Gaming has become extremely popular over the last few years, especially as e-sports has gone mainstream. No longer is sitting at your computer for hours playing a game seen as a nerdy pursuit, or a lazy hobby, or one only for those who do not have the friends to go out and do ‘cool’ stuff with. Gaming has become ‘cool’ now, with everyone wanting to jump onto the bandwagon, from brands to celebrities. Of course, there are quite a few famous gaming enthusiasts as well, with probably the most famous one being Henry Cavill, of ‘Superman’ and ‘The Witcher’ fame. The British actor has been publicly stating that he is a huge gamer for years now, and drew thousands of viewers when he streamed a video of him putting together his own gaming computer from scratch. That only goes to show how the hobby has become mainstream now, with more and more people playing games on their laptops, computers and even mobile phones.
E-sports has become a legitimate sports category in some respects now, with the biggest e-sports tournaments drawing hundreds of thousands of viewers online, as well as offering millions of dollars in prize money. There are people who game for a living, with professional e-sports teams existing who participate in these tournaments, backed by sponsors as well. The rise of e-sports became even more pronounced and obvious this year, when, in the absence of live sports due to the ongoing pandemic situation globally, many sports betting firms were offering odds on live esports matches and tournaments instead. In fact, we saw quite a few sports leagues and tournaments have their own esports competitions, with the actual players playing against each other on video games, rather than on the field or court. This rise in popularity and acceptance means that gaming is more lucrative than ever, and with that comes more advertising and sponsorship revenue. The industry is expected to generate almost $160 billion in global revenue this year. However, it needs to evolve as well to keep ahead of malicious parties who are always trying to break in and steal money or identities fraudulently.
Biometric software can come in handy here, with the technology offering the chance for the industry to become secure for its customers, operators, players and companies. One of the easiest and simplest ways in which biometrics can help the gaming industry is through age verification. We’ve already seen the gambling industry take steps forward in this regard, where even the best internet casino can ask for new players to verify their identity through a biometric input. This allows them to make sure that any players signing up are of the legal gambling age or above, and also helps them identify potentially fraudulent individuals. Cyber criminals have become adept at duplicating ads to collect advertising revenue, for example, or using bots to trick games and give them advantages, which can be a big problem in competitive gaming. The biggest threat, of course, is to the financial information of genuine customers which can be leaked through hacking. Biometrics can also be used to verify transactions on gaming sites.
With deepfake technology also progressing at a frightening rate, even face unlocking systems can be tricked. Thus, biometric security systems are just about the only reliable option at the moment to guard against fraud. Industries such as gaming, which are wholly online and thus even more vulnerable to such practices, need to research and adopt such measures in order to provide a safe experience for users, both casual and professional, as well as the various companies and enterprises which have invested and are investing in the gaming industry.