Gaming has been popular since the release of the first-ever video game, Pong. The aim of Pong was to defeat an opponent, which could either be a person or a computer. This began the era of competitive gaming. Since then, there have been many iterations of competitiveness. Even the single-player games that were later developed encouraged competitiveness. People would play against themselves or previous players to beat the high score.
The world of gaming was changed irrevocably by the introduction of the world wide web. Games were released that allowed players to connect remotely, whether to team up or compete. Today there are millions of games available for consumption and hundreds of tournaments and games where players can win real prizes. Below are the biggest reasons why online gaming became so popular in 2021.
It used to require an expensive, sophisticated computer system to run games, and the technology would become obsolete so quickly that reinvestment was essential to continue to play online games. This meant that computer gaming, whilst popular, was more difficult, so people tended to stick to consoles. Once the PC industry started to gain traction, computer components became cheaper and lasted longer, allowing more people to own better models capable of gaming.
In recent times many games that would have been played live have had online makeovers. The principles of the games are the same, but the need for a location has been removed. Many games are on the internet for free or for a relatively small fee. It’s this level of accessibility that has fuelled its popularity. This has only increased in the last year as lockdown limited people’s lifestyles, and they looked for new ways to fill their time at home.
Arguably the single biggest reason why online games have become so popular in 2021 is the variety. There are millions of games available at the click of a button. Millions of genres or types of games include strategy-based games, third-person shooters, role-playing games, online casinos, and many more. There are games to suit everyone. This has spurred thousands of online discussions, cheat sheet, game reviews, and play-alongs. Some of the biggest channels on YouTube are dedicated to gameplay. There is a streaming service where viewers watch people play their favourite games live. Some websites provide reviews of all different facets of gaming – even online casino reviews such as onlinecasinoreview.co.za which provides its users with detailed reviews of various casinos, allowing them to find one that matches their needs.
As briefly mentioned above, streaming has increased interest in online gaming. Gone are the days when you needed a CD ROM to install a game on your PC. All you need to play most games is an internet connection. The rise of streaming has also allowed people to make money simply from playing their favourite games, which has since become an aspirational career for many. They can win money from tournaments, advertising, sponsorships, or producing content with their favourite game and gaining a following.
In the past, to play multiplayer games, you used to have to try and coax others into playing with you or play against the computer, but that wasn’t the same. Online gaming allows players to play against many different people from all over the world. It offers them a new opponent every time they play, which keeps the game interesting. Day or night, there are willing challengers. Playing against players of different abilities keeps the games interesting, whether you play COD or online roulette; each game provides a challenge.
Some games rely solely on the character’s survival; if you meet the criteria, you can play indefinitely. Some games are decision-based, and so you can always go back and choose another option to see what would’ve happened. Online games are constantly updated and expanded to allow for more gameplay, unlike video games in the past where once you finished it, that was it.
The Future of Gaming
As big brands release cheaper headsets, virtual reality games are gaining popularity and becoming more accessible. They allow the lines between reality and fantasy to be blurred, and the innovation is unlike anything gamers have experienced before. Real-time personalisation is tipped to be the next technological advancement, whereby players are given customised content based on their individual player data. There are huge developments on the horizon.
Online gaming is a lucrative market, and it continues to grow. The meteoric rise of social networks has proved that people are increasingly looking for ways to spend their time online. What is the internet for if not to have fun? Online gaming plays a huge part in this mindset and will continue to do so. In mere decades online gaming has become one of the most profitable enterprises globally with no end in sight. The popularity will simply continue to grow.