The pandemic forces us all to behave differently, restricting movement, social distancing etc… So what’s the impact on gaming? Time will tell, but from just the first few weeks observing, perhaps we are all ready for a bit of a gaming culture change.
I’m part of several business groups, and in the last six weeks, I’ve played more quizzes than I have in the previous ten years, online pub quizzes, without the pub! They’re not easy to pull together either. OK, so you’ve got Google in your locker, but there’s an editorial/curatorial nature to them. They were fun, social, inclusive and interactive, (with accompanying beverage) they’ve opened conversations and lowered barriers between people. I’ve also played Murder Mystery games, Bingo, Scavenger Hunts (actually to be accurate, my children have). Unsurprisingly, all relied on messaging apps, connectivity and a host, it got me thinking about how this was a new way to play together.
I’m curious to see how many new formats might emerge for games. I have a few ideas, but all scenarios indicate players are looking for experiences with more depth, more social, more immersive play, more connectivity.
So what’s next?
Will (Can) the game industry ignore the pandemic as an anomaly in our lifetime and trust we’ll go back to pre-pandemic behaviour?
Can we capture and develop new ways to play together across device/format/mechanisms, in the same way we have and is this a commercially-viable product?
I expect (hope) it will be closer to the latter… Though, if you happen to be the guy tasked with writing the rules for these games, you need to think about upping your daily rate!