19 June 2020

Data Discussion: Online Gaming During Corona

On the 19th of June, DISTRACT postdoc Anna Sapienza presented her recent research project on online gaming during the corona lockdown at a SODAS Data Discussion.

Title: Escape from Covid Island: how online gaming is becoming our getaway from the pandemic.

Abstract: The last few months of social-distancing have forced all of us to escape from the self-isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by finding new and innovative ways of gathering and socialising. Among all these activities there is one that is attracting more and more people every day: online gaming. This is an extraordinary moment for games, which have become even more popular as people are re-discovering their favourite games to make up for the loss of physical entertainment that self-isolation is causing. The gaming industry has indeed recorded a staggering boost in the online activity of players from all over the world. In this talk, I will present a preliminary study based on Steam, a well-known video game digital distribution service by Valve. Thanks to Steam’s open API, its up-to-date community news and several third-party tools, that track the activity of players online, we can have a close look at what happened during the lockdown. The main goal is to understand what are the different patterns of activity and identify the games that had a key role in the rise of online gaming.