Movies, Music, & Games: Better Online or In-Person?

Movies, Music, & Games: Better Online or In-Person?

There’s never been a better time to be stuck at home. Whether snowed in due to inclement weather or just trying to save some money on the weekend, the number of ways to stay entertained via laptops and smartphones has never been greater. All you need is a strong Wi-Fi connection and a full battery.

Still, just because we can stay at home and be entertained simultaneously doesn’t mean it’s always appealing to do so. After all, Ottawa hosts a long list of public events, from Cleaning the Capital to the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival. There’s also live music, community theatre shows, and, of course, the great outdoors. 

Clearly, deciding whether to stay in or go out might depend on the event. But for gaming, music, and movie fans, is it always worth a trip out on the town to check out a live event? Or is a digital and at-home experience enough? Sometimes, it comes down to price. Other times, it’s all about convenience.

Gaming: Better Online

Though the first video games were played in the arcades of the 1970s and 80s, the industry today is largely remote. By the 1990s, major developers from Nintendo to Atari burst onto the scene with at-home consoles. Since then, the rise of video streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube has made gaming both an international and remote phenomenon.

Much of this comes down to the nature of video games. Gamers today follow their favorite eSports pros on Twitch, then watch the largest events live. In other words, the industry is structured for at-home playing. Even in peripheral gaming realms, like online casinos, the emphasis is on solo, at-home gaming. 

For example, the majority of online casino platforms are easily accessible from laptops or mobile devices. They’re also widely available, with most brands building offers for multiple states to onboard newcomers. In this case, there’s an added emphasis on convenience, as traditional casinos tend to be a bit of a drive to get to.

Music: Better In-Person

Today, many people choose to commute with their headphones in or with their stereos turned on. It’s easier than ever to stream or download music thanks to the rise of apps like Spotify and Apple Music. Unlike games and video streaming, playing music doesn’t require tons of bandwidth, so music can follow us anywhere.

Still, there’s one huge element that goes into the remote experience: audio engineering. A song is only as good as the mastering behind the track, which means a top-quality song can fall flat when streamed—especially if it’s not from a major label.

But many musicians are naturally in their element for a live show, often working with local professionals to create a killer sound system. While a show at a dive bar will sound different to one at Southam Hall, live music has the ability to truly move audiences. Not to mention, you don’t get to watch your favourite artist perform on-stage when streaming a Spotify song.

Movies: Better Online

Everyone knows how exciting catching a big movie premiere is. The more you follow a series or actor, the more meaningful it is to pack into a theatre to catch a midnight showing. Most people would also agree that the experience is going to cost a pretty penny… or possibly an arm and a leg.

It’s always good to splurge on an experience that you’ll remember for years to come, whether lining up for the new Marvel hit or catching the latest Pixar film. Still, the at-home theatre is often underrated. Not many people realize that they can create their own quality entertainment centre in their living room with a few simple tricks. 

To emulate the aesthetic of a theatre, opt for blackout curtains to make sure your viewing space is light-free. Don’t be afraid to opt into surround sound, too. Even if you don’t have state-of-the-art speakers hooked up to your TV, you can use a wireless speaker and place it directly behind the seating area to emulate surround sound. Naturally, snacks and refreshments are also cheaper from home.

Other articles from


The latest on what’s going on in your city – delivered straight to your inbox