How online gaming is creating a global community
The world is a big place, but it’s not as big as it used to be. Over 3 billion people now have internet access, about 40% of the world population and it’s only growing. In 1995, less than 1% could get online, but ever-changing technology is making it easier, not just for people to get online, but to connect with the world. Social media has exploded in recent years and everyone from your mate to your granny is getting social online, with a host of platforms to choose from.
You’ve got forums, instant messaging apps, bloggers and more, but one platform that you may have overlooked is the world of online gaming and how it’s creating a truly global community, bringing friends and complete strangers together from all corners of the world to join in shared passions. We’ve looked at some of the best online gaming platforms that are taking things worldwide and here they are.
This is probably the most well-known form of online gaming that has created strong and loyal communities. It started with a Nintendo in your bedroom, with your mates huddled around the screen, and it’s grown in to a worldwide phenomenon. If you still yearn for the good old days, there are still plenty of vintage gaming goodies you can get your hands on. For us though, we’re all about going online.
There are now hundreds of video games on the market that allow you to play online against huge communities. In 2013 it was recorded that over 700 million people were playing games online, which was 44% of the world’s online population. Many of these are real time strategy games, which means they are not turned based, but boy that was fun back in the day, right? Instead these games ask users to participate in a world where they move units or structures under their control to dominate or destroy their opponents, which is why many of these games are strategy based.
An incredibly popular real time game is Halo, where players enter into a sci-fi battle world. You can play this on your own, but you can also take it online and battle with your comrades. Pop on your headset and you can talk to them too; you’ll probably just be shouting commands at them but you’ll be doing it with people across the world.
It’s time to own up, how many of you play Candy Crush? Ok, you don’t have to admit it to us but the fact is games like this have opened up mobile gaming to a worldwide audience where people can connect and help each other out by rewarding lives or by going on whole quests together. In fact, in 2014 it was estimated that the mobile gaming industry reached 25 billion dollars in sales, and that’s set to rise in 2015. When you consider that the average mobile game is below five dollars, that’s a lot of games being played.
Star Legends : The Blackstar Chronicles is a multi-player and multi device game set in a sci-fi world that’s full of all sorts of things that want to do you harm! You can play Star Legends for free with your friends and family, but the true global experience is to go platinum and join forces with the thousands of others players in the universe.
Mobile Casino Games
Mobile casino games might not instantly pop in to your head when you think of a global online community, but the fact is that’s exactly what they are. The market volume of online casino games is forecasted to reach 41.4 billion dollars in 2015, an obviously strong position.
Not only are these games hugely popular, they are especially prevalent on mobile devices, and companies like PokerStars have taken a new step in casino gaming with their mobile casino app. Now you are able to sit across the virtual blackjack table with someone from the other side of the world, playing with old friends or making new ones.
PokerStars also has a Live Casino feature which gives you a direct link with their exclusive live dealers and allows you to also interact with other players. By using webcams to connect you to real-life croupiers, they’re basically creating the closest thing to being in a casino without leaving your home.
Open World Strategy Games
An open world game is a video game where the user can move freely through the virtual landscape of the game. There is less structure to how players approach and interact with objects in the game, as opposed to more traditional computer games that have a pre-determined structure that players move through.
Minecraft is probably the most famous open world strategy game, or sandbox game, surpassing the 100 million registered user mark in 2014. There are no specific goals when it comes to Minecraft, allowing users to develop their own game plan. However, Minecraft does have an achievement system, but how you play the game is really up to you. You can go and explore as a lone ranger, or you can choose to play multi-player, and that’s where this game gets social.
In the multi-player mode, people can play in one world together via a shared server; these worlds can bring people together from every corner of the globe.
It’s even possible to earn money while you play Minecraft, as many of the Minecraft servers use the virtual currency Bitcoin. Nobody controls it; it is not printed or physically held anywhere but you can use it in the real world, which could make Minecraft even more than an online game you play with friends but a game that makes you some money.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
The clue is in the name with this one; “massively multiplayer” means that loads of people can play the game together. When you bring role-play in to it, these games allow users to escape into a whole new world. People that have never met, who live on opposite sides of the world, can come together and escape together.
World of Warcraft is a hugely successful massively multiplayer role playing game – in fact, it has over 5 million subscribers, making it the most subscribed MMORPG in the world! If that’s not creating a truly global community of like-minded people, then we don’t know what is.
There’s really no argument that online gaming has the ability to bring people together on a global scale. We now have a way to make connections further from home; we’re breaking down boundaries and crossing oceans all with game play. Where the future of gaming is going is exciting, especially with projects such as the Cyberith Virtualizer, a Virtual Reality locomotion device that allows you to be in the game, we can’t wait to see what comes next.