Since COVID-19 hit the world, people have been cooped up in their homes trying to find ways to stay entertained. Turning to work Zooms, homemade crafts, and even cooking crazes can only last so long. So what happens when people want to explore fun things while staying safe in their home? They turn to something that’s been there since the start — the internet! More specifically, the online gaming community.
Why has online gaming gained so much traction in popular media?
Online gaming has been on the rise since the pandemic started; and the industry has been able to thrive in these trying times. It allows people to stay in touch while having an outlet for the stress many of us are facing. Stress can be relieved in a peaceful way, like managing an island or town in games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, or it can be controlled in more active games like Valorant and Among Us.
The popularity doesn’t only come in being able to play these games, but also the ability to stream them for others to watch. Gaming streamers have been a huge part in certain games taking the spotlight on various social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and even TikTok.
With such a huge and growing variety of options, online gaming has taken more than just teens by storm. TechJury’s collected stats state that in 2020 the average age of a gamer is 34, and around 60% of Americans play video games. This means it’s never too late to pick it up if you’re on the hunt for a new hobby.
With the internet being as accessible as it is nowadays, the selection of gaming technology has grown immensely. From consoles like Xbox and PlayStation to laptops and cellphones, games are accessible on pretty much anything with an internet connection. This has allowed the gaming community to grow rapidly without too many issues of obtainability. The real struggle comes down to how much do you want to invest in your favorite game?
How does one become a “gamer”?
The answer to this question is surprisingly easy. You simply have to play games and call yourself a “gamer”. While the community is sometimes known for being toxic and having a lot of gatekeepers, don’t let that keep you from having fun! Being a “gamer” is quite literally described as someone who plays games. There aren’t set rules for how many games you have to play or a style you have to play to fit into the category, despite what some might say. There isn’t even a required setup to be a “gamer”. You can play on whatever you want, there’s plenty of wiggle room. The only requirements are that you have to have fun and use the “gamer” label when you want to.
Online gaming could easily continue growing, even as the pandemic ends. With many people picking up streaming, there are plenty of aspects and platforms to explore in the gaming community.
What will be the next “big thing” in the gaming community?
Header: Vinicius “amnx” Amano