The Spectrum Of Online Gaming

Gaming is a sector that’s always changing and expanding, and one of those changes and expansions is online gaming – when you think about it, it seems like a natural step forward (everything’s going digital and ending up online), but there’s actually a lot that’s had to happen to get to this point. In fact, although online gaming might simply be an evolution of what’s gone before, it’s also its own thing altogether, and it, like everything else, is changing and expanding as well. 

The best thing about online gaming is that there’s such a vast spectrum of it, with experiences that cater to all players of all interests, skill levels, and preferences. From leisurely casual play once in a while to big competitions and esports that can earn people money, the spectrum of online gaming contains a huge range of different things, which is probably why so many people love to play.

Let’s take a look at that spectrum and see what it’s all about and where you might fit in (because everyone does).  

Defining The Spectrum

At the heart of things, the spectrum of online gaming is really the massive range of experiences that are available to players – there is more to it than that, of course, but in essence, that’s what we’ll be talking about.

That range goes from casual playing to competitive gameplay, and everything in between, and what’s wonderful is that you can do as much or as little as you want, depending on the time you have, your other commitments, and even how much you like playing; online gaming can go from being a hobby to a full-time career (although a lot depends on funds and skill level if you want to take it in that direction). 

When you try to define the different types of playing, you can think of casual gaming as relaxed and low-pressure, where enjoyment and entertainment are the most important things, and winning, although it’s always nice, isn’t really all that important. However, in contrast to that is competitive gaming where, as you might expect, winning is the most important element, and you’ll need to work on your skills, strategy, and gameplay, which can lead to some very intense matches.

It depends on what you’re looking for from your gaming – you like might a simple relaxing game of solitaire to help you relax, for example, or you might want to be in a room with dozens of other gamers all vying for the same (potentially very lucrative) prize. 

Casual Gaming 

Casual gaming can be seen a a sort of gateway to the world of online gaming for a lot of people. That’s because it gives them accessible, easy-to-learn games that are designed to appeal to a wide range of people, and casual games are often quite simple to make and to play.

One of the best things about casual games is that they’re ideal for when you don’t have a lot of time – they’re not about climbing the levels, after all, they’re just about having a bit of fun. In other words, they’re great if you’re the kind of gamer who wants to spend ten minutes here and there playing and who doesn’t mind starting from scratch every time you log on. 

One of the best things about casual games is that they’re so inclusive and they appeal to a lot of different people of all ages and all skill levels, and they can actually be a fantastic way for friends and family to bond when they’re playing together (or at least playing the same game in their own time separately – it’s still a shared hobby to chat about and find fun with and in). There are so many different casual games to choose from that the option to play really is open to everyone. 

There’s also a lot to be said about the way that casual gaming can be a good way to interact socially with other people (something that, with the rise of remote working, isn’t always easy to do otherwise). That’s because a lot of games have things like multiplayer features so you can connect with friends and family (or anyone else) through the network, plus there are games that, even if you play them on your own, have a chat feature engaged so you can still interact with other people.

For some people, their online gaming a their favorite (and perhaps only) want to talk to others – at the very least, you’ll know you have something in common (the specific game you’re playing) with others, and there might be a lot more besides. 

Of course, it’s crucial to point out that no matter how much fun you’re having, there is always a risk that you’re talking to people who aren’t quite who they seem, so make sure you never give out any personal information – it’s safer and more fun that way. 

Moving On To Competitive Playing 

It won’t always happen (not everyone wants it to), but it might be that as you get more and more familiar with online gaming, you might find that you’re drawn to competitive gaming – you’re sure to come across it, and you might find it absolutely intriguing. So what is it? 

Competitive gaming, which you might have seen called esports, involves organized competitions where players or teams compete against one another for prizes – usually quite a chunk of money. 

Since there’s a lot more at stake, competitive gaming means you need to have a higher level of skill, knowledge, dedication, and strategy (not to mention equipment in most cases), and if you’re competing, you need to have completely (or as near as possible!) mastered how to play each game and worked out your own strategy about how to not just play and have fun, but how to win.

Depending on the game and how you play, you might be playing in a team, and if that’s the case, you’ll also need to make sure you have smooth and positive teamwork happening – it could be the difference between winning and losing. 

In the past, the idea of gaming competitions might have seemed strange, even amusing, and certainly not something to take as seriously as other sports, like football or baseball, for example. However, as the games have evolved, it’s become easy to see that this area of gaming is big business, and the prizes are growing all the time.

If you’re the best at what you do, you can make a very handsome living playing games – it’s a dream that a lot of people would love to see come true. With massive sponsorship deals and advertising campaigns, you don’t even have to be the winner every time to make money when it comes to esports, and far from being a waste of time, it’s something that you can aspire to and make a career out of. 

Bridging The Gap

When you first look at the two different ends of the online gaming spectrum, it might seem as though there’s nothing really connecting casual gaming and competitive gaming, other than the games themselves. However, there are a few other things that connect them, which can make bridging the gap a little easier if you’re thinking of moving from being a purely casual gamer to something else – something more serious. 

In fact, one good way to start that a lot of players seem to like doing is to mix casual and competitive gaming. In other words, they can practice their skills, take time out to relax, or just play for fun, and then step into a competition when they feel ready. 

No matter what, if anyone is into competitive online gaming, they will have started in a casual way, and that will have been a stepping stone to their esports career or hobby (you don’t have to play full-time, of course). The great thing about starting with casual gaming is that it’s a laidback, no-pressure way to do things, giving people the perfect opportunity to hone their skills and get more familiar with their games before they move forward and do things in a more competitive way.

It’s also a good way to get a sense of progression; when you look back at how you started and see where you are now, you’ll know that you’re learning and doing well, and you’ll know when you’re ready to move onto something more challenging (whether that’s a different game or an esports competition – or anything else). 

The Future Of Online Gaming 

The great news is that online gaming isn’t going anywhere, and it’s growing all the time, which means it’s getting better and more exciting all the time. Advances in technology like virtual reality, augmented reality, and cloud gaming mean that players can do many different things and expand their playing much more than ever before, and as time goes on, that’s only going to get better because the technology will get better. 

The spectrum of online gaming has only just started to come together, and we’re at a hugely exciting time in its evolution – whatever it is you’re looking for, from relaxation to big wins, online gaming can give it to you, so it’s well worth exploring more.  

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