The World’s Most Interesting Gaming Niches

By: MRT Desk

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The World’s Most Interesting Gaming Niches

Gaming has pivoted to become the cornerstone of modern entertainment. Globally, more people are gaming than ever before. This is thanks to a variety of factors. First, the rise of casual games and gaming-ready smartphones has introduced millions to the magic of gaming. Second, improved availability of internet connection, whether 5G networks for smartphones or ethernet for PC gamers, has brought together millions of players globally. 

As the world of gaming expands and its scope increases, so does the number of titles available. Unsurprisingly, these titles reflect the varied and niche interests of gamers, hardcore and casual alike—and some of them are outright strange.

Let’s dive into some of gaming’s most interesting niches. We’re covering a few different topics, including types of games, gaming communities, and gaming worlds. You can learn more about every topic explored here on a streaming platform like YouTube or Twitch.

The Poker Path

One of the most developed niches in gaming is poker. Poker has been around for decades and was one of the first games to be launched on the internet back in the 1990s. What makes this niche so interesting is that it combines elements of real-world gaming with virtual play. In other words, top players can expect to compete at in-person events and online with semi-regularity.

Even those who aren’t traveling to compete in a poker tournament might still hit the road thanks to their online performance. For example, PokerStars recently hosted an ice hockey experience in Las Vegas for participating players—which is a highly unique event in the world of gaming. This type of crossover isn’t often found outside of professional eSports.

Fast Gaming with Speedrunners 

Poker stands out for its balance of in-person and virtual events. But some gamers aren’t focused on where or how they play—just so long as they’re completing levels quickly. Welcome to the world of speedruns. Speedruns are all about flying through levels quickly, changing accuracy for speed. 

But it’s not just about going fast. Instead, there are a few games that have taken off in the world of speedruns, as they’re more satisfying to watch. If you want to see gamers perform in fast-forward mode, then dive into speedruns for popular titles like DOOM, Super Mario, and Dark Souls. Just try not to blink.

Visual Novels: Games for Non-Gamers

As mentioned above, the availability of casual games has helped push gaming into a global staple. But casual games go a lot further than match-three puzzles and interior design simulations. Some even cover literary or graphic novel content. These games place an added emphasis on social interactions and decision-making.

Visual novels are geared toward readers, fans of manga, and especially those who enjoy choose-your-own-adventure books. Though many are very general, certain visual novels allow players to make decisions that greatly affect the story’s trajectory. Some also include elements of strategy RPGs, which add a layer of complexity.

Location, Location, Location

Let’s shift to focus on another type of game that’s great for non-gamers: geography games. Like visual novels, these straddle the line between gaming and other forms of entertainment. This makes them ideal for those who are uninterested in traditional games but still want to compete with others. For geo-guessers, it’s all about finding remote locations with minimal information.

There are dozens of titles to choose from in this niche, from City Guesser to GetLost. Most use footage taken from the street, which includes information like architecture, vehicles, and street names. From there, players have limited information and time to guess where they are.

Special Mention: Games-Within-Games & Zombie Compulsion

Let’s cover two more unique niches, both of which cover oddball content. The first is about playing games within games. Oftentimes, open-world RPGs include peripheral games (usually called minigames) that add texture and depth to the main storyline, such as The Witcher: Wild Hunt’s Gwent. Certain gamers gravitate toward these mini-titles, zeroing in on them. 

Another unique niche revolves around zombies. These terrifying creatures are used in a variety of games to compel players to do something. For example, Typing of the Dead teaches players how to spell—which they must do to keep ravenous zombies at bay. Another exercise app relies on AR-powered zombies to compel the user to run, titled Zombies, Run!

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