Why the gaming industry could be the new social media

In today’s digital age, gaming is all the more immersive, engaging, and a viable means of networking and community building.

By Muhammad Aqib TP

With hobby sites and forums having absolutely little to no functionality beyond text posting, social media platforms breaking patterns and rambling, now offer features of all kinds, ranging from monetization to live streaming, expanding the horizons of social interactions to an unimaginable level. Undeniably, online games have evolved rapidly with social networks. With its artistically rendered virtual interaction, its potential to capture the relentless imagination of young people, and its excellent opportunities for growth, the gaming industry has crossed new frontiers. Unlike when the gaming industry only served a niche market, it now brings gaming and socializing together in a different way than before, giving rise to the rise of the next new social media. Gone are the days when voice chat was a distant dream and games were supposed to be played efficiently with naked text chat or nothing at all. Unlike traditional, solitaire, and anti-social games, multiplayer games like Fortnite and the game-making platform Roblox transcend the gaming environment with its highly social environments, encouraging collaboration, conversation, and real-life relationships. Online games like Roblox, Minecraft, Animal Jam, and more not only have quests you can take on together, but also rooms you can customize and characters you can become. With Discord amassing hundreds of millions of users who use its text and voice chat features to connect with gaming communities around the world, voice chat is taking its place at the heart of the gaming experience.

These days, you probably don’t see many of your friends posting about their Farmville estates on Facebook anymore. While younger people have largely moved away from the platform to more eye-catching, smartphone-friendly platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, many popular games from years past have faded into memory. However, this does not mean that the new generation of phone-obsessed youngsters and Gen Z kids have given up on online games. Talk to any 12-year-old and you’re bound to uncover tons of information about their Fortnite character skin, Minecraft dungeon, or Animal Crossing town, and that’s not to say these viral games are just for teenagers; tons of adults regularly enjoy playing with games like the ones mentioned.

In today’s digital age, gaming is all the more immersive, engaging and a viable means of networking and community building and with home and on-the-go connectivity gamers stay connected to their games and to their friends, regardless of time and place. Booming innovations have allowed gamers to experience more realistic and fully immersive simulations across screens and lenses, and with online social gaming now setting benchmarks, the world is only learning how much gaming is really influential. Fostering online communications and engagement, many existing apps focus on connecting strangers and providing them with the opportunity to socialize; a platform to connect, hear and be heard while fighting. With socially immersive and interactive gameplays, the virtual world offers gamers a whole new diverse community to engage, making it a much more comprehensive and meaningful interactive internet marketplace. With social media having fallen by the wayside, online gaming companies have now monopolized the interaction of social media groups. From giant triple-A titles to crowd-funded indie games, all have much stronger and deeper communities, creating movements even beyond the world of gaming. The rapid spread of digital platforms, the massive phenomenon of streaming, the growing popularity and accelerating rise of esports has reinvented the gaming landscapes, and with new gaming genres emerging from time to time, new models of monetization are coming.

With India being a talent hub, along with the peak of digital adoption during the pandemic and the availability of cheaper, faster and better quality internet, Indians have access to better games than ever before. . With over 300 million users, an increase in time spent and monetization, mobile gaming is expected to triple to a $5 billion market opportunity by 2025, and with the metaverse taking the world, a crossover of the same would be downright a pure ethereal experience.

The author is CEO of WAFA – Voice Centric Platform. The opinions expressed are personal.

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