A Look at the World’s Most Active Digital Training Grounds


A digital training ground is a virtual way for someone to learn a new skill or develop an existing one. Unsurprisingly, the margin for error tends to be a bit less severe in a digital space—no matter what activity you’re practicing.

Most people imagine eSports when they hear of digital training grounds. However, they can also be virtual locations where people practicing or learning real-life skills can get a few more hours of studying in. Straddling the line of both education and entertainment, these digital training grounds serve a variety of purposes.

For example, they can train someone who will someday become a professional. They might also simply be designed to pass the time. In other cases, a digital training ground might involve elements of recreation and professional skills. Let’s dive into three examples of some of the world’s most active training grounds.

Online Live Events

Online Live Events

Online eventsis a unique pastime, including elements of hardboiled strategy and luck. Even those who have never played a game might have heard of legends like Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu. But those who are familiar with the biggest winners of all time know that Justin Bonomo and Bryn Kenney are the all-time champs. 

Both have made their name as pros in live tournaments. However, both invariably get their practice in via online platforms. These online platforms span the globe, offering tons of different types of games and tournaments—and they’re competing in a pool of thousands, sometimes millions of international players. At the moment the World Tour believes there are around 100 million players in the world, the vast majority of whom play online.

play online

Simulations for Pilots

Can be played for fun or flipped into a career. The same can’t really be said for pilots. The vast majority of pilots are training to serve commercial and private airlines. But they’ll need to log hundreds of hours of practice before hitting the actual runway.

In these cases, simulations play an important part in a pilot’s education. Pilot training courses almost always include virtual elements and flights to help train students. Oddly enough, however, many people simply love to fly simulation aircraft. Microsoft Flight Simulator, for example, is both a video game and an educational resource. Currently, there are around six thousand active monthly users of MFS, plus thousands more on other platforms.

Virtual Workouts for Athletes

Virtual activities have opened the door for professionals to learn and practice their skills. In both examples outlined above, individuals head to virtual training grounds to learn more. But in the case of many athletes, there’s an entire team involved in that practice session. To minimize the amount of time supporting players spend in practice, many pro sports teams are using virtual sports simulations to help their stars get a few extra hours of practice in.

For example, a hockey goalie can just as easily save virtual pucks in a simulation as in real-life, standing in front of an actual goal. By using a program, teammates can get more rest, the goalie can practice specific skills, and the goalie is also at a reduced risk of injury. Currently, three teams in the NFL use VR technology for this type of training.