The number of gaming machines is exploding in the area, and in a city of just over 200,000 residents, that’s not even counting the growing popularity of video games in the suburbs.
With gaming a growing part of the economy in the metro area, it’s becoming a must-do for many.
The Nashville region is home to some of the largest gaming machines in the country, according to industry experts.
Here are some of their stats: 1,000 gaming machines have been built in the region since 2001, according a Nashville Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce report released earlier this year.
That number is expected to rise to 3,500 this year, according the chamber’s analysis of census data.
More than $5 billion has been invested in the gaming industry in the state, with a total investment in the U.S. at $21 billion.
The industry employs more than 100,000 people, according data from the American Gaming Association.
The region also has the second-largest percentage of people aged 18 to 24 in the nation, with an average age of 39.
“I think the reason it’s so attractive to people in Nashville is the number of different things that people can do and the fact that you can play with your friends and your family and have fun,” said Matthew Blythe, who runs the Nashville Gaming Lab.
Blythem, who has been a gaming expert for the past 30 years, said gaming is becoming more mainstream in the community.
“We see a lot of different groups that come to our events, and we see people of all ages coming to our gaming events,” he said.
“It’s really become a part of our community, and that’s something that is really cool to see.”
Blythen, a Nashville resident, has worked with some of Nashville’s best-known gaming companies, including Epic Games, Ubisoft and Ubisoft Nashville.
His team is also in the process of developing a gaming-themed app, which is set to launch this spring.
“The big thing is that they’re building up these experiences and creating a community around it,” Blythan said.
Bliche said the success of gaming has made Nashville more of a gaming hub, and he hopes it continues to grow.
“Gaming is not just about getting the next big hit, it is about creating and creating again,” he added.
BLYTHEN said he’s seen some big changes in Nashville as a result of gaming.
Gaming is more accessible now, he said, and there are more people of color, more women and more LGBT people.
“There’s been a lot to celebrate, and the new wave of gaming is exciting to us,” he concluded.