Gaming world becomes concert stage in pandemic times

Gaming world becomes concert stage in pandemic times
New York (AFP): With concerts on hold to halt coronavirus spread, the gaming world is increasingly catering to music lovers, with artists becoming animated performers in virtual realms to the trippy delight of millions.

The trend has gained momentum in recent weeks after the ultra-popular Fortnite morphed rapper Travis Scott into a massive psychedelic spaceman performing in a celestial dreamscape, as a record-setting 12.3 million concurrent players entered his 10-minute set inside the game.

According to the platform that’s spurred an international gaming craze since launching in 2017, over 27.7 million unique players participated in the Scott show across its premiere and four encore presentations.

And in early May Fortnite launched an enormous virtual party featuring DJs including deadmau5 and Steve Aoki, celebrating its milestone of 350 million registered players.

The pandemic didn’t prompt transforming artists into an avatars -- DJ Marshmello had a massive Fortnite concert in 2019 -- but that much of the globe’s population has been urged or forced to stay home over COVID-19 has certainly spotlighted it.

Acknowledging the unfortunate circumstances coronavirus has wrought more broadly, Adam Arrigo -- the CEO of Wave, an entertainment technology company that has put on concerts from DJ Jean-Michel Jarre and now is teaming with artists including R&B singer John Legend -- said virtual show business "has exploded" due to quarantine measures.

"It’s kind of given us a chance to show people really what the value, both creatively and economically, of virtual concerts is," said Arrigo, who co-founded Wave in 2016.


‘Visual spectacle

Virtual concerts in Fortnite or on other gaming platforms, as well as streaming outlets like YouTube live or Twitch, are a different, much more elaborate animal than the concerts many stars have launched recently on Instagram or Facebook live apps.