If there’s one industry that has exceeded all expectations over the past few years, it’s the gaming industry. At the end of 2021, gaming was worth as much as $180.3 billion with 3 billion people all over the world playing digital games on a regular basis. A significant driver behind the industry’s mammoth success is technology. Innovation and an almost continuous advancement in tech have developed gaming into a future-proof, global industry.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how recent technology has transformed the pastime of playing games.
Modern Gaming Experiences
Gaming is still a relatively young industry, but it has undergone several major transformations since it first began emerging to the masses during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, for example, video games can be played anywhere with a data connection and on pretty much any digital device.
No longer restricted by the need for an at-home console, modern gamers are free to play digital games across their laptops, tablets and smartphones. Games have become instantly accessible, opening new realms of possibility for players everywhere from Norway to Brazil. In fact, from 2016 onwards, the global mobile app gaming market experienced the most growth of the entire industry; at the end of 2021 it was worth a mammoth $93.2 billion.
Playing games solo is a thing of the past too. Internet technology has generated a global community of gamers that can play and collaborate across borders and timezones. In turn, this has led to the development of new gaming verticals, with MMORPG titles like World of Warcraft becoming the most popular video games of all time.
Over the decades, the same technology that has made it possible to connect with other gamers across the globe has also thoroughly updated casino games for the 21st century and birthed an entire digital gaming market – iGaming. Even those games featuring several components, such as a roulette board layout, are now fully playable as a digital experience; in some cases, they’re even managed by a live dealer.
Making Competitive Video Gaming a Reality
Technology has also played a big part in shaping the formation of a new gaming industry, namely eSports. Prior to the year 2000, playing video games for a living sounded like a far-fetched dream. However, the turn of the Millennium brought with it focused development on the area of competitive gaming, particularly on a digital, global scale.
The first events with a passing resemblance to modern eSports were held in the US in the 1970s. However, each event had a limited number of competitors and could only be contested on a local level. The integration of online connectivity, enhanced graphics, and audio and multi-player functionalities in gaming devices and games effectively pressed fast-forward on the development of the market.
Thanks to technology, gaming has been pushed far beyond just being a pastime or form of entertainment. Now, eSports stands as a billion-dollar industry that is home to an entire ecosystem of pro gamers, gaming leagues, arenas, communities and more. Over 460 million people watch eSports currently, and that number is set to grow year on year.
Hyperreality and Advanced Tech
One of the biggest advances made towards the future of the gaming industry is the creation of hyperreal gaming experiences. Hyperreality blends enhanced or virtual reality with physical reality to create engaging lifelike gaming experiences.
Unlike the pure VR experiences, which take place entirely inside a headset or device, hyperreal gaming transforms the physical objects and opponents that gamers can actually see in the gaming space. The interplay between enhanced visuals and physical interaction means that gamers can be immersed in experiences that stimulate all five senses.
Alongside hyperreality, an increasing number of games are also displaying advanced tech elements such as facial recognition, voice recognition and gesture controls. Today’s gamers have the freedom to play in worlds entirely of their own making, transcending all previous limitations on what we thought, just a few decades ago, that gaming technology was capable of.