How the Internet Changed Entertainment

By: Sarah Scott

Photo by luis gomes on Pexels.com

When I was younger, I remember begging my parents to get internet connection, but we didn’t have enough money to afford it. Now, high-speed internet connects so many people, and even is in everyone’s pockets with the invent of cell phones. With high-speed internet being more affordable for everyone, the television and gaming industries have changed in a lot of ways. 

Live television used to be something that everyone centered their day around to see their favorite shows. However, the internet has allowed people to be able to stream their favorite shows on demand whenever they want to with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Some people still watch live television, but it is much less now as compared to in 2010. In an article on Insider, they quote statistics that in 2010 only 15 percent of television viewers streamed on a weekly basis, whereas in 2019, 65 percent of viewers streamed weekly (Hadden, 2019). 

While the rate of live television viewers has gone down considerably over the past decade, the rate of those who game has gone up since 2015. Statistica lists 1.99 million active video gamers worldwide in 2015 versus 25 million in 2019 (Gough, 2020). With this rise in video gamers, it begs the question, “What game has caught the attention of millions of people?” The answer is Minecraft, which has players on PC consoles, X-Box consoles, and even cell phones. This game allows players to play in survival mode, creative mode, and it allows players to play together online. All in all, the number of players of Minecraft was 126 million players in May of 2020 (Gough, 2020).  

So, why is Minecraft so well-known and well-played? First off, this game not only allows people to use their creative energy, but it also can allow players to feel that rush of adrenaline that comes with playing in survival mode with MOBs that can explode and destroy everything that the players has worked to create or attack the player. Back in 2010, Mashable put out an article talking about the reasons that Minecraft was so popular ten years ago. One of the reasons they listed was what they called the “Look-what-I-made effect,” which talked about how people created things in Minecraft to then show other people (Silverman, 2010). These people in turn would want to build their own creations to show off to the world. This effect is still at work ten years later here in the year 2020, and it’s only gotten stronger with the world-wide pandemic that has caused more people to be at home. According to an article on The Verge, in April of this year they saw a 25 percent increase in new players, and a 40 percent spike in multiplayer sessions (Warren, 2020). 

With the increase in gamers, the internet has also been getting faster and more capable of handling the number of gamers using the internet to play online together. “Video games continue to set new and higher standards for graphics, speed, and sophistication that each generation of PCs has to match, if not exceed. (McPhail, 2014)” The internet has not only allowed gamers to have fast matches online together, but it has also allowed gamers to download games from anywhere. Steam is and has played a major role in the buying of games moving from physical sales in the store to being sold digitally. In September of 2019, just over 20 million people used Steam (Gough, 2020). Statistica talks about the move from physical sales to digital sales, saying that 83 percent of all computer and video games were sold in digital form, and only 17 percent was sold in physical form (Gough, 2020). 

So, high-speed internet has changed a lot in terms of gaming and television. It has allowed people to gain access to entertainment quickly and conveniently with a demand for it to it to continue to get faster and faster with the invent of better quality of graphics for both video games and television. It will continue to integrate itself into our lives, causing us to want more and more out of what the internet can give to us. It has gone from being something that people were just getting to something that people cannot live without.

References 

Gough, C. (2020, Aug. 28). Number of video gamers worldwide 2015-2023. Retrieved from:  
https://www.statista.com/statistics/748044/number-video-gamers-world 

Gough, C. (2020, Aug. 26). Minecraft active player count worldwide 2016-2020. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/680139/minecraft-active-players-worldwide 

Gough, C. (2020, Jul. 24). Digital and physical game sales in the U.S. from 2009 to 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/190225/digital-and-physical-game-sales-in-the-us-since-2009 

Gouch, C. (2020, Apr. 9) Number of Steam Users 2012-2020. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/308330/number-stream-users 

Hadden, J. (2019). 5 ways watching TV has changed over the past decade. Retrieved from: https://www.insider.com/how-watching-tv-changed-over-past-decade-2019-11 

McPhail, Thomas L. (2014) Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders and Trends  

Silverman, M. (2010). Minecraft: How Social Media Spawned a Gaming Sensation. Retrieved from: https://mashable.com/2010/10/01/minecraft-social-media 

Warren, T. (2020, May). Minecraft still https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/18/21262045/minecraft-sales-monthly-players-statistics-youtube popular as sales top 200 million and 126 million play monthly. Retrieved from: https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/18/21262045/minecraft-sales-monthly-players-statistics-youtube 

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