Online gaming is something that many people, both younger and older, now like to do.
From internet casinos that offer the chance to play online poker to fighter games designed to be played against people across the world, online gaming has come a long way from its roots as an optional extra in the post-arcade gaming world.
The end of the arcade
For those who are of a certain age, it’s clear that the start of the online gaming era began when the traditional arcades began to decline in popularity. Arcades, of course were a staple of most seaside towns and cities. Full of bright lights, sounds and smells, arcades were hard to resist. From shooter games to claw machines, and dance mats arcades had a wide variety. Often, many would even have an over 18’s section filled with old slot machines. Sadly, today many of these arcades have closed down.
Until the 1990s (and, in practice, the decade after), gaming was something that most people were only able to do at certain locations. The same applied to gambling. While online gambling sites now make it simple to bet online, it used to be the case that physical locations, such as racecourses and casinos, were the only places to gamble. This of course was beneficial to cities such as Las Vegas, Reno, and Atlantic City. All, of which are home to a large amount of land casinos.
Power of the internet
However, that changed in the last decade or so, when online gaming became hugely popular.
In the 2000s, consoles such as the PlayStation and the Xbox were common sights in households across the world – especially among younger people.
While the earliest iterations of these (such as the PlayStation 2) were internet-enabled, an internet connection wasn’t an essential part of the gaming experience – and it was still possible for games to be played on these consoles even without a connection.
In the modern age, though, it’s almost universal for games consoles to be internet-enabled by default.
With the rise of cloud-based online gaming, it’s now possible to pick up an online game wherever it was last left off.
The power of the internet also means that modern games can integrate additional functions such as paid upgrades and instant head-to-head competitions through social media.
Internet casinos can include online slot games and other well-designed and exciting gambling functions, while brain games can be played over Facebook with a friend or relative at the tap of a button.
The age of choice
One of the hallmarks of the online gaming revolution is the large range of choice that gamers have.
Online gaming arcades often have hundreds of games available at once. As a result, people are able to select games that match their own preferences and tastes. There’s also now a much stronger cultural acceptance of the role that online gaming can play.
With games such as the popular Facebook app Words with Friends delivering mental and psychological benefits to people of all ages, it’s now more accepted that online gaming is an opportunity to learn as well as to be entertained.
“Figuring things out and learning is what makes video games so rewarding, and ultimately, so much fun,” wrote journalist Jessica Furseth earlier this year.
Looking to the future, it’s likely that there will be even more of a rise in the popularity of online gaming – especially as virtual reality technology beds in and becomes more widely available.