The rapid rise of watching video games in large auditoriums and on television is taking the games medium to an entirely different level. Watching video games is now popular than many traditional spectator sporting events. It is estimated that the gaming community watch over three hours of games each week, and that this individual viewing is only going to get bigger.
Twitch is a popular streaming service that allows gamers to view other players in action. At one time it was unthinkable that gamers would devote time just to watching other players performing but that is just what is happening. To gamers seeing the top players making their favorite video games look easy is addictive. They can pick up tips how to play the games and how to avoid problems. To them it is just as interesting than watching pro athletes performing on television.
The statistics thrown up by Limelight Networks of people watching three hours and twenty-five minutes a week of video game playing, contrasts dramatically with the mere two hours and thirty-three minutes that they spend watching traditional sports. To get a proper world view the survey conducted by Limelight was from people over eighteen from not just America, but also from the UK, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and France. And they defined a gamer as somebody who admitted to playing video games at least once a week.
A worrying thought for the big TV networks is that this increase of viewing video games does not happen on their networks. Most people that enjoy watching video games do so on live streaming sites such as Twitch and YouTube. This highlights a definite move in content consumption which if it keeps on following the current trend may change the face of the way TV rights deals are offered in the future.
Play v’s View
The senior vice-president for Limelight Networks has gone on record to say that people are no longer interested in playing video games anymore, they just want to watch it. This may or may not be true but viewing video games is without doubt on the increase. Dan Carey the vice-president of Limelight has an agenda by releasing statements like this, he wants to put pressure on the revenues gleaned from traditional sports by the big TV networks.
Another area of growth for gaming is on mobile devices, which has been driven by the increase of smartphones. It is not just the young that find this method of enjoying video games popular. An interesting statistic was released that showed gamers over the age of sixty spend at least five hours a week playing games on their phones which gives an indication that this will only increase as the obsession with mobile phones increases.
As with all new technologies it is the formative years that show the sharpest rise in their popularity, but video gaming and the playing and watching of them has many miles left to go and its popularity is set to increase dramatically.