The Rising Popularity of Online Gaming

Professional esports teamSource: iStock,

Online gaming is, quite simply, a big deal. And it’s only getting bigger.

Traditionally, the arena of online games has been somewhat maligned – it has been often regarded as the preserve of geeks or nerds – but that reputation is melting away.

Games such as FIFA, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Overwatch and PUBG have an array of professional players, teams and leagues, with top stars – Ninja, KuroKy, Matumbaman – regarded as modern-day celebrities.

Given the level of kudos heaped upon these individuals, and taking into account their ability to make a very successful living by thriving at something that many people would consider a hobby, it makes complete sense that more and more young people consider ‘eSports professional’ a viable career route that deserves to be given consideration.

With that in mind, let’s delve a little deeper into the world of online gaming, attempt to understand how it has become so successful, where it is likely to head in the future, and what can be done if online gaming ever starts to become a problem for you, or for someone close to you.

The Incredible Rise & Evolution Of Online Gaming

In the early days of electronic gaming, the concept of playing a game brought with it an element of solitude. There were, of course, multiplayer games during this beginning period – Pong, Maze War and Spasim, for example – but the vast majority were designed to be completed alone. They gave the player an opportunity to delve into a digital world, to tackle problems and challenges developed by coders, and encouraged people to spend extended periods of time engrossed in an environment of make-believe.

In the decades since these pioneering games were released, the concept of gaming has shifted massively, and the way in which people embrace games has altered to the point where it could almost be considered a completely different discipline.

Nowadays, gamers want to take on more than just the obstacles put in their way by coders; they want to test themselves against human opponents, to see if they are superior to their peers, and to – if possible – earn themselves a reputation that singles them out as being an ‘elite’ player.

To see a glimpse of just how powerful and influential the online gaming universe is, you need only take a glance at some of recent statistics.

Did you know, for example:

  • Around 2 billion people across the planet play games on a daily basis, with a large and continuously growing proportion of those playing games that are predominantly online?
  • Nearly seven in 10 Americans would consider themselves a ‘gamer’?
  • On average, people who refer to themselves as gamers play online at least seven hours per week, with almost one in five saying that they play in excess of 12 hours?

Couple playing online video gamesSource: iStock,

The very concept of ‘gaming’ – which is derived from the old German meaning ‘to amuse oneself’ – implies that the goal is to be victorious: nobody enjoys the feeling of losing, and so the implicit aim is to come out on top, whatever the activity may be.

Online Casino Games And Online Slots

What is also true of the online gaming world is that it never stands still; new products are continually being released, new means of victory are constantly being created, and various new – and often lucrative – prizes are presenting themselves. Part of what ensures online gaming’s success both now and going forward is this perennial evolution; the parameters are always shifting, and there is absolutely no time to rest on one’s laurels. There will always be a new way to win, and there will always be a new opponent to conquer.

But, despite this, long-time favourites – such as online casino games and online slots – remain fan favourites, especially for people that would consider themselves casual gamers. These games tend to be simple to understand and master, but the true test comes when pitting oneself against another individual who is capable of thinking for themselves and isn’t dictated by an algorithm.

Playing online casino games on laptopSource: iStock,

Online gambling has seen a huge increase in both player numbers and spends in recent years. According to research conducted by Statista, the last nine years have seen the online gambling sector grow from a $20.5bn business to one that is worth a staggering $52bn. And, what’s more, experts expect that by the end of 2020, it will be worth closer to $60bn.

This growth is attributed to a number of factors, including the fact that internet speeds are now incredibly reliable and stable, meaning that games can be played without fear of the connection dropping; smartphones are more powerful than ever, so games can be played on the go; there are more websites and online games to play than ever before.

The online casino gaming industry is one that adapts and embraces advancements in technology, providing options such as live casino games which allow players to see and hear real dealers via high quality streaming. This means logging on and playing games such as blackjack and roulette from the comfort of home provides the kind of experience that not so long ago would have necessitated a journey to a bricks and mortar casino – for those who lived near to a casino.

Live online roulette wheelSource: iStock,

Technologies such as live casino gaming has opened up the options to a whole new range of players who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy a real casino experience.

However, as with anything in life, it’s important to stay safe when gambling online. As a form of entertainment, playing online casino games can be incredibly thrilling and enjoyable, but players should always be mindful to not gamble with more than they can afford to lose. The key to gambling responsibly is being able to recognise when there is an issue, seeking help, confiding in those closest to you, and putting measures in place to minimise the amount of money that can be spent. Most reputable online casinos like Gaming Club will, for example, allow you to set strict deposit limits, and this is something everyone should consider.

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