Gaming, as we all know, has become one of those places with a maximum amount of engagement from the people. Not just for the free time passers or the passionate gamers, the gaming industry is also an appropriate opportunity for those who are inclined towards the act of community building. Be it on platforms like social media, or in terms of widely held events, gaming initiates the building of community in an efficient and interesting way.
Where social media is widely accessible and quite common for almost all the gamers to engage among each other, gaming events, on the other hand, are less common, but a lot more significant opportunity for the gamers worldwide. Held widely, they are responsible for what is known as the act of going back in time in order to bring the very essence of gaming that has been lost since the rise of the online gaming sector.
For the old time’s sake!
It is now an extremely glorious time to become a gamer. Since the past ten years, gaming has been growing by leaps. It has not only become mainstream, but competition has also flourished. The top-level tournaments run by publishers now boast prizes of millions as a way to attract both participants and viewership. We have been also seeing more and more local tournaments springing up to facilitate the growth of gaming communities to attract fresh players.
Before the rise of online gaming, arcades were a place where many gamers got their passion for this rush. People used to gather at their favourite arcade to challenge other players and put their skills against each other in order to improve themselves. However, now online gaming and home gaming has become more and more advanced and significantly cheaper. Therefore, many gamers nowadays choose to play in the easy comfort of their own homes. Today, we may be playing more than ever, but we see the people we play with less and less.
In gaming events, people from all over the world, depending upon the scale of the event gather together and share their interests of the game. It is not only an engagement with the prices and the goods that are given away, the gamers here actually get a chance to fulfil their need of a real-time experience in gaming that they were missing all along their interaction with online gaming platforms. Therefore, people of same interests join together and revive what has been lost. If nothing else, gaming events play a very big role in getting the gamers together, on one platform, for the old time’s sake.
How should the events really look like?
An event should most importantly be entertaining and engaging. One cannot think about initiating sales or pushing content live with a fancy name and expect it to seem like an event. Events have to be experienced and engaged with deeply. Any live event should have its own features and elements that define the experience people are going to gain out of it and should be unique. Furthermore, event prizes should definitely include special items or other valuable things which can only be earned by participating in the event. Limited-time exclusivity is another key element to any good event. ‘Experience it now before it’s over!’ The thought of missing out on a cool experience or rare reward is a powerful concept.
Every person attending the event should have the best experience no matter what their level of skill is. The tasks should be balanced accordingly. Live event analysis, tuning and operation is really an art and one must learn it. A well-tuned constantly monitored event will deliver so much more fun and perform significantly better than an event operated without a high degree of care and dedication. A lot of talent, passion, ideation, and energy goes into designing and refining every successful event and it shows in the final experience.
Tangible Examples to Quote from!
Blizzard Entertainment hosted an event in March for Overwatch in Singapore. The event experienced 500 fans approximately, with some of them even standing in queues 3 hours before the event’s actual start time of 2 pm, in order to snag goodies which included an Overwatch t-shirt, a backpack, and a poster. It was definitely not a big surprise to see these many fans participating in the event, since the game was still in closed beta, with many of those gamers not even getting the chance to try the game themselves. However, it was great to see that the fans were chatting amongst themselves, getting to know each other more and more and enjoying the game together.
Similarly, PlayStation held an event for Street Fighter fans in February, celebrating the launch of Street Fighter V. The event saw pro players Xian, Infiltration, and Gackt in attendance, and those who attended had the chance to challenge them. While the attendance of the pro players might have been the draw, a beginners’ tournament on the sidelines also gave newcomers to the scene a chance to try their hand at the game.
PAX West was also a three-day gaming festival for gamers of all genres who came together and celebrated the culture of gaming in Seattle. Unreleased games, big booths, fabulous prizes, game music concerts, the gaming community, and industry support puts PAX far above any other show on the planet.
Even as we are seeing a resurgence in eSports tournaments worldwide, community events like Overwatch’s and Street Fighter V’s are equally as important. According to a report, out of 259 million people who watch eSports, only about 16% of them actually take part in their competition. Not everyone dreams to become pro players or to compete passionately. Some people only enjoy playing the games casually. That is why it is good to see gaming platforms organizing events like these.
Moreover, these events are filling up a place that arcades and LAN centers used to be in. There is no doubt that community events provide a safe environment for more casual gamers to join the game scene. Though there will always be a fair bit of competition involved at all times, honestly, competition is not the main focus for these participants, it is a more and more relaxed environment for everyone to have fun in.
These events are also a great source of introducing a friend or for the curious public to try out a game. Without any such fear of failure, it makes it more accessible for everyone to enjoy. It also allows the players to put a face to an otherwise unknown name. One always enjoys playing with people online. Just imagine if you can meet him or her offline as well. Gaming events open up the opportunity for these things.
Therefore most importantly, it allows for new community leaders and passionate gamers to come out to the open scene. The gaming platform organized events will always inspire gamers to facilitate their own gatherings and tournaments, creating an organic growth cycle which benefits everyone at large. We must always remember that games are not built on prize offerings. They are built by those gamers who make the game great by playing them greatly!