from our identities while playing, or are we constructing a new identity while playing?

Play our games provided below! Think about what you have read on this page as you play the fun games below! 




For more information/exploration of video games and their use:

Demographic information on the use of video games 

Video game discussion

More information on video game culture