Game on 9: Boulder's developing video game industry

Colorado's video game industry contributes 107-million dollars to the state's economy.That's according to Fortune magazine, which recently put our state in the top-10 nationally for developers.

BOULDER - What’s that saying?

Boys will be boys?

Yeah, but somewhere between the trash talking and restrained expletives is a more cerebral experience for two developers from one of Boulder’s growing game companies.

"Video games create a sense of intrinsic value as opposed to an extrinsic one. When you do art you have self-expression. You get better than you were before," says 26-year-old Zhenghua Yang.

Yang founded Serenity Forge Developing coming out of college. And along with lead developer Andy Schmitt the two lost themselves in code.

"It's the cross between art and science," says Schmitt. "To be able to make something that I've dreamed about doing since I was a kid was really appealing to me."

It's a narrative that's evolving in ways few fully understand.

Yang believes "that video games will be a part of our human civilization—a part of our daily lives no matter where we go."

Last year the Entertainment Software Association said 64-percent of American Households had at least one person who played video games regularly. Only a little less than a half of those gamers, 41%, were women.

"People still believe that video games are this boy's club where you just sit in the basement and shoot, right? I believe in the next 10 years will shift drastically," says Yang.

If you don’t believ him, just look at Pokemon GO. It was a game designed—not for just for fun—but to create a connection between people in the real world.

A far cry from that "boys’ club" stigma.

"They aim to serve a much more narrative experience,” says Schmitt. “You just play through the storyline and it's kind of like a movie but because you have involvement in these character's lives you're much more devoted to what happens to them."

Sure, there will still be room for shooters and hubris.

It will just be part of an industry that's begun to include a whole lot more.

As Schmitt says, "Making what you love really is the thing."

If you're interested in video games, or know someone who is, check out Game on 9, an online eSports tournament hosted by 9NEWS.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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