How in-person gaming culture sparked the online boom

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  • Advancements in technology have had a huge impact on many sectors, and that is certainly the case where gaming is concerned.

    Online gaming is now all-the-rage, allowing players to play their favourite titles against like-minded people from across the world.

    However, it is not that long ago that the gaming scene was a very different place, with the activity conducted via in-person environments.

    If recent research by Betway Casino is anything to go by, these probably wouldn’t have been the most hygienic ways to enjoy gaming.

    The study showed that the sample PlayStations analysed had 72.5 colony-forming bacteria units per swab taken – a staggering 2.4-times more than you would find on a toilet seat.

    The yuckiest part of the console for bacterial growth were the buttons and joysticks, with the worst cases reaching as high as 650 units.

    These are scary numbers for gamers who were around before online play was the norm, particularly with regards to the uncleanliness they may have exposed themselves to.

    Despite this, many gamers look back on the pre-online gaming days with fondness. We take a look at how in-person gaming culture laid the foundations for the modern gaming industry.

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    Amusement Arcades

    It is highly likely that if someone had conducted research into the cleanliness of Space Invaders and Pac-Man cabinets in the 1980s, the numbers would have gone off the scale.

    Amusement arcades were the go-to place for gamers at that time, and people were falling over themselves to be the best on their chosen video games.

    Grubby and sweaty hands would undoubtedly have left their mark on the joysticks, yet the excitement the games generated far outweighed any hygienic concerns.

    In some respects these were much simpler times and undoubtedly created a platform for the gaming industry to develop at a rapid rate.

    Gaming Nights

    The subsequent arrival of consoles saw gaming move into homes across the world, with the practice developing into one of the most popular entertainment activities of the 1990s.

    While some people stuck to playing games on their own, many households started to host gaming nights involving friends or family.

    People would meet up to challenge each other on the new wave of games, sparking a completely new culture within the gaming sector.

    This had a knock-on effect in society, with many businesses and organisations recognising the potential that multi-player gaming could have.

    Gaming Clubs

    The competitive nature of gaming lent itself perfectly to the creation of clubs, where gamers could meet up with other people from their local area.

    These proved to be particularly popular in schools and youth clubs, providing an outlet for youngsters who didn’t engage with other activities.

    They were especially useful for teenagers who sometimes struggled to fit into other areas, giving them a vehicle to express their talents in a friendly environment.

    In some respects the clubs were a precursor for online gaming, as people now use the internet to meet up virtually to play their favourite games.