Impact Of COVID-19 And Online Fantasy Sports On Social Development

impact covid-19 online fantasy sports social development sports coronavirus

Fantasy sports and esports were previously regarded as idle hobbies. Who would have imagined that in 2021 online gaming platforms would become the new playground for today's youth? When the world itself is in a shell, what are your options for sports and entertainment? The last 18 months have seen a drastic rise in the demand for online gaming, especially fantasy sports. 

On one end, time spent on outdoor activities has understandably reduced for the general population. In contrast, on the other end of the spectrum, those sitting at home have started investing their time and money in online activities, and Fantasy Sports have played a big part. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional market but has also seen the emergence of new ones. 

Online Fantasy Sports 

Fantasy Sports allows players to participate, even if in a virtual setting, in the decision- making process of their favorite team. There is an unexplainable joy and a feeling of achievement when you earn money based on a player’s performance in an actual match. Contrary to mass belief, fantasy sports are not all about luck. There are moments when you have to put on that thinking cap of yours and make tactical decisions. This aspect of online sports has attracted more users to the platform. 

Fantasy sports platforms that started as apps for fantasy cricket have now expanded into multiple sports, allowing users to earn a chance to make money in sports such as Football, Hockey, NBA, and even Handball. They have not restricted themselves merely to a few sports but have games for the masses such as fruit chop, snooker, carrom, rummy, poker. 

The lockdown imposed due to the pandemic has forced us to adjust to indoor life with gyms, parks, pools, and grounds closed. The majority of the working crowd who previously used outdoor activities to escape from their routine life now need to find an online alternative. While differing in the method of participation, it still provides people with the same exhilaration and thrill. With most activities undergoing a digitalization process, one thing is clear that fantasy sports are here to stay. Although this falls in line with the direction in which our lifestyles are heading, there are a few pitfalls we need to be wary of. 

Physical Activity 

Sports enthusiasts will definitely find missing is the absence of physical activity in this approach to games. This can be easily remedied through daily exercises to remain physically fit as well as playing indoor sports to keep you in good cheer. There is no substitute for the advantages of staying physically active and using all the muscles in your body to keep them active and in good shape. Actively participating in sports is especially essential for children and young adults. It plays a vital role in character building and indirectly trains them to handle the ups and downs in life. While it still isn’t advisable to encourage them to participate in team sports in the real world, online interaction can help foster a team spirit. 

Wellbeing 

Being a part of something larger than yourself always has a positive impact on your general wellbeing. While you don’t necessarily get a chance to pick your teammates in the real world, fantasy sports give you a chance to do just that. You get to pick and choose from the best athletes in competitive sports and create your dream team. There is a lot of personal involvement when you see your players perform in the real world. You get to see whether your selection of players lives up to your expectations or not. Nothing is guaranteed in real life, which adds a bit of uncertainty and excitement as you watch your team players on the field. 

Social Development 

A huge part of a child’s personal growth comes from its understanding of itself and its role in society. Children who are spending their formative years under this lockdown are missing out on sports-related social developmental activities. There are many qualities such as team spirit, being sporting no matter how the game is going, which are not easy to impart in a classroom, let alone the online classroom. While these concerns are valid to a certain extent, one needs to remember that although the lockdown has brought about these lifestyle changes, they aren’t unprecedented. 

There are experts in child psychology, NLP, and education who ensure that youngsters get to develop a healthy attitude about life. Despite online participation, young adults experience the same joy and thrills of being a part of a team.

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