Digital games are now a cultural asset in some countries – even quite officially. But even before the recording, digital games were already a significant part of the leisure culture, especially for young people and young adults. According to the 2018 JIM study, almost two-thirds of German young people consume digital games daily or at least several times a week. On average, teenagers around the world spend almost two hours a day playing digital games. Click here for tips on how to score on Coin Master and get free spins.
WHY ARE DIGITAL GAMES SO POPULAR?
The fascination with digital games is based on several factors. On the one hand, it is based on the gaming experience itself, on the other hand on the existing gaming culture, in which social networks and streaming platforms also play a role. Certain mechanics occur in many games and have a motivating effect on the players. These game mechanics include:
- Feedback/reward: The activities of the players lead to an immediate feedback of the performance. This can take the form of a point win, a status indicator, or an in-game event, for example. Other examples of rewards in digital games include badges, level rises, virtual item preservation, or skill build-up.
- Rankings: The competitive character can be enhanced by rankings and thus have a motivating effect on the players. You can therefore compare the services provided with those of others.
- Cooperation: Certain games require the collaboration of multiple players. The team spirit and the possible competition in the fight against other teams can provide motivation here.
- Storytelling: Narrative structures are a central part of many games. The progress of the story and possibly the identification with certain characters can motivate players to continue playing.
- Difficulty levels: Many games work with different levels of difficulty, so groups of players with different game experiences and skills have chances of success.
- Trial-and-error principle: If the players fail to reach a goal within digital games at the first attempt, they can usually complete the corresponding section of the game again without major consequences.
ONLINE GAMES AS SOCIAL NETWORKS
Online games have become virtual places of social interaction, where chatting or communicating via headset. For many youngsters, the game mechanics themselves play only a minor role. They meet up with friends in online games like Fortnite, with the game world fading into the background. Certain games have now established themselves as social spaces and have replaced social networks such as Facebook, especially for younger users. Manners from digital games are also transferred into real life. A prominent example are the dances from Fortnite, which are now even performed by football professionals as a form of goal celebration.
Despite or just because of their popularity, many online games face similar challenges as traditional social networks. Here, too, there are phenomena such as cyberbullying, fake news and hate speech. Above all, the anonymity of the users through the use of avatars and nicknames creates the breeding ground for corresponding appearances.
FASCINATION LET’S PLAY VIDEOS
Watching other players play – one could describe the basic principle of so-called Let’s Play videos in one way or another. Well-known platforms for Let’s Play videos are mainly YouTube and Twitch. Many online shops for games (e.g. the xbox ingenues of the Xbox and PlayStation game consoles) have already linked their game offerings directly to Let’s Play videos and live streams of the respective games. In addition to the entertainment factor, they also offer interested parties a first authentic practical impression of the respective games.
The fascination with Let’s Play videos is based on several factors: On the one hand, behind each channel is a personality that makes its viewers feel familiar with them. At the same time, this forms communities. Live streams of the games offer the possibility of social interaction through communication possibilities such as chats. In addition, many videos simply have an entertainment value, as the streamers inferior the game with funny comments and personal anecdotes. When the streamers respond to chat statements from fans, they also make them feel close. This is particularly relevant, as many Let’s players now enjoy megastars status within their target groups.