No matter what platform you prefer, modern games have something to offer you. And thanks to forward leaps in connectivity and technology, you’re able to easily enjoy and share your experiences. Did you know, however, that there are many tangible benefits to gaming?
The what and how of gaming
When it comes to playing games, you’re definitely spoiled for choice, with many genres and numerous platforms at your disposal. The current lockdown is also helping, driving the social aspects of games forward. If anything, the lockdown provided a new opportunity to get into (or back into) gaming. Furthermore, with connectivity getting faster and more reliable, you can find and join other gamers with little fuss.
Games, whether digital or physical, are certainly nothing new. Many board games arose centuries ago, while digital games came to prevalence decades ago in the arcade and early console era. Today, while arcades are no longer a popular niche, games have made a serious comeback as entertainment, challenges and even team sports.
In concept, a game is simple enough. It needs a platform to run on, a set of instructions, and a set of achievements for you to chase after. Additionally, it needs to be something you find fun to do. Beyond this, you find many other varying elements, such as categories, gameplay models, rewards and so forth.
Why games are good for you
Playing games does have certain advantages. Gamers of fast-paced action games, for example, develop fast reflexes and improved hand-eye coordination. Fans of real-time strategy games are usually adept at planning for goal achievement, and are highly effective at resource management. In addition, good teamwork and team management are vital components for multiplayer settings.
There’s another element to consider as well, one which lockdown and social distancing have pointed out to us in great detail: the social aspect. Games are, after all, primarily meant as fun activities. There are very few games these days, irrespective of platform, which are totally bereft of a social element.
Louis Agenbacht, an Adept Managed Services engineer, agrees and adds to this. “Multiplayer used to be for giving tasks that required more than one player to accomplish. Or maybe to add challenge levels when the AI wasn’t good enough. Mostly, though, it’s a chance to have fun and spend quality time with my friends.”
Finally, gaming is a great way to just relax with some good entertainment. The overall results of a large study on video games conclude that, within multiple criteria, games are actually beneficial when it comes to stress relief.
The choice of gaming platforms
Most gamers will staunchly argue for their preferred game platform, i.e. the means they use to play games. You can debate the merits and pitfalls of each pretty much ad infinitum, but we’ll take a look at the most common ones.
Consoles, such as Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s X-Box and Nintendo’s Switch, are dedicated game platforms, with a few other side functions such as media and streaming built in. They are relatively easy to use and have many titles that support multiplayer mode. Plus, you needn’t worry about upgrades, save for the occasional solid state drive to boost loading times. Their one downside is that they’re mostly limited in scope to games and some media streaming. This makes them a comparatively expensive proposition, since you’re spending many thousands on something just for games. In addition, the games themselves, especially recent A-list titles, can also be quite expensive.
PCs or laptops are a popular choice for many gamers. This is because they lend themselves to running multiple applications at once, and are good for a lot more than just gaming. What’s more, many computer games don’t require high-end hardware to play decently. You’ll also find a lot of price specials on digital games through the various online game stores, such as Steam or Epic Games.
Jonathan Naude, one of Adept’s Client Services agents, echoes the sentiments that most PC proponents would offer. “I grew up with PCs, and find that they give you more freedom of choice when it comes to hardware. They’re far more modular. You have full control over what’s in them at any given time.”
Mobile gaming has increased rapidly, thanks to the rise in popularity of smartphones and the advances in the devices’ capabilities. As such, mobile game requirements are usually minimal, so as to support as many devices as possible. Another advantage is that your games are pretty much available whenever your device is with you. What’s more, the mobile application stores have very good game categories, making finding a game you’ll likely enjoy a lot easier. Be mindful, though. Some games are not fully unlocked, and you may have to pay more to access all the content or features. Others need you to have Internet access to play, which can be dicey with the costs of mobile data in SA. And you’ll rarely encounter mobile games without ads or in-app purchases.
Finally, you can use technology to overcome distances and play some of your favourite games with remote players. This is a group effort in digital transformation, and one which people are managing to undertake more and more often thanks to lockdown. It’s easy enough to connect groups, divide resources and share screens these days. What’s more, many board and roleplay gaming favourites are now online. Popular games such as Catan, D&D and even Monopoly, have digital editions or online playing applications these days. It isn’t quite the same as being there in person, and you’ll probably want to limit the group size to 5 or 6 for manageability. You’ll also need to make sure everyone has the same tools available. The advantage is that most of these gamers already have what they need, and there are many online tools and resources to assist.
Gaming is a popular and entertaining hobby and a proper e-sport for many players; Adept is proud to have many gamers among us!