We all know that gaming has long been a favored pastime of nerds across the world, and something that has become more popular in the mainstream over time. Although offline PC and console gaming still claims its fair share of the market, online gaming has made huge inroads in recent years.
With a global market size of around $61 billion in 2022, it is clear how online gaming has taken off. This is true for mobile games online, cloud-based gaming platforms and online console or PC play. One fascinating part of the online gaming segment is the range of experiences it has to offer.
But what does the full spectrum of online gaming experiences include?
Casual online gaming
As the name suggests, this sees people playing games purely for fun and to stay entertained in their spare time. Casual gamers online do not play to be the best, or get overly intense when playing. Casual gamers also tend to play a variety of online game genres and do not become too focused on one game or genre.
Despite this, there are some types of online games that less competitive players like to check out. These are often the games that are easy to learn, do not contain lots of complex rules, grab the attention quickly and are fun to try.
What types of online games do casual players like?
Online casino games are a good example of a genre that casual players like to try. This is true for not only casual online gamers in the US but also those around the planet. Canada is a case in point and has many casual online players who like to spend time playing the best online slots Canada has to offer.
In addition, casual online players also seem drawn to puzzle games, hyper-casual titles and open-world online romps. Battle royale and MMO online games can also be popular with casual players, who like their free-to-play nature and fast-paced, multi-player action.
Intermediate online gaming
If you keep up with the latest gaming news then you will know that online play is currently a hot trend. The next step into the full spectrum that this sort of play has to offer is intermediate play. This sort of gameplay sees people ratcheting it up a level from a more casual approach and start to take gaming more seriously. Intermediate online gamers care more about succeeding in a game and performing well.
They can also be more focused on improving their gaming skills and spend more time playing games online. Players at this level may also start to devote their attention to one specific game or type of game. This allows them to develop their skills to a higher level in their game or genre of choice, and experience a sense of progression when playing.
More serious and more engaged with the online community
This kind of online gameplay can also be the point at which people start to take a more intense approach to sessions. As a result, intermediate gamers online can begin to get involved with tournaments, leaderboards and ranked matches. They may also begin to play online with or against other more serious gamers.
This is an attempt to not only test their skills but also to fully engage with the online gaming sector. Many intermediate gamers also like to integrate with the wider gaming community and often tend to spend time on gaming forums or message boards when not playing.
First-person shooters – especially those such as Call of Duty – that facilitate playing in a team are a popular type of game for intermediate players. Sports titles such as FIFA can also be popular with intermediate online players who like to test their skills against other human players.
Competitive online gaming
The spectrum of online gaming experiences is completed by competitive gaming. This is a step up from intermediate play and is the pinnacle of the professional online gaming industry. As you would expect, players at this end of the spectrum take their gaming sessions very seriously and aim to be the best. They will dedicate a lot of time and effort to achieve this and not rest until they have done so. Competitive online players hate to lose and usually focus all their efforts on mastering one specific game.
The best example of competitive online gaming is esports. This sees teams of professional gamers playing online titles such as Dota 2 in massive offline or online tournaments. With large sums of prize money at stake and real pressure to perform, it represents the most competitive level of online gaming.
Online gaming is a multi-faceted niche
As the above shows, online gaming is not only a key part of the whole gaming industry but also something that has a range of experiences to offer players. While most people will stick to casual or intermediate play, competitive online gameplay is also a major part of the picture.