Gaming has been a popular pastime for many, many years now. Popular though it has been, the surge in popularity over the last few years is truly amazing. Some of the reasons for this sudden explosion in the number of gamers worldwide, especially among millennials, are clear and easy to define: staying at home for the majority of a two-year period and being unable to travel for the same amount of time has meant that people need to find new ways to entertain themselves and connect with friends. Gaming, coupled with improving game technology like VR and AR, has offered people a way to experience the outside world and meet up with friends without ever leaving the comfort of their own lounge. You can play mobile roulette with a friend from halfway across the globe, you can go skiing in your own home, or you can take to the battlefield to defeat an evil tyrant.
Gaming also fulfils a number of human needs that haven’t really evolved much throughout humanity’s life on earth. It sounds surprising that something considerably new can significantly impact needs that have been with us since the dawn of the human race, but it’s true! Join us as we unpack a little more about why gaming has become so popular: the obvious reasons and the ones hiding in the shadows.
Gaming is a safe place to fail
Though the idea of failure might seem daunting to a lot of people, failure is simply another step in the journey to success. It’s an inevitable part of life, and human beings need to learn how to handle failure before they can reach success. There is absolutely no risk of any permanent damage when you fail at gaming unless you are failing in a tournament where there is a big prize pot or failing to win a game that you’ve bet on. Because a game world isn’t real life, and there will be no permanent fallout from trying and failing to lay siege to a castle or build a new kind of base, you can only learn from these failures.
Gaming is a creative outlet
Some consider themselves creative beings from a very early age, but some are more analytical. Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a naturally creative person, all humans have the need for some form of creative expression, and gaming is an excellent way to achieve that. You can create buildings that would never withstand harsh weather conditions in real life or ones that might defy the laws of physics altogether. You can interact with dinosaurs or dragons, write stories and create designs or artworks in any colour or pattern you like. Create entire civilisations and worlds according to your own ideas; in some games, absolutely no practicality is necessary!
Gaming is great for connection
Socialising over Zoom or Whatsapp is enough connection for some people when they cannot physically be with friends or loved ones. Gaming together is an excellent way to socialise and meet new friends. You can connect with like-minded people, even people you may never have met.
Gaming provides an escape
When times are tough, people need a place to go, be it physical, mental, or online, to escape from the drudgeries of daily life. The world of gaming is so broad and deep that it offers almost endless options to escape from reality. Instead of someone who works at the supermarket, you could be a prince or princess fighting off an evil mage. Instead of a corporate CEO, you might want to be a space invader exploring new and exciting universes and blazing a trail through the galaxy. You can dive into your game world and forget that you have a scary doctor’s appointment, that you’re under stress at work (don’t avoid doing your job, though!), and come out more refreshed than when you went in.
Gaming could be a career
These days, game streaming is a viable career with the right combination of skills and personality. Game tournaments are now a regular thing in certain gaming circles, and the prize pots are so enormous that it’s definitely possible to earn a living playing games if you are good enough. Content creation has risen to the level of a viable career as well: streamers create content and share clips of themselves playing exciting new games for their communities to enjoy. They often work with game industry sponsors to test out and give away merchandise as well.
These are just some of the main reasons that gaming is so popular, especially among millennials. Can you think of any more?
This is a submitted article.