Digital Special Issue: Gaming

Gaming has come of age. Joystick-obsessed guys who once hunkered down in basements for hours and dominated the medium now have guests. Women and kids are latching onto smartphones and other devices to play. Whether families — armed with Wii remote controls-bond bowling the night away or consumers on the go play  individual or social networking games, the medium is reaching new audiences and heights.
Marketers are tapping into the zeitgeist that people like to play and that their lives are more fun when a little competition is involved. As David Griner reports, smartphones have transformed the world into one, big game board. Marketers have the digital tools needed to help consumers interact with brands in unprecedented ways while they go about their lives. So why aren’t they all getting in on the game?
For-profit companies are doing more than trying to get business from consumers. Michelle Goodman looks at games and their creators determined to save the world. Will these games churn out more socially conscious, cause-fighting individuals? Only time will tell.
And Adweek digital media editor Brian Morrissey looks at how game mechanics can change behavior. Will it work?