According to the ESA, 75% of Americans have at least one gamer in their household. Chances are you or someone you know either plays or watches video games. The gaming industry is worth three times more than the global box office and six times more than the music industry. Smartphones are the basis for this growth with mobile games accounting for more than half of the global game market. With trends like e-sports, VR, and mobile gaming; video games are bringing us closer together and shaping our social landscape.
Bringing Us Together
Video games aren’t like what they were in the 90s or early 2000s. Most of today’s popular games have various team based modes and you better have a headset because communication is critical. I actually think video games have made us more social. You can drop into a random match and talk to people right away. Sometimes you’ll have a great conversation and experience with someone and suddenly you’ve got a friend request. Video games are making us more connected than ever before.
Platforms like Twitch and Mixer have streamlined the process of sharing gameplay. AMD and NVIDIA also have built in recording software for the latest graphics cards so it’s much easier to share gaming experiences today than it was a decade ago. It’s why YouTube and Facebook have pages dedicated to gaming videos. As technology gets faster and cheaper the more gaming content will grow. Right now the barrier to entry is having a good machine to record and play simultaneously or a capture card and both are a bit pricey, so as hardware gets cheaper the more creators will enter and grow social gaming platforms.
Esports Is a Growing Business
There’s now more video game tournaments than ever before. Live Esport events are captivating millions of viewers and the prize pool for some competitions are upwards of millions. Plenty of money is being invested in this subculture. Philadelphia is building a $50 million Esports complex called Fusion Arena by 2021, and Arlington’s Esports Stadium cost about $10 million to build. It’s very similar to how Green Bay’s Lambeau Field was built specifically for the NFL in 1957, which is still the oldest operating NFL stadium to date.
YouTube and Facebook
We couldn’t talk about video games and social media without bringing up Pewdiepie. Being the most subscribed channel up until 2019, most of Pewdiepie’s content revolves around video game playthroughs and commentary. Gaming is so popular on YouTube that they created a dedicated page for it at youtube.com/gaming. Facebook (in typical FB fashion) copied it also with ‘Gaming Videos’. 65% of American adults play video games and if you look, most social platforms have a committed space for it.
Games are making us more connected through the popularity of team-focused games. Sharing our gaming experience with others is easier than ever thanks to live streaming platforms. As video game recording software gets perfected, the more producers and influencers we’ll see enter the space. Gaming is the biggest entertainment industry and technology companies are devoting energy to further hardware (VR, AR, Smartphones) and make video games more appealing to non-gamers.