During lockdown, I’ve had a bit of time on my hands and managed to sort out the spare bedroom – it’s turned in to the home studio, home office and the place where I’ve set up the spare TV and hooked up my old video game systems.
Forget your PS4, X- Box or high-tech gaming PC.
I’m talking proper old school game systems, my Mega Drive, SNES, Saturn and Dreamcast have all seen action during lockdown but my most prized console is one that took me over 25 to get my hands on… my Atari Jaguar CD. A console so rare, I’ve only ever seen one in real life and it’s the one I own – it cost me a small fortune.
During the past few months I’ve lost countless hours trying to master Highlander – The Animated Series, VidGrid and Baldies amongst others and it turns out I’ve not been alone in losing myself in the video game world.
Gamers will spend the equivalent of three years of their adult life playing online – splurging almost £16,000 in the process.
A study of 1,000 adults who game regularly found an average of eight hours a week is spent competing online – a total of two-and-a-half weeks each year.
But it doesn’t come cheap as gamers spend almost £253 annually on new accessories, downloads and mic-transactions.
This amounts to a total of £15,924 over their adult lifetime, you can tell they didn’t ask me in this survey!
The research, commissioned by Hyperoptic, found the typical gaming session lasts around two hours and is most likely to take place between 6pm and 10pm.
During each game, three snacks are consumed – amounting to 39,312 refreshments over the typical 63 years of adulthood.
It also emerged almost half of those polled go through numerous emotions when online gaming, with a quarter feeling ‘on-edge’.
Another 37 per cent get a sense of motivation while 22 per cent experience frustration and 44 per cent feel an adrenaline rush.
But 78 per cent have been known to encounter ‘gaming rage’, with players dropping out of multiplayer games, long download times and the inability to pause games among the most frustrating things about online gaming.
Almost half (44 per cent) named the internet lagging as the most infuriating aspect while 27 per cent also complained about other players’ slow online speeds.
Charles Davies, MD ISP, Hyperoptic – the UK’s largest gigabit full fibre broadband provider – said: “It’s clear from the research just how passionate and dedicated gamers are to their hobby, reflected by the time and money spent on it.
“Online gaming is a popular way of staying connected to others and conversing while playing at the same time.
“More than half of the gamers polled said decent Wi-Fi is important to them due to the amount of time they spend online gaming and we feel life is too short for lagging when playing.
“We also believe life is too fast for slow broadband, we want gamers to get the most out of their play without interruptions.”
The research also found that as a result of the lockdown, the time spent online gaming has increased from an average of eight hours a week to 10-and-a-half hours.
More than half said the hobby has kept them entertained during this time and 31 per cent have even re-found their love for gaming.
And 43 per cent have found playing online a key way to stay connected with others while a third said it has helped them feel less alone during lockdown.
Similarly, 45 per cent prefer playing in multiplayer mode rather than on their own and one in five gamers ‘always’ wear a headset, allowing them to converse with others.
Friends were found to be the most common opponents or teammates, but 36 per cent often play online with their partner and 30 per cent with their kids.
Of those polled who are parents, 52 per cent admitted they have allowed their child to play for longer than usual during lockdown so they can keep in touch with their friends
and 45 per cent have let them stay up later.
More than a quarter of mums and dads have even learnt about online gaming during lockdown thanks to their child while a third have introduced their offspring to old school games.
It also emerged that of those polled, via OnePoll, 55 per cent have spent money on their hobby during lockdown on new games, consoles or accessories.