Videogames in Italy. Market and consumers between Mediated Social Relationship and User Generated Content
Over the past five years videogame market has grown in terms of hardware (new generation consoles) and software (new types of videogames), attracting new types of users. This lead to a standardization of the market. Videogame is an important challenge for Italian economy, considering the general trend in Europe, but Italian production of videogame is still downsized if compared to other European countries. The use of videogame plays an important role in cultural consumption and can provide a better understanding of processes of identity construction and social relationships mediated by ICT. The game offers people occasions of sociability and stimulates their participation to simulated worlds that allow players to experiment on their identity. Online gaming amplifies these opportunities because it focuses on experiences sharing. The paper provides an analysis of videogame with a multidisciplinary approach where the main objectives are to explore the videogame market, in order to highlight growth opportunities and the role of the Italian production of video games; the socio-demographic characteristics of new European players to understand users' behavior; systematize theoretical "stimuli" arising from the debate about games studies; to evaluate the new trend of user generated gaming, discussing recent results of an empirical research project developed jointly to University of Rome Sapienza, Faculty of Communication.
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