The word gaming conjures a certain mental image. It’s typically one of either a child – after all, kids play games, or the computer nerd obsessed with fantasy worlds of wizards, magic and elves. These are certain types of gamers but think again. How about football, or golf? Or traditional games like roulette or baccarat, played in casinos from Monte Carlo to Las Vegas? James Bond might be many things, but he’s neither a child nor a computer geek.
Nevertheless, despite everyone’s growing obsession with Fortnite or the fact that the gaming sector is now an industry worth billions of dollars, some people still find that mental picture one that is hard to shake. Let’s take a look at what modern gamers really look like, and how today’s gaming landscape has been shaped by the technology that delivers it.
Smartphones making gamers of us all
By far the biggest driver of the broadening appeal that gaming has enjoy1ed over recent years is the ubiquitous smartphone. When gaming was predominantly played via consoles or handhelds like the Nintendo, it took financial outlay just to get started. Compare that with the ease with which we can download a game, often at zero cost, onto our smartphones. The popularity of online casinos is a perfect case in point. Today, anyone searching for the best online casino can consult directories of sites, and there are hundreds to choose from. There’s no cost involved in installing the app, and in many cases, the sites even offer free deposits to get players on board.
A pastime for all ages
It is easy to forget just how long gaming has been part of our lives. The first game consoles came out more than 35 years ago, and even the PlayStation, now on its fourth iteration, has been around since 1994, almost a quarter of a century. In short, anyone in their 40s or younger have grown up around gaming – it is exactly the same principle as baby boomers being labeled the TV generation.
The lure of online gaming runs deeper, however. There are more silver surfers around than ever, and contrary to popular belief, they do not just go online to keep in touch with grandchildren or order the weekly groceries. Brain games and seniors have always gone hand in hand, and where they used to be hooked on crosswords and word searches, today’s senior generation is all about Words With Friends, and those ever-popular online card games.
Toys for boys? Not anymore
The other myth to be dispelled is that gamers are predominantly male. The most recent research suggests the contrary, and again, mobile tech is to thank, combined with the rise of social games like Farmville. The fact that mobile games are more suited to being played in short sessions is another part of their appeal to women, many of whom are in a constant battle to divide time between work and home life. Games like Bejewelled provide the perfect stress reliever when a spare five minutes emerge.
Today, we are all gamers. And the result is an industry that is growing at an exponential rate year on year.