The statistics are rather impressive. According to Bigfishgames.com, there are approximately 1.8 billion active gamers. This borderline incomprehensible number is constituted by 59% male and 41% female gamers with the average age of a gamer being 35. Of course, the PC and dedicated game consoles are the penultimate gaming devices of choice. But it’s no surprise that with the proliferation of mobile connectivity, mobile gaming is quickly gaining ground. Let these numbers sink in a bit:
More than half the world now uses a smartphone
Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone
More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones
More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now ‘broadband’
Mobile give us the freedom and flexibility to play the games we love any time we want. We play games on our morning commute, during the working hours, after hours and just before our sleep. Simply put – we love to play games.
So, why do we love games so much?
Many specialists have explored this topic, and several reasons consistently pop up. Some of the reasons are scientific (complete with a carefully constructed mechanism designed to trigger the most fundamental components associated with human character), and others simply thrive on human emotion. But one thing remains – at the heart of it, games are fun, and that fact feeds into everything else about why we love games:
· Games are entertaining – They are filled with characters, storylines, and adventures for us to explore and experience.
· Games are educational – They give us a platform to learn something new and interesting with each turn, decision, or move.
· Games make us happy – It’s been scientifically proven that games make us happier human beings. You can literally feel the anxiety fading, as you make a leap to another platform or blast away hordes of aliens with your recently upgraded sonic laser gun.
· Games give us a sense of achievement – They give us a sense of purpose with the ability to fully grasp the system and successfully function (and compete) within it.
· Games offer a social element – They offer a sense of community and a unique way of interacting with a variety of people – chatting with or helping other players – unlike anything else in the world.
· Games allow us to completely immerse – They allow us to disconnect, play, or relax, and to create a unique, customizable character in a new, at times - open ended, virtual world.
And all of this is with the push of a button right in the palms of our hand -- amidst a colorful, action-packed backdrop. And that – is fun.
Not all games are created equal
Despite the inherent “fun” that comes along with games, not all games are created equal.
Developers go to great lengths to earn the love, loyalty, and retention rates for successful games. First and foremost, developers must give special consideration to the flow, a well-balanced in-game development road for the gamer, where exciting new challenges and bonus features pave the way for a great experience (and recurrent play).
Competitiveness and social influence, driven by a flexible reward system
It’s not just about a constant rising of the bar for the gamers. Every new challenge has to lead to a certain reward or additional bonus as well; otherwise, it may come off as an intentional and eventually contra-intuitive encumbrance on the developer’s part.
Monetizr takes the whole game to another level, allowing gamers to connect in a way that’s personal, meaningful, and essentially - really worth an investment of time. The key feature of it? Monetizr replaces purchasable power-ups with real-life merchandise as the main trigger point for the gamer. The platform also gives developers the opportunity to build real-life merchandise into the game flow, making every new challenge an opportunity to earn more Monetizr tokens, which can later be used to buy high-quality game-branded merchandise items – a physical reward for the time invested into the game. Safe to say, a shirt that can only be acquired after numerous, painstaking encounters with super powerful bosses, speaks miles more about the gamers ability and determination than a tiny, customized sword on the equipment menu screen. Thus - an even greater sense of achievement can be established right into the fabric of the game, as gamers bring out their in-game achievements into the real world environment!
Then Why Do We Love Video Games?
So, to sum up, we love games simply because they are able to satisfy our inherent desire for competition, personal development and the general necessity to understand the rule framework. Apart from that – they also look nice (for the most part) and let us forget the real-life worries if even just for a quick 20 minute session during the break on a University campus, or a post-work subway trip to the home. With that said these quick, recreational sessions can be significantly prolonged with actual, wearable, displayable items as awards for the gamer’s loyalty. In short - tangible goods are the perfect method of securing the flow of your game thereby making us and the other 1.8 billion people love it even more.