Back in the halcyon days of gaming (whenever they were), it was enough to simply be able to insert your favorite game into your console of choice and start playing. In the modern day, video gaming is much more than just a hobby, and with the emergence of video sites such as Twitch and YouTube, it’s now possible to earn an extremely good living by simply playing video games. While the people who can cite video gaming as their job represent a very small percentage of the general population, the way we consume, play and interact with video games is changing. But is it for the better?
Live Gaming and Streaming
YouTube and the gaming industry have enjoyed a close relationship for a number of years. Whether it’s trailers for upcoming titles, complete walkthroughs or simply game reviews, the video sharing site has been at the forefront of the gaming revolution for the last decade. However, with the emergence of YouTube Live and streaming sites such as Twitch, it’s now possible to live-stream your gaming experience to audiences all over the world. Games like DOTA 2 and Fortnite are now earning streamers such as Ninja (real name Tyler Blevins) vast amounts of money, and this is representative of a shift in attitude towards the video game industry – watching people game, it seems, is now becoming just as popular as actually playing the game yourself.
With Twitch having approximately 5 million active viewers, it’s easy to see why streaming is quickly becoming so popular. It’s also worth pointing out that the kind of high definition webcams used to stream are also being incorporated into a number of online games – this is especially true of the online casino industry for example, where blackjack at William Hill features live dealers and attempts to replicate the tense atmosphere felt when deciding whether to stick or twist on 15.
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eSports is Fast Becoming a Spectator Phenomenon
For further proof that attitudes in gaming are shifting, look no further than eSports. By now, it’s likely that you’re familiar with the word, but for those who are still a little unsure, eSports is a blanket term that essentially covers all things associated with competitive, multiplayer gaming. With major broadcasters such as TBS and ESPN covering eSports events since around 2016, competitive gaming has finally breached the mainstream barrier – with the right investment and direction, the sky really is the limit for the eSports industry.
Where Does the Future of Gaming Lie?
Back in 2014, more than 45,000 people were in attendance to watch the League of Legends World Final at Seoul’s Sangam Stadium, and a further 27 million watched the tournament online. With headline eSports tournaments now filling major stadiums across the United States, there’s no other choice but to start taking eSports seriously. In terms of actually playing games, the latest releases are now more interactive than ever. With immersive technology like virtual reality rapidly improving, it appears that whether you prefer to watch others for your gaming fix or don the controller yourself, interactive gaming is the future of the industry.