Nintendo Switch consoles and Playstations were impossible to find at the height of the pandemic, but the fact that gamers cleaned Texas out must have helped our cities vault into the Top 100.  The #1 gaming city is a total surprise, and #2 is right here in Texas.

The Caves and Cliffs update was released last week for Minecraft, and my daughters spent a good two hours upstairs in their girl cave discovering how to mine for copper.  Eventually, they yelled down the stairs, "Mama, this update is so cool, ya wanna see?"  I hesitated to tear myself away from my laptop and a Food Network marathon, but I popped up there for a sec and the next thing I knew it was two hours later and I was the proud owner of an elaborate cabin near a lake surrounded by glow berries.  Gamers fall into every age and gender category, and if we're not playing on a console, we're piling up tokens and treasures on PCs and mobile devices.

Twelve of the Top 100 gaming cities in America, according to Wallethub, are in Texas.

2. Austin
14.  Plano
25.  Irving
28.  Garland
31.  Arlington
43.  Lubbock
49.  Dallas
50.  Fort Worth
57.  Houston
60.  San Antonio
87.  Corpus Christi
92.  El Paso
97.  Laredo

To come up with the best gaming cities in America, Wallethub looked at everything from average internet speed to video-game stores per capita to the number of esports tournaments.

Hosting more gaming conventions and tournaments would skyrocket more Texas cities up the list, and some of the cities that did make it do host regular esports tournaments.  I mean, there are more important lists to conquer, but gaming is a $159 billion industry that is showing no signs of slowing down and Texas cities might as well get a bigger grip on the rewards.  Like the axolotl, if you're playing Minecraft.

The 10 Best Cities for Gamers, according to Wallethub, are:

1. Irvine, California
2. Austin, Texas
3. San Francisco, California
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Orlando, Florida
6. Anaheim, California
7. Fremont, California
8. San Diego, California
9. Washington, D.C.
10. San Jose, California

I would have thought a top gaming city would have horrible weather with long winters and unbearable urges to draw solar-blocking curtains and stay inside, but six of the top ten cities are in California where the sun is out most of the year and there are more things to do outside of the house per capita than anywhere else in America.  A dedicated gamer must not only be good at collecting copper and glow berries but also at resisting the urge to go outside and soak up nice weather on a sunny day.

And she probably has three daughters who regularly beat her at Mario Kart and laugh, and it's so much more memorable than a Food Network marathon.

If Texas opens a few more video game stores, increases internet speeds and options, and hosts more esports competitions, we could totally dominate the list in 2022.  The race is on.

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