Online gaming has been around since people found a way to connect two computers and have them interact with each other and, since then, has only been increasingly popular.
Definition and Early Days
Online gaming is the act of playing videogames over an internet connection that allows us to interact with other players. It all started back in the late ’80s at the University of Essex, where students could connect and interact through their computers using ARPANET.
Two students decided to create a fantasy adventure game that was all text-based and they called it MUD, which stands for MultiUser Dungeon. Other students started joining in the game through their ARPANET connections and thus the first online gaming sessions took place.
Other programmers who included the now-familiar chat and the guilds subsequently enhanced the game’s design, graphics, and features. This was the ancestor of all online games, but more so the MMOG games like World of Warcraft, which was launched in 2004.
WoW was created as a way out in a market that was already overflowing with stories of swords and sorcery as central plots for existing games. The game was designed to include more teamplay and a healthy dose of humor, which ended up being a defining factor in bringing in brand new gamers to the WoW servers.
More online games followed WoW’s gameplay which have also been successful. This has led to an unforeseen profitability to be found in online games. Back in 2006, gamers sold a Castle in an online game for thousands of dollars in e-bay, creating a niche for people that sell various in-game items for actual real-life currency.
Stay at Home Gaming
If online gaming had kept on going on the path the industry was on, it was already set for bigger success and better revenue for everybody involved, and then, COVID-19 happened. The pandemic that has forced millions of people all over the world to stay at home has brought in new gamers that had never even considered gaming before.
Online gaming is now seen as a valid alternative to face-to-face socialization and a way that gamers have found to keep from getting depressed or overwhelmed by isolation.
From ARPANET to the Internet, from text-based games to WoW, gamers have seen the industry grow and expand itself each year. Online gaming is here to stay, it will only get better as technology advances, and globalization includes more individuals.