Famous, John Lennon’s aunt told him that “A guitar is good, but you will never make a living from it.” And, as soon as he did, Lennon responded by affixing a brass plaque with those words on the instrument that brought him worldwide fame.
Generations later, Millennials and Gen Zers who grew up being told they play too many video games – and that their hobby will never bring anything of value – may now feel justified: gambling is a huge market, and making a living playing video Video games are no longer a boom, but rather a serious career prospect – from streaming and online reviews to unboxing videos. But which are the best cities for gamers?
READ ALSO: With GCU setting the standard, Arizona becomes a hotbed of college esports
Since 2014 when the first college esports programs were established, competitive games have become an important part of college sports. In fact, ESPN reports that there are now over 125 such programs in the United States.
Even before the pandemic, gambling could be enjoyed as a job or as a hobby just about anywhere. All you needed to get started was a stable internet connection and a computing device. But what if you also want to share your passion with other like-minded people at conventions or still enjoy browsing your local video game or equipment store? Or, what if you even want to get into competitive gaming in college?
If any of these scenarios sound like you, Commercial cafe made a list of 10 best US cities for gamers looking to access a wider range of gaming experiences. Read on to find out what the best cities for gamers have to offer.
Average Internet speeds in Los Angeles are around 96.8 Mbps, with 87.7% of households having a broadband subscription. There are also 12 games and equipment establishments per 100,000 inhabitants.
Gamers living in Los Angeles have a full calendar of events, with three conventions hosted by Strategicon – Orccon, Gamex & Gateway – as well as GameSoundCon (a conference focused on music in games, sound design and reality audio virtual) and the huge industry highlight of the year which is E3.
Miami has one of the largest concentrations of gaming and gaming equipment businesses among the cities surveyed, with as many as 20.4 such establishments per 100,000 residents. In addition, 91.8% of households have at least one computer device and 70.8% have a broadband subscription. Miami is also very efficient in terms of Internet speed. At 115.3 Mbps, it’s only behind Austin on this list.
Notably, the Barry University esports scholarship is an integral part of the institution’s existing computer program. Here, students not only have the opportunity to hone their competitive gaming skills, but also to develop skills for a future career in technology; game design or development; virtual reality; or computer animation.
Meanwhile, those enrolled at St. Thomas University – Florida in the varsity esports program can compete at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Florida Sun Conference levels.
In Texas, Austin and Dallas are both serious about creating an environment in which gamers and gaming communities can thrive: between them, the two cities host eight gaming conventions, including SXSW, Fan Expo Dallas (formerly Dallas Comic Con). and QuakeCon.
In terms of esports scholarships, Concordia University of Austin – Texas participates in the American Southwest Conference (Division III). And, while Dallas colleges don’t currently have such programs, there are a plethora of places nearby that offer them, such as Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth or the University of Texas at Richardson.
Back in Dallas, some 81.6% of households have a broadband subscription, with average internet speeds of 96.8 Mbps. But Austin has the advantage with 89.2% coverage and an average speed of 117.9 Mbps.
There is also a good supply of games, gaming equipment and electronics stores in the two cities: 14.6 establishments per 100,000 inhabitants in Austin and 12.5 per 100,000 in Dallas.
Boston is home to PAX East and Arisia, a sci-fi-focused convention that also includes games and anime events. Some 92.7% of households here have at least one computing device, and there are nine gambling establishments per 100,000 inhabitants.
About 87.4% of households have an Internet subscription, and with average speeds of 114.5 Mbps, Boston’s broadband is considerably faster than the national average (currently at 99.3 Mbps). Additionally, over 98% of the city has access to gigabit internet speeds – a boon for heavy internet users.
In terms of esports scholarships, Bay State College players compete locally, regionally and nationally in tournaments for titles, such as “League of Legends”, “Fortnite”, “Overwatch” or “Madden” . Students also benefit from a dedicated training space at Back Bay – an area that is also home to some of the most coveted Boston offices, as well as hotels and restaurants.
To the west, Phoenix Fan Fusion – formerly known as Phoenix Comicon or Phoenix Comic Fest – is one of the Southwest’s premier pop cultural events, bringing together gamers, but also anime and manga enthusiasts. , cartoon, card and board games. Since 2015, the city has also hosted Game On Expo, Arizona’s largest gaming convention. This is why Phoenix is one of the best cities for gamers.
Students enrolled in Grand Canyon University’s esports program participate in the Western Athletic Conference and the Rocky Mountain Athlete Conference. Meanwhile, those at Arizona Christian University are currently participating in the Golden State Athletic Conference and the NAIA.
There are also 8.5 gambling establishments per 100,000 residents in Phoenix, and 84.9% of households are connected to the Internet with an average speed of 86.2 Mbps.
Home to several game development companies, Minneapolis has a gambling establishment density of 16.2 per 100,000 population, one of the highest in the Midwest.
And, while the city doesn’t have esports scholarships at the moment, it hosts two important conventions: The first is 2D Con, which caters to both casual and competitive gamers. Then there’s MetaCon – a large entertainment expo filled with interactive events, guest stars, artists, and animators – another highlight of the local geek community.
In the east, about 87.9% of Atlanta’s households have an Internet subscription, and the average speed here hovers around 92.7 Mbps. The city also has a generous share of gambling establishments – 15.6 of these businesses per 100,000 inhabitants – as well as a lively convention scene, with four events throughout the year.
Georgia State University is part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports and the Georgia Esports League (GEL). Students enrolled in this program can compete nationally and regionally in “League of Legends”, “Smite” and “Brawlhalla” matches. The scholarship also provides access to courses in game design, media entrepreneurship, and computer science.
In 2019, about 89% of Milwaukee households had at least one computing device, and internet speeds in the area averaged 101.5 Mbps. There were also 9.7 gambling establishments per 100,000 residents of Milwaukeeans.
For students interested in competitive games, Bryant & Stratton College is the local option for an esports scholarship. Specifically, the school’s esports program aims to develop skills in problem solving, team building and virtual cooperation, in addition to the prowess of their players. Ideally, these abilities would then translate into any adjacent areas of work that these students might transition to at some point in the future.
The Midwest Gaming Classic takes place at the Wisconsin Center and is a hangout for everyone from coin-operated arcade nostalgics to pinball or video game fans. And, for those with a distinctly competitive streak, the convention offers plenty of tournaments for all brands of games. There are also a slew of board game, card game, and even two Tesla car vendors that serve as their own arcades with games playing on their dashboards.
Chicago doesn’t just love games. He also develops them. The city ranks among the top five spots for game developers in the United States – in front of New York. Additionally, Chicago’s 19 active studios also rank it among the world’s largest cities for game development.
Robert Morris University in Illinois has been offering a varsity esports program since 2014, with games such as “Call of Duty” and “Overwatch.” Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) – the world’s largest and most successful college sports recruiting network – has also been offering an esports program since 2018.
Some 83.6% of homes in Chicago have Internet subscriptions, with average speeds of 100.6 Mbps. The city also has a good share of gambling establishments with 10.4 businesses per 100,000 inhabitants.
Methodology of the best cities for players
“Computer devices” – Households with one or more computer devices (Census, 2019)
” Internet subscription “ – Households with broadband internet subscription (Census, 2019)
“Internet speeds” – Average speed expressed in Mbps (Broadbandnow, 2019)
“Game conventions” – Number of conventions taking place strictly within the limits of a particular city (VideoGameCons and owner research)
“Gaming purse” – Colleges with University Esports Programs (NCSA)
“Density of gaming establishments” – Includes game rental establishments, hardware stores, peripherals, electronic software stores per 100,000 inhabitants. NAICS codes: 423430, 443142, 532282, 713120.
If a city is in more than one county, only the county that contains the largest part of the city was used in the calculation (County Business Pattern, 2019).
NAICS codes and titles used to define gambling establishments
“423430 //”, “Computer equipment and peripherals and software merchant wholesalers”, “Game software merchant wholesalers”
“443142 //”, “Electronics stores”, “Video game software stores”
“532282 //”, “Rental of video cassettes and discs”, “Rental of computer video games”
“713120 //”, “electronic game rooms”, “electronic game rooms”