The evolution of gaming – from quirky pastime to lifestyle

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  • The video game industry is probably in as good health now as it has ever been. Revenue from video games topped $43bn in 2018, which was an 18% increase from 2017. From popular new titles such as the latest FIFA or Call of Duty coming out to console sales staying strong, it really is a great time for the whole sector now.

    When you think back to the gaming sector’s origins though, it is quite startling to see how much things have changed through its history. Compare the latest PS4 to something like a Commodore Amiga or Sega Genesis – the difference is so vast that they are barely even recognizable as being from the same place. Coupled with a greater mainstream acceptance of video gaming that has seen many more people get involved, the evolution of video gaming has picked up pace over time.

    Video games have also played a massive part

    As well as the advances in console tech and a general acceptance of playing video games as being cool now, the games themselves have also evolved to help. How exactly have modern games and the way that we play them changed over the years?

    CS:GO, Overwatch, and FPS eSports

    In terms of how we play video games, eSports has been a real game changer in the last few years. This billion dollar sector within gaming has a huge global following who pay to watch teams of players compete against each other, online or at real-world events. It has grown a lot over recent times and looks set to reach an annual revenue figure of almost $2bn by 2022. FPS (First-Person Shooter) games are easily digestible, and contribute to many new fans. As opposed to the complexities of Dota 2 or League of Legends, the gameplay is simple to follow and enjoy.

    Combining traditional video gaming with sports, it has made playing games an actual profession in which you can make good money. eSports is now so popular and recognized that the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines will include it as a sport in which players can attain the same accolades as their sporting peers. eSports has also taken video games into other new sectors such as sports betting. Now, you can place a wager on online video gaming competitions at specialist online bookmakers, with dedicated Overwatch and CSGO betting sites springing up.

    Improved graphics

    Of course, when we are talking about how video games have evolved, you have to mention the graphics. Modern titles such as FIFA 19 look so much more detailed and realistic than older games. When you look at the graphics of early games such as Donkey Kong, it is easy to see how much this has come on over time. Special mapping techniques, smoother animation, and the ability to have lighting effects in games all help to enhance the look and feel of what you see on screen.

    Better sound effects in-game

    Sound in video games is also important. From the menu music to the actual game sound FX, what you hear can greatly affect the gaming experience. Modern video games take advantage of greater sound chip technology in PCs and consoles to deliver sharp, clear sound. The new generation of smartphones also uses the greater processing capability inside to help mobile games sound better than ever.

    Amazing AI

    In days gone by, in-game AI could be pretty rubbish! Computer opponents on-screen could act in weird ways and be very easy to avoid or kill. As video games advanced though, the computer AI inside them has got much better. Modern titles such as Far Cry 5 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 present a much more involved and realistic challenge to human players. This is once more down to the technology within consoles and PCs giving game developers more power to use.

    Immersive storylines

    When you bundle up all of the above, what you get is an immersive experience that is almost like real life. Modern video games have evolved to take this even further though with in-depth storylines and highly detailed characters. This extra layer of realism and detail makes new video games much more sophisticated than their older counterparts, such as Doom.

    Video games have evolved a lot in recent years

    What the above shows is that video games and how we play them have evolved a lot over the years. From eSports leagues to games with stunning graphics and involved storylines, gaming now is much more involved than ever before. As new tech and machines to game on come out, this will only continue to be the case. One thing is for sure – putting Pong next to Grand Theft Auto V is something that will blow your mind!

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