Video Games in the White House

Gamasutra reports on the US government's heightened interest in video games and the socioeconomic opportunities they provide. According to Constance Steinkuehler Squire, a White House Office of Science and Technology policy advisor, games are no longer viewed as simple entertainment. "Something has shifted. People have come to understand finally that video games are a powerful medium."

Developers are challenging the norms of video games and pushing the boundaries between other mediums. There are films with video game elements, and video games that play like movies. E-books and training are being introduced with game mechanics and elements. All medias are realizing that there is no reason not to converge- to borrow the strongest elements of all of the compelling mediums and package their product to more fully engage consumers.

Not only are video games a leap in consumer engagement, they are also an economical improvement on traditional training media. According to Squire, "Analog engagement strategies like books, reports and events have a linear relationship between the number of people you can reach and the investment required to reach them. On the other hand, digital strategies like video games and social media require a high investment up front, but as you reach more people, the additional costs approach zero, which is of obvious financial interest to a government office."