Under normal circumstances, change is a constant in the world. With the occurrence of a global pandemic like the coronavirus disease, the changes experienced are exponentially more drastic and ravaging. In the worst cases, mental health could be affected.
As a result of social distancing, more people are seeking out ways to pass the time and keep their minds occupied since hanging out with friends and regular outdoor activities are restricted.
Fortunately, while many market sectors and higher education institutions are completely shut down, the online gaming market is not hindered by physical limitations and has become the respite for many seeking any sort of recreation. Hence, the first noticeable change in the industry is the shift from physical gambling to online gaming.
Online Gaming during the Coronavirus Pandemic
According to a recent study of digital media trends in 2020 by Deloitte, the onset of the Covid-19 crisis caused about a third of consumers to subscribe to a video gaming service for the first time. Subscriptions were either for eSports or cloud-based gaming services, but the online casino has seen a tremendous upsurge too.
With games like Wolf Run slot machine free and other free slot games no download no registration increasingly accessible, casual players have now become more dedicated, taking advantage of the free time they have and the convenience that these games accord.
As a result of online gaming witnessing a meteoric rise worldwide, different game platforms, studios, streaming services, and publishers have quickly laid a claim on this “goldmine” by creating and developing engaging and exciting services. Their target audience? Avid gamers who are looking to spend their time on something memorable across the board.
However, as a consequence of making the abrupt change from land-based gaming to the virtual scene, there are noticeable changes in gaming patterns that have given birth to new gaming trends. These behavioral trends are:
- The art of escaping
- Live streaming
- Social gaming mode
- The rise of female gamers
The Art of Escaping
The art of escaping, also known as escapism, is a new gaming behaviour prompted by the advent of Covid-19.
Since participating in leisure activities that involve contact is practically impossible, online games, including free slot machine games, now act as an efficient social support mechanism for the regular player.
As proof of this newly developed gaming behaviour, popular search engines have released statistics evocative of a 100% rise in individuals who search for the keyword “game app” every week. Coming in a close second is “best online games.”
Gamers are even opting for Virtual Reality devices that simulate real-life events and provide a feel of the traditional experience.
Aside from gamers playing their favourite video games, another aspect of online gaming that’s currently gaining unprecedented traction is streaming.
Although this aspect of online gaming has been on the scene for almost a decade now, the recent lockdown measures have seen more individuals keen to view and make comments on other people’s gameplay.
YouTube, just like its “game” exclusive streaming competitor Twitch, is now participating in different social media campaigns, with the most recent being the #stayhome challenge.
Here, content creators, irrespective of what gaming aspect they’re dominant in, come together to invite their fans to play games with them. What’s more? Most of these events occur in real-time.
Social Gaming Mode
Although social gaming has been a recurring theme deeply rooted in the online gaming scene for years, most players tend to play games on their own rather than in a team. Nowadays, more individuals are inclined to gaming in the “multiplayer” mode – a feature that guarantees allows various players to work towards a common goal.
In a sense, it has become the alternative in the absence of human-to-human interaction.
The current circumstances have totally redirected players’ priorities. Previously gamers were more concerned with winning awards or making it to the top of the leaderboard. Now, rather than these platforms being used for gaming purposes alone, players are forming groups to render much-needed support for their teammates who are having torrid times dealing with the pandemic, making them fare better in other life aspects.
With social gaming in the mix, even though gamers sit at the corners of their rooms, totally isolated, they aren’t lonely at any given point. A good example is a case of Generation Z (Gen Z) gamers who have mastered the art of creating relationships with their online friends through social media platforms.
The Rise of Female Gamers
Before now, people had this belief that gaming was and is a male-dominated leisure activity. This is an assumption that many might oppose, but the reality is that most of the video game community has always been male.
This narrative had been slowly changing in recent years, but since the Covid-19 era, the online gaming market has seen an astronomical rise in the number of female gamers on its platforms worldwide.
In fact, 2020 saw the creation of the first-ever all-women team known as “Galaxy Racer” in the eSports scene. This team comprising 5 women has been to some tournaments representing the interests of the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Iraq. The team went on to win the coveted “Girl Gamer” prize in a gala held in Dubai.
The coronavirus certainly brought about negative changes globally, especially in public health care. Nonetheless, some people believe the pandemic is a blessing in disguise.
Firstly, it has taken the online gaming industry to new heights. Also, the free time available to many individuals in this period has brought about self-realization that wasn’t possible given the normally hectic daily schedules. These digital gaming solutions are fantastic hobbies to revel in during these times, and as earlier mentioned, time spent with online gaming also benefits mental stability.
While we look forward to the end of the pandemic, this digital transformation will hopefully remain the norm since players and gaming companies alike have received the current behavioural trends with open arms.