Quarantine Efforts Lead To On Going Gaming Boom

By Ben Hamill - April 08 2020
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Quarantine Efforts Lead To On Going Gaming Boom

There is no question that the spread of Covid-19 has turned the world upside down. Social distancing measures, stay at home orders and even outright quarantines have forced millions to stay indoors. Though, we can certainly all be thankful that this happens to have occurred in a time when the internet, and online entertainment, is more prominent than ever before.

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Netflix is seeing its biggest boom in viewers ever, while YouTube has even been forced to automatically default videos to SD, simply as a means to counteract record viewer numbers, and avoid, in their words, breaking the internet.

Plus, online gaming has never been so popular. Player numbers are soaring into the stratosphere, with those who are discouraged from going outside leaning into virtual sports to ease the monotony.

Virtual Sports Replace Real Sports

One notable instance even saw real life professional footballers take to popular streaming service Twitch. Since the premier football tournament in Spain had been cancelled due to Covid-19, the footballers decide to participate in a digital version of a football game. The proceedings were broadcast to fans.

As was expected, a stadium-sized audience tuned in to watch, settling for the next best thing to a real tournament. The nail-biting digital game ended with Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias humorously playing as his virtual self, and kicking a winning goal. Fans loved it, even it was a fairly long way removed from actual football.

The Internet Struggles To Meet Demand

But it should also not be overlooked how a sudden increase in demand can impact services. Internet provider Verizon reported a staggering 75% increase in demand, which is certainly nothing to take lightly. The company declared that it was scrambling to keep up with demand.

Thought the numbers are expected to climb even higher, with quarantine periods drawing out for up to 21 days in some instances. If global internet service providers will keep up with the demand is unknown. But what is known is that online gaming has certainly never been so popular.

Addictions Incoming

Although governments are likely relieved about the distractions offered by gaming, which will go a long way to keep the general public occupied, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the activity was classified as a potential addiction not long ago.

In 2018 the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially announced that gaming addiction was a reality. It has, of course, ironically been suggested that once Covid-19 has run its course, the virus will quickly be replaced by a new surge of gaming addiction reports. But for now, it offers an entertainment alternative that covers just about all genres, and can keep people at home for the foreseeable future. And that can only be a good thing.

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