From outdoor gaming with cricket, football, and rugby, to indoor gaming including board games to video games and now AR and VR-based games on consoles, mobile phones, and tablets, the evolution of gaming has been one noticeable journey to keep a track of.
In these post-modern times, the number of spectators has grown more than that of players. From fans flooding stadiums and grounds to watch their favorite teams play to spectators keeping a keen eye out for the best league or championship to live stream on ESPN plus, or similar platforms, streaming has aided this evolution.
But where did it all start? How did eSports gain popularity and what is the impact that modern technology is making on the lives of individuals as we see today?
What History Narrates
Starting as early as the 1970s, gaming was supported on arcade consoles or home PCs. The games played were basic but engaging in terms of the programming and graphics, but equally cherished by people of all ages. Players were just as keen to see their names top the record list as they can be seen today. The thrill of it has never changed.
With the advent of the 21st century, the world of gaming started changing faster than minds could comprehend. With newer computers, sleeker gaming accessories, and players with growing interest, the birth of the eSports we see today was recorded with the introduction of smartphones.
Now that the players had their gaming devices as easily accessible to them as being imprisoned in the gadget that could fit in their pockets, gaming became the prodigy of the technological revolution. Players who were previously interested in the car games with not-so-appealing graphics and loud music were now being given refined versions.
As the smartphone evolved from smaller to larger screens, with too little RAM/ROM to storage that could hold games worth hundreds of GBs, and graphics refined enough to give mother nature a run for her crown, it was time for eSports to reign over the gaming industry, of course, with a lot of help from streaming platforms and TVs.
What Research Says
Research in the eSports and gaming industry has shown an increase in the number of gamers, rounding up the figures to around 3 billion players, globally. This makes up about 39% of the world’s population. This includes Grenzer’s and Millennials, and also numerous seniors from Gen X who are deeply indulged in games like Candy Crush Saga.
Almost all teenagers from the ages of 12 to 17 have been seen indulging in some kind of video game, either as players or spectators. With the numbers so dense and hefty, research studies and projects have taken up games as their core subjects in IT and Computer Sciences, while the impact is being taken up by the Social Sciences.
Research in the aforementioned domains has provided facts like gaming being the least expensive medium of entertainment. Researches prove that the gaming industry, despite all the competition, impacts its players’ personal lives by giving them a sense of belonging and training them with better social and emotional learning skills.
Moreover, the impact of eSports is seen in the players’ careers as well as more of these game fanatics opting for career tracks based on STEM learning. Another positive pointer to note is that eSports has even started creating self-sufficient individuals who can now earn on their own and also make a career out of professional eSports.
It is with the help of this research that giants that produce newer games to keep people of all ages interested, keep evolving and producing more updates and better versions of the games that are played.
What the Future Holds
The future of eSports is heavily based on the evolution of streaming TV. With unique communities being built online in the online global village, pertaining to similar ideologies and beliefs, the physical distance has also been shortened via video chats. In the case of gaming, streaming and co-streaming serve the job.
While there still exists a great number of gamers who use gaming PCs, there is still a substantial amount of gaming fans that have never used a gaming PC. This latter lot keeps gaming limited to their mobile phones.
A key prediction made for the future of eSports and gaming is that players will shift towards mobile phones as gear, with video game broadcasting made easy with apps like Twitch TV, YouTube gaming . For a greater audience will come better experiences like opting for live streaming of the video games on TV.
Just like when during live streams of physical sports like cricket and football, spectators streaming eSports on their TV, PCs, or mobile phones will enable the generation of revenue for the creators and players, hence creating a booming industry out of mere gaming in near future.
Moreover, with the rise in the popularity of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs, a technological revolution is expected, majorly in the eSports industry for in-game purchases, trade, bets, etc.
Similar to currency trends, AR and VR being inculcated within games will provide a fully immersive experience with each sense of the players being completely active within the game. Games will soon be able to provide region and environment-friendly experiences, making the users feel even more at ease.
An entire economically booming industry is on the verge of being created, as well as the construction of a worldwide community, block by block. With streaming via streaming platforms and TV as allies, and unbelievably swift internet as a catalyst, it will not be long before eSports creates a separate realm for itself within the world wide web.
As more and more investments of time and resources are being made within the eSports industry, it is safe to say that gaming is no longer just about entertainment. While many dreams to pursue their passion as their profession, gamers have now the opportunity to change their lives with fully immersive games with a great impact being made from cloud gaming and streaming.