It is official. Video games rule entertainment. If you don’t believe me, consider these statistics.
First, Reuters expects the industry’s revenue to hit a whopping $187 billion in 2023. Secondly, roughly 3.26 billion people around the world play video games. Also, 65 per cent of those gamers live in the United States. Even more impressive is the fact that eight out of every ten internet users play video games. Why does that matter?
According to Statista, 5.18 billion people have access to the internet. Some blame the surge in video game popularity on young people, but they are wrong. One USA Today article from 2022 argued that more adults play video games than children. They identified 33 as the average age of a video game player in modern times, which contradicts stereotypes.
But why are video games so popular all of a sudden? Well, the benefits of the medium are difficult to ignore. Video games are the purest form of entertainment. Forget about Tetris, Pacman, and those other restrictive two-dimensional games from your childhood. Modern video games create immersive fictional worlds that engage that thirst for adventure hiding in every soul.
Think about what you go through on a daily basis. The week has 168 hours. You spend 56 hours in bed (assuming you sleep eight hours a night), 56 hours working, and 14 hours commuting (assuming it takes one hour to travel to work and another hour to return home).
That leaves the average informal worker 42 hours of free time, which sounds like a lot if you ignore the hours spent eating, showering, doing chores, studying, etc.
Most adults don’t have enough hours in the day to truly live. Video games provide an escape; you can scale the tallest mountains, explore the deepest oceans, hunt the most ferocious predators and more without leaving the comfort of your home.
My nephew is a soccer fanatic, so naturally, he worships the ground Christiano Ronaldo walks on. Every Sunday he spends two to three hours playing football with the biggest soccer stars in the world via FIFA, the video game.
No other medium can offer such escapism. You must also consider the financial component. Two decades ago, you could dismiss gamers as basement-dwelling losers with no prospects because society as a whole had already stigmatized video games as a worthless pastime.
Today, video games have blossomed into a lucrative revenue source. Forget about the giant studios raking in billions a year. You can make money playing video games. Consider this: the average eSports gamer makes $100,000 annually. But what if you live in an isolated Ugandan village, and traveling to some European city for a Street Fighter tournament is not an option?
Pokimane is a Moroccan-Canadian online celebrity who makes millions of dollars annually by playing video games on Twitch. She does not compete in tournaments or produce extensive gaming tutorials and guides. Pokimane sits in her room, plays video games, and her adoring fans throw money at her.
Granted, she is incredibly attractive, and you could argue that her looks are the gamer’s primary charm. Then again, many attractive Ugandan girls on social media are prostitutes. They use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to advertise their wares. Others exchange their nude pictures and videos for cash.
Can you imagine how wealthy they would become if they switched to gaming? That sounds like a silly concept until you realize that porn stars in the United States are abandoning pornography for gaming because it is easy money.
They know that men from every corner of the internet will follow them from Porn Hub to Twitch without hesitation. Video games are well and truly mainstream. These are exciting times.