Gaming gives livelihood for some younger Syrians

Gaming as a occupation has change into frequent amongst younger Syrians, lots of whom take part on Arab stay broadcasting platforms. Some take part in native and worldwide tournaments with prizes of as much as tons of of hundreds of {dollars} for first-place winners.

Lucrative livestream online game tournaments are staged throughout social media platforms reminiscent of Facebook and YouTube and likewise on some impartial platforms reminiscent of Twitch.

Governments within the Arab world have supported some strategies of benefiting from these video games, turning them into an actual occupation. Followers’ donations have typically set information, as contributions have change into the principle objective of many gamers.

Video video games with taking pictures concerned are the preferred within the Arab world and Syria, primarily Pugb.

Iyad Ahmed, a Syrian online game participant, instructed Al-Monitor, “At first we used to make insignificant profits from these games just for fun. Something on the side in addition to our primary job.” But with the extremely poor economic situation among Syrian refugees, he said, “making money out of gaming has become a goal for many to be able to make a living.”

“Some players can make really good money from these games in a short period of time, which prompted me to create accounts on several broadcasting sites and play with other players,” he added, but the poor internet connection in Syria is a problem.

“Some players are keen on selling their prizes or offering them for free within games, which can be an extra source of money for them, especially if they manage to unlock a rare widget in the game. These operations are similar to the stock exchange market, as you have to wait for the price of a certain widget to go up to be able to sell it, especially if it’s a difficult one that many players were not able to gain,” Ahmed stated.

“The widget is displayed within the Steam Store and is sold to the highest bidder. But not all video games allow you to make cash money as, in some games, you must sell your prizes from within the game,” he explained.

Players are divided into three groups: those who play during their free time; those who pass their entire time playing without adopting another hobby; and finally, the players who make money in international or local tournaments or broadcasting their professional gaming style.

But for some video game professionals and hobbyists as well, the games have become an addiction, with some players spending 20 hours a day glued to their screens.

The World Health Organization lists gaming addiction in the 2018 edition of its International Classification of Diseases. Symptoms include “impaired control over gaming (frequency, intensity, duration), increased priority is given to gaming, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.”

But the games also have benefits. Mustafa Hamidi, a Syrian independent researcher based in Turkey, told Al-Monitor, “Some games can be played to break social isolation. Some kids at school choose to play video games with their friends, which could create healthy social milieus.”

In that way, “video video games may also help construct and encourage kids’s social abilities, even when they spend a while enhancing their social skills in speaking about trivial issues. All that is wholesome,” he added. “Many games are also about strategic thinking, prompting players to carefully think about their next move and use logical reasoning.”

But, he added, “In all societies, when there’s destitution and poverty, folks start trying to find new methods to earn money and to make ends meet. The financial scenario in Syria is extraordinarily unhealthy. …This scenario prompted many to show to video games to make more cash. So, for a lot of refugees, it’s higher as a substitute of ready for a meals basket supplied by humanitarian organizations on a month-to-month foundation to rely on themselves and safe an revenue, irrespective of how meager it may be.”