Gaming online is the perfect way to relax and have fun for people of all ages and over the last decade the numbers of internet gamers has been rising rapidly. While in the past it was believed that gaming virtually would lead to social isolation, technical innovations and the social features added to games have made it possible for players to enjoy socialising with friends and other players from around the world during gameplay.
Just exactly how big is online gaming?
Gaming online is hugely popular. There are currently around one billion online gamers around the world, with weforum showing the largest markets being in China, USA, Japan and South Korea. It is expected that within the next four years, player numbers will reach 1.3 billion.
It is also an industry with very large revenues and in 2020 the global online gaming market was valued at approximately $21 billion US dollars.
While games can be done on pretty much any device with an internet connection, including desktop computers, laptops and tablets, playing via smartphone is now the most popular way to enjoy games. Playing on mobile is accessible, highly convenient and there are a huge range of games available to download from the app stores.
What types of games offer a social experience to online players?
Online casino games
Online Cricket Betting ID games are one example of a game that gives players the opportunity to play alongside people they do not necessarily know or are geographically near to. For example, on Canadian 888poker site, players can interact with one another through the live poker chat feature.
Poker is the most popular casino game followed by other table games such as blackjack and roulette as well as online slots.
Many casino sites have now introduced live games which add to the social experience. In these games the game is streamed from a physical location such as a land-based casino and is played in real-time. The players can see and interact with the dealer and see them deal cards through the camera.
This helps to replicate the experience of playing in a casino but allows players to enjoy the comfort and convenience of playing at home on the sofa.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs)
MMORGs are another example of online games with a social experience, well known examples of such games include World of Warcraft and Runescape and The Elder Scrolls. Studies have shown MMORGs to be highly socially interactive environments that provide players the opportunity to develop real and strong friendships and emotional connections to other real players in the game.
For example, in World of Warcraft players often congregate in certain areas of the virtual city, while this has no real impact on their success in the game, the purpose is usually to socialise with one another and be in an environment with lots of other people. In WoW the old bank in the city of Orgrimmar served as one of these famous ‘watering holes’. There are other interesting facts on World of Warcraft by Daily Bayonet.
MMO games bring people together, encouraging them to barter over virtual goods and weapons and helps them to remove themselves from reality for a while.
Battle royale games
Battle royale games are another type of game that encourage a shared social experience, with Call of Duty being one of the most popular examples. It is believed that COD now has around 6 million total registered players and provides socialization through gamifying entertainment and social media.
COD is popular with teenagers and provides a meeting place that is often much more accessible than going to coffee shops or malls. This game can be played across different platforms and therefore allows friends with different devices to connect and play seamlessly.
The future of social online gaming…
These types of online games seem to be the future of gaming. There are now augmented reality (AR) games, such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Jurassic World Alive AR, illustrating just how popular these game types can be when combined with new technological innovations.
These type of AR games were created to be sociable from the offset, as they encourage players to physically congregate. Harry Potter requires players to follow a map to meet at different locations and landmarks, whereas Fansided explains how Jurassic World Alive is played, with players being able to see their collected dinosaurs in a certain location using the AR feature.
The sociable experience provided by gaming goes further than actual gameplay, whole communities are established around the enjoyment of discussing games and watching others play them. On websites such as Twitch and YouTube, gaming influencers broadcast their gameplay and interact with their fans, providing them with a platform to share tips and reviews on new releases and updates.
An emerging gaming trend is Virtual Reality (VR) gaming, in these games players wear a VR headset to fully immerse themselves in a virtual environment. Players can walk around and interact with one another as they would in real life.
Online gaming is becoming increasingly sociable and as innovations such as live casinos, VR tech and AR gaming are developed further more and more players will begin to enjoy shared social experiences on the internet.