Gaming is not simply an act of playing a videogame on your own or with friends. There is a whole culture attached to this industry. Just as games continue to develop, new meanings and ways of self-expression add to this incredible movement. From arcade machines played in the first half of the 20th century to worldwide videogame tournaments, this industry has changed dramatically in less than a hundred years.
The first instances of gaming culture trace back to the 1930s with the first arcade machines. This was one of the favorite pastime activities among children. With just a few coins, it was possible to play fun and competitive games for a long time. By the 1960s, arcade gaming has become insanely popular all over the world. Gamers of all ages would gather in designated venues to try out dozens of arcade machines that offered diverse games.
Before online gaming was possible, the gaming community started growing thanks to the opportunity to play with friends and other people at special gatherings via the Local Area Network connection. Whether you wanted to play with your friends or family at home or at a public space with strangers that love the same videogames, LAN parties brought so much fun to the table. This type of gaming was incredibly popular in the nineties and in the early 2000s.
A real game-changer for the industry (no pun intended) was the beginning of online gaming. Different developers started poking into online gaming back in the 90s, but there were no viable solutions at that time. Sega Dreamcast console was released in 2000 and allowed online playing. However, the Internet bills were so high that this revolutionary console failed in a sense. Luckily, PC online gaming took off in the early 2000s. The famous MMORPG called RuneScape was released in 2001. This online multiplayer game eventually broke the Guinness record as the biggest free MMORPG in the world. More than 200 million user accounts have been registered in this game already.
By 2010, online gaming has been extremely popular. Most developing companies started offering online solutions for their games and consoles. Thanks to such forums and sites like Reddit or 4Chan, the gaming community grew even bigger as people would use these platforms for discussing all gaming-related things.
Since the 2010s, competitive gaming started evolving rapidly. While games were simply a hobby previously, even though many of them were highly competitive, certain games are now in the category of electronic sports. And this is quite serious as gaming tournaments gather millions of people and offer million-dollar prizes to winning teams and players. Video games are now often viewed as real sports because of their competitive nature and high level of skills required to compete on such a scale. Of course, they are still mostly framed as any other form of entertainment. However, eGaming is gaining more and more recognition on the international arena each year. Many bookmakers even accept bets on gaming tournaments alongside traditional sports. This is truly the future of gaming.