Human beings have always had leisure pursuits, a way to pass the time, relieve stress and have fun. However, as technology has progressed, these pastimes have changed slightly. For example, playing games has shifted into the online space and has continued to increase in popularity since the release of Pong – the world’s first video game. So, the question is, why is online gaming so popular? Let’s explore.
The Transformative Effect of the Internet
As with most aspects of modern life, the gaming industry was profoundly affected by the rise of the internet. Online gaming is an immersive experience. Players can play with their friends remotely as long as they have an internet connection; they are more accessible than ever before. In fact, while online gaming is booming, board games are dying; they are all but a lost art. Online games can be played from any device, including desktops, mobile phones and gaming consoles.
The Increasing Accessibility
Once upon a time, if you wanted to play online games, you needed the technical know-how and sophisticated computer system that allowed you to play. However, technology was also changing so quickly that the hardware would quickly become obsolete, and therefore anyone who wanted to play would also need the funds to be able to continually reinvest in new pieces of equipment. In short, gaming online was not accessible for a lot of people.
Nowadays, while games and equipment can still be expensive, they are far more user-friendly and accessible than they were in the past. However, the principles of the gameplay itself remain somewhat similar to the original iterations. There are even games available on the internet for free or free versions of games that you can try before committing to purchasing the premium version of the game. The increasing accessibility is, in part, what makes them so popular among players.
The Variety of Games
Online gaming is popular for several reasons, but one of the biggest is the variety of the games. There are literally millions of games online, all of which are available at a few clicks of a button or controller. In addition, the genres are almost as innumerable, including role-playing games, strategy-based games, shooters, casino games and more. There are so many games out there that there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.
There are trends in the gaming industry, too, as with all forms of entertainment. The games that prove the most popular end up spurring on the creation of more content in the form of online forums, level reviews, cheats, and streaming gameplay. Depending on the form of games that you’re into, you will likely find advice and resources that encourage you to get the most out of your gameplay. For example, if online casinos are your thing, then you can find resources online, including this blog post, to help you get the most money from your gambling deposit from UKGC regulated Online Casinos.
The variety is not solely limited to the games themselves. In order to play multi-player games in the past, you would have to find a group of friends that you could rope into playing with you. In the first iterations of online gaming, you could opt to play against the computer; nowadays, you can play with people all over the world. You can forge friendships with people you would never have met otherwise and play against them regularly, or you can find a new opponent every sing time you play, which does help to make sure you are continually challenged.
The Popularity of Streaming Gameplay
While this was briefly touched on above, it deserves more of an exploration. Streaming has emerged in part as a way to capitalise on the popularity of certain games, but it also helps to increase the interest in some games, too; in that respect, streaming can be seen as having a cyclical effect on gaming. In order to play online games in the past, you needed to have a physical version of the game – usually, a disk, not anymore. You can stream games online; all you need is an internet connection. A lot of players choose to stream their gameplay too. This has proven to be incredibly lucrative for the game players with a big following which is why it has become a dream for a lot of players out there. The game developers themselves have made an effort to capitalise on this too. Gaming tournaments have emerged in the last few years. They offer a cash prize to the winner, and the tournaments themselves are often streamed to fans all around the world. Some players even have sponsors.
The Potential for Endless Gameplay
There are a lot of games out there that rely solely on your avatar’s survival; in that respect, if you manage to keep your character alive, you could, in theory, play the game indefinitely. This is because developers are continually releasing new levels to complete to keep the game going. While there are still games out there with an end in mind, once you make it to the end and complete the game, that is all there is to it – unless you decide to play again. However, more and more games are opening themselves up to a potentially limitless gameplay. In addition to the continually expanding game packs, there are also decision-based games that, although they might end the decision tree, means that you can go back and play over and over again, choosing different options to see what difference it makes.
The online gaming industry is incredibly lucrative, and it is a long way from reaching its potential. The market continues to expand as the use of the digital space, and the advancement of technology does. Gaming online has been and continues to be a popular pastime, not least for the reasons explored above. In truth, this pastime is likely to continue to increase in popularity as advancements in the industry are made. It is hard to guess exactly where the online gaming industry left but with user experience prioritised; it is bound to be popular.