Gaming has become one of the most hyped leisure topics of the year to date. It has, no doubt, been spurred by the media excitement over the industry overtaking both music and film in terms of annual revenue. The image of gaming, and of gamers, has certainly changed. Female gamers now outnumbering male, while research from the USA found that almost half of over 50s regularly play video games.
It’s one thing to say that gaming is now a leisure pursuit enjoyed by all. But then again, you could say the same thing about watching TV. Where it becomes interesting is when you start to examine the games that are capturing everyone’s attention. Let’s have a look at the top categories of games that have universal appeal, and the specific games that have captured the imagination.
Massive Multiplayer Online games
MMOs have catapulted into the public eye thanks to the rise of eSport. In the professional gaming sector, titles like League of Legends hold sway, but for everyday gamers, there is a far bigger name. Fortnite is the game that every non-gamer has heard of, and many have tried. Its popularity lies in a number of factors. It is free to play, it has cross-platform compatibility between Playstation and Xbox, and the gameplay is less violent than others in the genre, giving it far broader family appeal.
The online casino sector has exploded in popularity over recent years. The concept of a night at the casino has an image of cool sophistication about it, and the online age has made it accessible to all. Traditional table games like blackjack and roulette have their followers, but it is the wide array of slots that have seen the biggest step change. No longer just a case of spinning the reels and hoping for a match, gamers enjoy a fun game like Midas Golden Touch because of its stunning aesthetics, interesting story arc and varied bonuses.
The relationship between sports and video games is an interesting one. With the rise of eSport, the gap between the two is diminishing, yet most sports fans will say this is old news. As long ago as the 1980s, for example, football fans with little interest in gaming in general would nevertheless spend hours playing Football Manager or Emlyn Hughes International Soccer on their Commodores or ZX Spectrums. Today, it is all about FIFA – when the 2019 version was released last September, it was headline news, and despite being more than four months away, people are already speculating on what new features FIFA 20 will have in store.
A common factor among the most popular games is that they are not solitary pursuits. The social side of gaming is a huge draw – after all, even in those Commodore days, it was more fun taking on your friend than trying to beat the computer. Online games provide a great excuse to keep up with friends, and that is part of the secret behind the success of games like Words With Friends. In today’s busy world, it is so easy to lose touch with people – but not if you need to check in daily to play your next word!