There are many ways in which we can measure the increasing digitalization of popular culture. From the prevalence of competitive gaming to the rise of online sport betting, it’s clear that digital is the way of the future.
In a way, gamers have been at the forefront of this change since gaming first entered the mainstream. Multiplayer gaming has always been chief among the ways gamers like to tackle their favorite hobby, and the advent of the modern internet allowed for multiplayer gaming across great distances.
As online gaming has advanced and evolved, it has only become easier for players to compete with others no matter their location. This connectivity is unprecedented, and has been woven into the very fabric of competitive gaming.
The desire to compete and the ability to play alongside teammates and versus opponents from around the world gave rise to the development of esports, the ultimate expression of competitive gaming in which top players are pitted against each other with big money prizes on the line. Millions of fans watch esports events every year, comparing to and sometimes even beating out the top traditional sporting events on the calendar.
But traditional sports haven’t been entirely left out of the digital wave. They’ve caught on in their own ways.
Streaming is a big part of that. The ability to stream every game played in a given league has allowed top professional leagues to sell the privilege to watch games to the biggest fans. If you’re a fan of the NBA or NHL, you can now watch just about every game that is played throughout an entire season, as opposed to a handful of nationally televised games as was previously the case.
Sport betting has also played a role in the advancing digitization of traditional sports. Fans go to great lengths to keep up with their favorite teams and players online, and even more so when they have money riding on those players and teams. Online accessibility to betting platforms has made getting involved in sport betting easier than ever before, and the availability of advanced statistics online has turned sport betting into a far more educated process than it once was.
So where is all of this heading? Increasingly it seems as though these seemingly disparate elements of competitive culture will be brought together under a unifying digital banner. But no matter how it evolves, there’s no question that digital culture is now firmly rooted in modern sport and competition, live or otherwise.