Video Games Are Bigger Than Classic Spectator Sports, But Why Do We Watch Others Play?

    For gaming fans, the idea that the traditional giants of the game are losing a step is scary. What’s next? Will Facebook and Amazon add another string to their bow? Could Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft lose their crowns?

    The answer to the last question is available for everyone to see because watching video games is now a bigger industry than traditional spectator sporting events, with young adults spending 3 hours and 25 minutes engaged in the activity weekly. Below, we’ll outline how the phenomenon has occurred and what’s behind audience-influenced gaming.

    Fun for a Broad Range of People

    If you’re the sort of person who thinks there is a set gaming demographic, then you’re behind the times. The truth is that the sector has worked hard to be inclusive across the board, and nowhere is this more evident than in the mixture of male and female players.

    Ladies, you know better than anyone that you enjoy the latest releases as much as the next person. The statistic you can use if you are ever challenged about your favourite hobby is that the split between the sexes in gaming is almost equal. 54% of users are male, while 46% are female, and this includes everyone from millennials to baby boomers.

    Playing video games is inclusive, but watching is probably more welcoming across the board as it negates the remaining hurdles in the way. For example, eclectic viewers only require an internet connection and device, meaning there’s no reason to splash out on expensive hardware and software. With fewer hurdles, it’s no wonder professional and amateur gamers are experiencing higher volumes of online traffic.

    Part of an Authentic Experience

    The harsh truth is, not everybody is as skilful at playing video games as they would like to be, which is one reason spectating becomes preferable. After all, you can live vicariously through intermediate and professional contestants by turning on Twitch, YouTube or Facebook Live, and the experience won’t be worse as a result or neglect the gameplay.

    This is because features are added to the “show” to ensure that no one feels left out. For example, Dota 2 implemented a live stream for newcomers during its previous international tournament that tweaked the commentary so that beginners understood the terminology and the strategies.

    Of course, the occurrence hasn’t sprouted legs overnight – iGaming has had a significant role to play in the current atmosphere, thanks to the sector’s investment in tech that makes players feel as if they are on the casino floor. As a result, authentic experiences have become the norm, such as table games that leverage live dealers to replicate the in-person sensation. Live streams and video elements are incorporated into the likes of online slots and bingo titles to take old and new releases to the next level. These are only two examples that highlight why the market for online casinos has skyrocketed recently.

    With the emphasis on authenticity, watching gamers do their thing is much more appealing since everything is as real as it can be, while negative side-effects like not being any good at gaming are eliminated. Video gaming is now a spectator sport that is as powerful and influential as any other on the planet. Seeing as demographic splits between genders will only narrow and technology will continue to legitimise life-like experiences in the virtual world, the odds are high that the activity will only become more popular.

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