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The rising popularity of online gaming among millennials

By 2019, the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to top the four billion mark!

SNS | New Delhi |

Millennials are notorious for being unpredictable about their food, fashion, or lifestyle choices. But when it comes to gaming, millennials everywhere seem to be of one accord. They love it! Over the years, however, their gaming pattern has seen a clear shift towards online platforms.
Before we delve deeper into millennials’ love for online gaming, let’s look at a bit of history.

The evolution of gaming
While millennials are commonly associated with mobile gaming today, they didn’t start with mobile phones. Back in the 80s, video games were all the rage and mobile phones a far cry. Still, gaming has evolved with millennials. Let us look at this journey in a nutshell.
The 1980s were a time when video games were fairly new, so most stuck to playing card games like rummy or Scrabble with friends and family. But the 1980s were also a time of change. So, when early computers like the Apple Macintosh allowed users to connect their devices with each other, millennials were quick to adapt to these changes that ultimately affected their socialising patterns.
While multiplayer gaming began early, it was with the introduction of LAN networks – and later the internet – that the doors to multiplayer gaming really opened.
With the 1990s came the Golden Age of gaming; Nintendo, Sega, Atari’s Gameboy, and Dreamcast paved the way. Fast forward to the 2000s, the internet boom completely changed the face of online gaming. To add to this leap, 2007 saw markets deluged with smartphones and app stores that brought mobile gaming into mainstream pop culture.
Today, unforeseen innovations such as VR gaming, and voice and facial recognition are further challenging perceptions of online-gaming. So, what’s fueling the millennials’ love for virtual gaming today? Let’s find out.

A great stress-buster
At the end of a hectic day, nothing gets rid of stress better than an exciting game on your phone. Gaming has been proven to prevent lifestyle diseases such as high BP and depression. The short-term rewards gained by clearing a level or the long-term satisfaction that millennials achieve by successfully finishing a game have been known to release dopamine, which leads to a happier and a more active state of mind.

Gaming, Online Gaming
Source: Getty Images


Opportunities to socialise
Not only does mobile gaming offer entertainment on the go; online interaction with other players has become a common form of socialisation for millennials. Clans and community-driven activities in games strengthen social bonds. Since the internet has such a wide reach, communicating with people around the world via multiplayer games is now easy. Games like PUBG and Pokémon Go bear testimony to these changing trends.

Gaming, Online Gaming

Educational value
Online gaming is not just about killing time anymore. Millennials have discovered online games can be quite educational and can teach them important skills. Learning how to play rummy, for instance, is no less than a mental workout. It helps with improving complex mathematical calculations, permutations, probability, and combinations, besides others. Such games are known to sharpen the brain and help with long-term memory.

Gaming, Online Gaming
Source: Getty Images

Online gaming has done away with the need for elaborate equipment to play games. Thanks to ‘smart’ phones, there’s no longer any need to invest in a separate gaming device (like a Gameboy back in the 1990s), and gaming today has become quite convenient.

The smartphone boom
By 2019, the number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to top the four billion mark! Today, India is one of the top five markets for mobile gaming in terms of number of users. This massive surge can be attributed to the widespread availability of mobile phones across the country. Furthermore, popular app-based games like PUBG and Pokémon Go are freely available on App Store and Google Play.

Gaming, Online Gaming
Source: Getty Images

Wide variety
A wide variety of games are available online today for millennials to choose from. Role-playing games are quite popular too, which is not surprising considering the millennial preference for a personalised experience. Role-playing offers a custom touch to the game and adds to the spirit of healthy competition. Such things also contribute to expanding career options.
Money-making opportunities
In contrast with offline games that limit the scope of earning money, online games allow millennials to make a career out of playing them. Yes, playing online games can be both fun and lucrative. Platforms like RummyCircle have made winning money easy and legal!

New technology
The influx of ever-evolving technology has led to a fast-paced revolution in the gaming world. In India, although gamers traditionally used budget and value phones, new technologies like game streaming and cloud gaming promise to take center stage as India’s broadband ecosystem and smartphone adoption evolve. Besides, new-age technologies and locally developed content will aid the discovery and adoption of games as the millennial gaming market enters its next phase.

Online gaming is in
Traditional games seemed to be taking a bit of a backseat in a world of online mobile gaming. However, some games like rummy have embraced the winds of change and come out on top. Online rummy has been quite successful in keeping one of the oldest card games alive. In the future, we’ll see more traditional games take the internet route, thanks to the millennials!

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