Gaming as a pastime and interest is something that has really become the norm in the last decade or so. While it was certainly popular before that and well on its way to becoming the entertainment industry titan that it is today, it lacked that acceptance and huge market appeal that recent games like GTA V really brought to the table – with it being the most financially successful entertainment product ever released.
If you’re on the outside looking in, it still might feel easy to dismiss video games as simply not being for you. However, it’s a huge, sprawling medium with different genres and titles that cover a huge range of themes, gameplay styles, and aesthetics, and finding something you love could open up a door to a whole new hobby.
It’s easy to neglect your phone as a gaming platform when its primary function is obviously as a means of communication. However, that might be a very narrow lens through which to view your phone, especially as modern smartphones are now multi-purpose devices that can efficiently do any number of things. You don’t have to look much further than the rapidly evolving quality of the smartphone camera to see this for yourself. This isn’t a transformation that’s unique to smartphones, however. You might have noticed how home consoles such as the PlayStation and the Xbox don’t exclusively focus on gaming anymore, often being a popular method of integrating streaming services like Netflix into a household. With this in mind, why not take the plunge and see what mobile gaming has to offer? If you can get into gaming simply using a device that you already own, you’d have gained a new hobby in the easiest way possible.
While mobile gaming is certainly an umbrella term that might help differentiate the games available from those you’d find on other consoles, that might not aptly whittle down the genres available to any singular concept. While you might think of classic, simplistic mobile games such as Temple Run and Fruit Ninja, the kinds of games that you can play on your phone are much more complex today, with ports of indie or console games being available, as well as a popular MMO, being a particular favourite among mobile gamers. Additionally, if your interest in gaming comes from a place of wanting to experience something convenient and fast-paced, online casinos and mobile slots could fill that void, allowing you to engage in quick bursts of fun and excitement when it best suits you.
Another element of mobile gaming that you might find especially appealing is in the name – the mobile aspect. Being able to immediately pick up your phone and pass the time with a game that you enjoy while you’re on a long train journey, for example, provides you with a great deal of comfort in these situations. Just be sure to take your charger with you wherever you go, as some games might be a strain on the battery life of your phone.
As a Social Tool
Multiplayer gaming isn’t a new concept by any means. Even on older consoles, you might be familiar with sitting next to a friend or family member and playing a game you both love with a couple of controllers. However, thanks to the internet and the evolving capabilities of gaming consoles, the multiplayer concept has gone far beyond that, to the point where it now represents a great opportunity to stay in touch with people you live far away from. In addition to this, the variety of games that have multiplayer components is enormous, with party games, such as Jackbox, providing you with a way to have fun with your friends online without necessarily needing to be good at conventional games. However, if conventional games are what takes your fancy, that is still an option as well, with hugely popular titles such as Call of Duty and Fortnite being available to jump into with your friends.
It might also be that you don’t have a friend group that you necessarily have in mind to play these games with, and instead, you just prefer to play games where you’re interfacing with real people instead of AI. In which case, these games might also be for you and could even be a way for you to make some friends if you don’t have many avenues to do so in your life otherwise. Competitive games might not be the best avenue to explore if this is the end result that you’re looking for, but instead, you could look to co-operative games and MMOs, such as World of Warcraft, in order to potentially glean a friendlier experience.
Focused Single-Player Experience
On the other side of the coin, you have the concept of intense, focused single-player games that can pull you in and have you immersed and engaged in the world that they create for you. Even here, there are varieties and differences that mean you have plenty of choice in the experience that you find for yourself. Suppose you’re looking for a narrative that you can get lost in. In that case, those games certainly exist, with series like The Last of Us and Red Dead Redemption offering character-driven narratives while constructing a simulation of a different world around you. This might be what you’re looking for, an immersive look into something like a post-apocalyptic world or the old American west, and it could provide you with a great escape from your day-to-day life. Additionally, you might find that the process of playing as a character within the story you’re watching unfold gives you an extra layer of immersion, pulling you in more than a film or TV show would due to the perceived personal investment that you’re feeling.
However, that’s not the only way that a single-player game can pull you in. Difficulty and challenge in video games have been a subject of debate for a long time, but the conversation around it really began to intensify around the release of Dark Souls in 2011, a game that is now often referred to as a landmark title that influenced the medium going forward. Within this game (and the titles that followed it), difficulty and challenge were presented as something for you to overcome, with the reward being the satisfaction you gain from defeating a difficult enemy and an intrinsic improvement in regards to your own mastery of the game. While better equipment could be found within the game, your own improvement was paramount, which gave the experience a personal and focused intensity that drew many people in. Of course, there is always the chance that you’re someone who doesn’t find themselves drawn to difficult games, and this might be no different, but it’s still worth being aware of what people find appealing about such experiences so that you can begin to make your own decisions regarding whether or not you want to try this for yourself. After all, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone might be positive for you and could lead you to discover experiences that you would have otherwise completely ignored.
A Way to Relax
Ultimately, it never hurts to have a hobby that you can resort to when you’re in need of a way to relax. As mentioned earlier, gaming can provide you with a great means of escapism, and if you find that you’re often stressed by work and other responsibilities, sometimes you just want a way to switch off and focus on something that you actually enjoy for an hour or two. There may well be more creative and mentally stimulating ways to spend time that can benefit your mental health, such as painting or gardening, but sometimes you just want to relax with something that you enjoy – and gaming can provide you with exactly that. This might also be true if your preferred method of gaming is in the form of online multiplayer, providing you with a way to stay in contact with your friends who live far away from you. Coming home from work and forgetting about the woes of the week by simply relaxing with your friends could be exactly what you need, especially with a fun activity binding you all together.
This is, in essence, exactly what the medium of gaming can offer you. The fact that the success of video games has led to it becoming so varied in form is excellent news for the consumer, as it means that you can enjoy what they have to offer in a way that suits you. Find yourself on the move often? Mobile gaming houses a variety of experiences you can play with wherever you go. Far away from friends? Play with them online. Want to get lost in an immersive world? There is any number of high-budget single-player games just waiting for you. You can tailor this hobby entirely to how you want it to be experienced, and if you’re put off by what you perceive the stereotypical gamer to be, the good news is that you don’t have to look anything like that.