With the music industry being more fragmented than ever, youth culture has focused on an industry that is arguably more unified, the gaming industry. While 2020 was a year of uncertainty, the 12 months where we saw the coronavirus was also where video gaming became the pop culture phenomenon of all time, even overtaking music. But is this really the case? While only now we’ve seen prominent musicians connecting with their fans on a more personal level via social media, this something that gamers have been doing for a long time on platforms like Twitch. Why is gaming actually the new pop music?
It’s official – there aren’t many better ways to entertain yourself than to play video games. To put the industry into perspective, total video game sales often exceed the $43 billion mark, which is equal to 164 million American players. Phys points out that three-quarters of US households have a gamer.
Thanks to the way technology is growing, more and more people now have access to a host of online content. For the videogame industry, this means more eyes available for streaming platforms that already attract huge numbers of viewers each day. According to the 2019 State of Streaming report, last year alone viewers watched about 1.5 million years’ worth of live streams, and the number is only expected to grow.
Let’s face it: Guitar Hero and its spin-offs were the epitome of music in gaming. The instrument-like controllers were innovative, with difficulty levels of tracks opening people to new genres of music just to beat the game. Even though a Guitar Hero 3 world record was recently broken, per VG24/7, the iconic games phased out almost a decade ago.
Even though slot machines have existed in some shape or form since the very late 1800s there are still some crucial aspects of these games that have lived on throughout the ages. Of course, the innate mechanics of the games remain largely unchanged (other than the increase in reels and pay lines), but you will also find that the symbols can also regularly hark back to Charles D. Fey’s day.