As COVID19 continues to spread around the globe, the usual life of people shifted from a normal rest day in a park to a day in a life of home isolation. Pandemic drives people around the globe to spend most of their time at home due to mandatory lockdowns and health protocols implemented. People are forced to stay at home, maintain social distancing and mandatory quarantine, which cause a handful of individuals experiencing depressive thoughts, anxiety attacks and unmanageable stress.
Driven by human nature, people look for ways to cope up through an online gaming and this leads to the unprecedented growth of online gaming in this time of pandemic.
Although many businesses filed for bankruptcy in the middle of this pandemic, the online gaming industry is an exemption. In fact, according to the report of Games Marketing Insights for 2021:
- Over 28 million people have grown for gaming audiences since March 2020 in US alone. Of these, there are about 28% increase in mobile gaming.
- In UK, there about 8.6 million increase in new gamers and about 50% of this is for mobile gaming.
- In South Korea, about 9.4 million is the increase of new gamers with 34% for mobile gaming audience growth.
- In Germany, about 6.5 million is the increase of new gamers and 25% of this is equivalent for mobile gaming audience growth.
Indeed, online gaming seem progressive in this time of pandemic. It strived well-enough during this pandemic like the few types of businesses.
Aside from economic growth brought about by online gaming, it also played a role that seemed beneficial to gamers both beginners and old players. Following are the reasons how online gaming made an impact on most people and how it recruit new gamers in these situations where active recreation is strictly prohibited outside.
Online gaming became:
An outlet to social interactions
The reason that lies behind an increasing number of gamers around the globe is that it serves as social interaction for people. Online gaming fosters social skills among people as they can virtually interact among other players especially those multiplayer games. It broadens social connection with the same interests through building friendships and relationships. Although this pandemic has greatly reduced face-to-face communication, it still paves an opportunity for people to learn about gaming as novel platforms for virtual social interaction. It made people discover a new hobby especially those beginners in online gaming.
A temporary escape
Pandemic has brought the entire world a relative standstill due to the absence of effective vaccines yet. Along with the temporary and permanent closure of workplace, gyms and leisure places that resulted to limiting the people going out, is the increase of people getting too stressed and anticipated for the announcement of a world free from infectious virus COVID19. Due to this, people used online gaming as an instrument to escape from the reality of the current situation. It sets a way to relax and free their minds from anxiety. People have find comfort and social connections from online gaming during the times of isolation and deep struggles. Additionally, it provides satisfaction for people in untying themselves from loneliness and hunger for social interaction.
A source of entertainment
Since the pandemic began people has no way out to relieve stress, celebrate meaningful occasions and travel different places across the globe due to strict implementation of staying at home. Otherwise, if they wish to make planned outdoor activity happen, securing necessary documents is a must. With that, people prefer to stay at home rather than going out and contract the virus. And yet, home isolation is entirely an equivalent to sleeping all day long but of course except for people who worked from home. Therefore, instead of living a whole life sleeping more than the required hours of sleep a day, people seek entertainment from their mobile devices through playing online games like Steam and Among us, or through their web browsers like Plays.org site (in case you are a fan of arcade games).
Online gaming became the source of entertainment due to the fact that people can interact virtually among players instead of just sitting watching TV shows or otherwise spend the whole day and night overeating and sleeping.
Although, there was a significant increase in the economic growth for online gaming industry, a relative challenge was also seen. This immediate rise in the gaming arena had made industries become more overwhelmed and had to adjust rapidly to this growth, as the number of gamer demands for fast gaming experiences.
Here’s to name a few of the related challenges encountered by the game developers:
Number of workforce
Since physical distancing is one of the major health protocols necessary to be followed in order to lessen the contraction of virus, it means to say that the original population of the workers assigned in an area will more likely be reduced to half. With that, gaming industry allows working from home or skeletal work system. As a result, face-to-face communication is limited making some elements of game production hardly to complete, as it needs in-person interaction, space studio and much expensive equipment.
Some of the needed equipment necessary for game production shipped from other countries. This became a challenge to most gaming industries since some of the countries that supply the materials ban shipments and material at hand is not enough to make the online gaming run.
Unconducive working stations at home
Since some workers are forced to work from home, some homes are not as conducive as the workstations to do the work. Home has a lot of distractions from the inside to the outside. Even their kids would distract them in the middle of voice recording, which eventually requires repeating all the recordings. The environment as well contributes to your distractions such as noise outside. Internet provider downtimes could also be quite frustrating, which eventually contributes to delay of launching the game.
Generally, COVID19 outbreak has put everybody in devastation and anticipation yet everyone is trying to cope anxiety attacks in different ways. Online video games may appear unhealthy habits to some; however, in the middle of pandemic players considered it as their comfort zone to relieve all their fear of the virus and mental health problems. Most importantly, despite the challenges faced by gaming industry they never failed to meet the demands of the gamers in at least a little way.