If you go to a popular online casino site, using the 888 casino bonus code, you may find yourself in the site’s dedicated poker room, or playing blackjack with a live dealer. Here, rather than the video game versions of popular casino games that you may have been expecting, you’ll be face to face with a real live human being on your PC screen or phone, dealing cards and talking to you in real time. There will most likely be other players in the virtual room with you, all experiencing the same game and also able to interact with the dealer. They can effectively play together just as if they were all dressed up and meeting in a brick-and-mortar casino – even though they’re most likely sat in their dens at home in an old t-shirt and jogging pants.
This is all thanks to the facility of interactive live streaming, something that’s been in use in the gaming industry for years but has now also gained much greater traction in the wider world. From Facebook Live to online shopping channels, live streaming is hugely popular and is only set to become more ubiquitous over the coming years.
Live streaming games
Live streaming allows online casinos to bridge the gap between the traditional casino experience and the world of online gaming. Initially, it helped them to reach potential players who didn’t have a background in video gaming and maybe weren’t particularly internet-savvy. Now, it works both ways, also attracting younger players used to video games who enjoy the novelty and immediacy of interacting with a live dealer and playing in real time. Seeing the cards being dealt in front of you also encourages trust and a feeling of authenticity.
The rise of eSports
In wider video gaming culture, live streaming has really come into its own with the phenomenal rise of eSports. Sites such as Twitch started hosting gaming tournaments that were watched by millions, and from the beginning, viewers were encouraged to interact with the stream. This meant that even though you were watching a video game rather than playing it, you were still involved. Now, eSports are big business, and live streaming games may even be more popular than actually playing them.
Outside of the gaming communities, live streaming really came to the attention of the wider world when social media platforms got involved. Facebook’s live streaming options took off big time, both in terms of the people doing the streaming and those watching the streams. Live streaming is user-friendly at both ends: you can stream to your friends or the wider world, and no-one expects a complex narrative or high production values.
Live streaming is fun and spontaneous, and that’s exactly its appeal. Don’t overthink it. It’s enabled by better video capture technology and internet capability on mobile smartphones, and also by fast reliable broadband for watching it as it happens.
Potentially, live streaming allows both professional reporters and ordinary members of the public to capture news stories as they happen, allowing people to see events with a minimum of gatekeeping and interpretation. Seeing this raw feed allows us to make up our mind about what we’re experiencing.
Interactive live streaming takes this a step further. Those watching can connect with the host or the people being interviewed, comment and ask questions. Those being streamed can respond and communicate directly with their audience in real time. This is enormously attractive for brands that more than anything else want to foster that sense of intimacy and connection with their followers.
For viewers, the appeal of a live stream is that you’re seeing it as it happens. Brands and content producers recognize this impulse and make use of it. Content that can be saved for later often gets forgotten about, as there’s always something new to look at over the next horizon. The sheer quantity of content arriving in our lives all the time means that we value immediacy and will privilege the content that has to be experienced right now. Brands naturally want you to feel that sense of urgency about their products also.
Live streaming is a level playing field. Anyone can do it, and the potential for its development is endless. From rolling news to immersive storytelling to the initiation of rolling flash mobs, live streaming is the latest development of the internet’s promise of global connectivity. Capture the moment, share it, let it go and move on to the next one. We’re all in this together.