By: Keona Jones, Junior Strategist, Havas Atlanta & Patrick Tierney, Senior Strategist, Havas Atlanta

Source: Havas AFK

Ah, the Christmas Noob. Every year they turn out in droves on Christmas morning, flicking on their consoles and diving into these new game-worlds head-first, sporting level-one digs and naive excitement about what’s to come in their first lobby. They’ve been preparing with online walkthroughs and live streams, and they’re eager to jump in and flex their knowledge. The opportunities for domination seem endless. The field is open and ripe for the taking.

That is until they meet the veteran player with years of experience who reminds them that nothing comes easy, and there are still dues to pay.

In a way, Havas AFK feels like that vet: happy to have a new crop of players online but fully aware of our place as a sage with years of experience and the badges to show for hours of gameplay.

AFK has spent over a decade working with some of the most prominent players in the gaming space — from endemic industry icons like EA, Activision Blizzard, and Epic Games, to disruptive platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, and non-endemic partners including The Coca-Cola Company, Louis Vuitton, and McDonald’s. We’ve been around the map a time or two.

Then 2020 happened. Pandemic lockdowns sent people into their homes to spend hours on end with electronic devices. Streaming numbers spiked across content-services as everyone searched for something, anything to do while stuck inside. And, like clockwork, the gaming industry erupted (again).

More than half of Americans were gaming during the first phase of quarantine. SuperData reported that 66% of adult consumers (18–24) played console games, while 60% were mobile gaming. A smaller percentage used gaming as a means to keep up with friends and family. Politicians were streaming Among Us to educate a growing voter base. Lil Nas X and Travi$ Scott threw live concerts in Roblox and Fortnite for free! Brands rushed to engage gamers through in-game advertising and influencer collaborations. The gaming revolution was upon us!

So what next?

At Havas AFK we’re ecstatic to see the world recognize a passion point that pushes us to innovate each day. See, AFK looks at gamers as actual people with lives beyond their PC, console, and mobile devices. Gamers eat, party, wear the latest fashions, date, and peruse the internet for home decor ideas. Gaming is only part of who they are. And, soon, gamers will rejoin the outside world to resume their pre-pandemic lives.

For AFK the notion of a gamer’s life Away From Keyboard informs our proposition. We’re able to create meaningful connections with gamers because we are gamers. And whether IRL or URL, us gamers seek the same things as everybody else: new experiences, accomplishments, acknowledgment, friendship, and community.

So we’ll be at your favorite coffee house. We’ll be in your spin classes. We’ll be standing next to you at live shows and we’ll be sitting next to you in the boardroom. Time to level up your version of “GAMER” and prepare for the AFK Awakening.

Happy National Video Game Day.