Destinations for Die-Hard Gamers 

Playing video games is no longer just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. If you’re in agreement with that sentiment, then this is the travel guide for you.

Today, the gaming industry is a global behemoth worth upwards of $347 billion. The past few decades have brought with them all manner of groundbreaking innovations, resulting in games that are more immersive and accessible than ever before. What’s more, a number of gaming epicentres have sprung up all over the world, making them the ultimate destinations to visit.

Read on to find out more about the top 5 global destinations for avid gamers.

Seoul, South Korea 

The capital city of South Korea is known for being a cultural melting pot, with gleaming skyscrapers standing alongside ancient Buddhist temples. Quite rightly, Seoul has a reputation for being a vast metropolis, but to gamers it’s a veritable Mecca. Widely regarded as the birthplace of esports, the city itself boasts a diverse gaming culture that is deeply ingrained — possibly more so than any other city on earth.

As a gamer, walking the streets of Seoul will feel like walking the streets of Paradise. PC bangs, AKA gaming cafes, are scattered throughout the city, offering top-notch hardware and a lively social scene that welcomes gamers both local and international. South Korea’s dominance in the pro gaming scene means Seoul is a must-visit destination, if only for the fact that you could fill your entire itinerary with eSports events and tournaments. Plus, if you’re keen to swot up on gaming history, you can learn everything you might possibly want to know at the Korea E-Sports Hall of Fame.

Nice, France 

Here in the high-tech age, it’s never been easier to access casino games like blackjack thanks to the proliferation of iGaming operators launching platforms into the digital realm. Casino lovers can get their fill of this iconic card and table game by playing blackjack online at licensed platforms, 24/7, 365 days a year. However, a true blackjack fan will feel the pull to visit the birthplace of the game at least once in their lives. While there’s still some debate about the exact origins of blackjack, the game that we recognise across the globe today first became popular in the exclusive gaming parlours of 18th century France.

You’d be hard pushed to find one of France’s original blackjack casinos still in operation today, but don’t be disheartened. The next best thing is to pay a visit to the stunningly palatial Casino de Monte Carlo on the French Riviera. Combined with a relaxing stay in the charming city of Nice (the Casino is just a short train or bus ride away), you’ll have all the makings of a top notch vacation.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is a city that’s been deep in the heart of the gaming industry since day one. If Seoul is the birthplace of eSports, Tokyo is undoubtedly the birthplace of modern video gaming. The country’s phenomenal advancements in gaming tech kickstarted the mainstream trend for console gaming (and the rest) in the 20th century and it hasn’t slowed down since. Just the fact that Tokyo is still home to iconic gaming companies like Nintendo, Sega and Sony makes it a pilgrimage site for anyone with an interest in digital entertainment.

In terms of where to go, make a beeline for Akihabara in the Chiyoda ward. Also known as — drumroll please — Electric Town, Anime City and The Otaku Capital of the World, the place veritably dazzles with its arcades, themed cafes and retro gaming shops. Keep an eye out for rare retro gems as you scour the stalls, and, whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to visit the Pokémon Center MEGA in Ikebukuro or explore the bustling streets of Shibuya, which have been featured in all manner of video games.

Berlin, Germany

Bauhaus, currywurst and synth-pop, three things that are synonymous with Berlin. As a result, it may not be the first city that springs to mind when you think of fascinating gaming destinations, but Berlin is actually quickly emerging as a hub for gaming culture. The city’s vibrant arts scene and (relatively) affordable living costs have attracted a growing community of indie game developers and gaming enthusiasts.

Berlin also hosts several gaming events and conventions throughout the year, including the annual International Games Week Berlin, where attendees can participate in tournaments, workshops and gaming showcases before watching the pros battle it out. What’s more, the city offers such a diverse cultural experience that it’s a dream of a destination to explore.