The data consumption of online games is surprisingly low. One gamer can consume about 1.8Mbps of data while playing in 1080p. This is compared to the 8.10MB of data per hour for receiving a 1080p video stream. Therefore, gaming shouldn’t be targeted for high data consumption. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the amount of data consumed by gamers is still controversial.
Costs of gaming
There are numerous issues to consider when estimating the costs of gaming, such as the health impacts, the social and economic benefits, and the impact on individual and societal resources. Although some research has focused on these issues, few studies have considered the full costs of gaming. Those that have attempted to do so have often been discredited because of methodological problems. A comprehensive review of the literature is necessary in order to determine the true costs of gaming.
The sticker price of a game console is just the beginning. Extra controllers, batteries, and online subscriptions can easily cost hundreds of dollars. And as the technology and gaming platforms become more advanced, there is a growing market for extra accessories. With 3D gaming, motion controls, and downloadable content, the costs of gaming can reach the thousands of dollar range. For the most demanding gamers, a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360 console can cost thousands of dollars.
While it’s true that gamers are heavy data consumers, they’re a small fraction of the entire internet population. Most video games, regardless of their resolution, use 40 to 300 megabytes of data per hour. Even a high definition game will use less than one tenth of the bandwidth that a standard definition Netflix stream consumes. But should this data consumption be a cause betboo for concern? Let’s consider the following scenarios.
Multiplayer games can take up a lot of data. Over the course of a month, online gaming can amount to several gigabytes. Popular titles like Overwatch, Minecraft and Fortnite can easily push this figure to hundreds of megabytes. The average gamer also spends about two gigabytes of data on data a month just to play a single game. Playing a single multiplayer game takes up to 40 megabytes of data, while HD games can use seven.
Social aspects of gaming
Despite the widespread assumption that online gaming is a solitary activity, recent studies show that the social effects of playing games depend on the players’ individual motivations. These factors are often overlooked in studies, which focus on massively multiplayer online role-playing games rather than different genres. However, these findings are relevant for developers of games. They are important because they can help designers create more enjoyable games by incorporating social aspects. Let’s examine some of these effects.
Players can also engage in social interactions by collaborating with others. While the game itself is not a social activity, the presence of other players in one’s life may enhance the sense of belonging to a community. For example, a virtual concert by rapper Travis Scott in Fortnite in 2016 was attended by over 12 million players, and many gamers have become lifelong friends. This is one of the main reasons that gamers find online communities so engaging.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on data consumption
The COVID-19 pandemic caused the digital technology industry to invest millions in community initiatives, including charitable donations, the donation of surplus computational power to researchers, and solidarity response funds to assist the affected population. Gamers’ use of social media and internet games increased significantly during COVID-19, and there was an estimated prevalence rate of 9.7%. Gamers’ use of digital technologies was associated with their age, marital status, educational level, and post-traumatic stress from the pandemic. However, the findings of this study are not conclusive, and they require longitudinal studies to confirm their conclusions.
The prevalence of COVID-19 among gamers has increased in the last few years. The researchers concluded that excessive use of digital platforms may increase the risk of COVID-19. The findings, however, suggest that these factors may be a moderating factor. Heavy social media users and internet gamers were less likely to have landline phone usage than the general population, suggesting that the prevalence of COVID-19 is related to age. Furthermore, the researchers did not investigate the use of digital technology in other domains, such as communication with friends or family, and whether the health implications are different.