Gaming started off as a fringe hobby in the 1960s-1970s. It used primitive forms of computing such as the Nimrod. This was somewhat confined to university campuses. One of the first video games, Spacewar!, was designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students.
Since then, it has been through several stages. Early online games like Maze War and Spasim used simple graphics in the form of light lines over a black screen. They were played via the ARPANET, a network of schools and similar institutions.
Into the early 90s, consoles began their meteoric rise in the west. The latter part of the decade saw graphics becoming 3D.
A new era of gaming has been slowly developing.
This started with gaming becoming more mainstream. With more people having access to the Internet, online Flash games like those on Miniclip.com started to gain popularity.
Virtual bingo halls also had their turn. Sites like Buzz Bingo started to be visited by people from all walks of life. This is because, as the web developed and became used by increasingly diverse audiences, bingo sites started to be used by different people too. What’s more, those who may not have set foot in a physical bingo hall felt like they now had the confidence to give it a go, from the privacy of their own homes.
The increasing prevalence of the Internet also allowed bingo sites to advertise to different audiences and attract them too, creating a whole new market for the game.
Later on, mobile game apps such as Candy Crush and Flappy Bird took over the public consciousness and allowed the general public to play with ease.
Following this, eSports exploded in popularity in the 2010s. This was beckoned by the rise of Twitch and other live streaming sites. However, eSports still has ground to cover. Here are the three key movements that will influence the growth of eSports.
1. Combination with the Metaverse
Watching sports has advanced from the radio to the TV, to watching video game competitions on the computer, and then on mobile phones. It makes sense for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), or mixed reality (MR) to feature in the sports spectatorship of the future. This could involve using a head-mounted display to become a virtual audience member at eSports games.
2. Increased focus on eSports betting
Right now, audiences have the option to bet on their favorite team, much like with TV matches. However, where this differs is that games watched on TV often partner with gambling companies to create official betting opportunities for viewers. This could be a great way forward to bring the joy of betting to video games.
3. Sponsorship of desirable content
The video-sharing website YouTube has been bolstered by the increasing number of companies that sponsor individual creators to get their names out there. Although this is currently done on Twitch and other eSports platforms, it’s in its infancy. We’re likely to see the best content being sponsored by large organizations and an increase in subscription-based content as well.
How eSports Will Impact Gameplay
eSports will, in turn, likely change the way we play video games. Games will probably have improved aesthetics for the benefit of viewers. The competitive aspect will be central to the gaming experience, helping create a better atmosphere for play. In addition, virtual eSports games may begin to rival in-person ones. With the ease of Metaverse-based matches, more and more people may develop an interest in eSports in general.
We’re looking forward to a future where eSports are as popular and as notable as mainstream sporting games.