When many people think about gamers, they jump to awkward, pale kids sitting in dark rooms. And, let’s be honest; we’ve all adhered to that stereotype at some stage. Sometimes, you just gotta shut out the world and beat on computer-generated baddies.
In a general sense, though, modern gaming is making significant ripples in this idea of gamers as loners. It is, of course, still possible to block the world out (sometimes literally) when you stick on a game, but that’s no longer the only option. In fact, the gaming world is fast becoming one of the most social.
We understand that this may seem like an unlikely reality. Trust us; it surprised us gamers, too. But, gaming really can bring out the social side in anyone these days, and we’re going to consider the changes that have made it happen.
The rise of online gaming
Online gaming is big business at the moment, with big-brand games like Fallout focusing on 100% online releases. That’s big news, and it’s perhaps the most significant social gaming change. To consider just how much so, consider that an astounding 36 million gamers now have Playstation Plus 12 months subscriptions. And, guess what? They’re all socialising with each other! That’s right; live gaming options like these are all about teamwork and communication. Gamers can talk with and work with players across the world. Far from just hurling abuse at each other (though there’s plenty of that too), this is a fantastic way to develop social skills without going anywhere.
Multi-choice games for social conscience
Interactions on games used to be pre-programmed and simplistic. In these cases, social skills didn’t exactly come into the playing experience. Now, though, multi-choice response games like Skyrim have totally changed that fact. Nowadays, players can’t just sit back and let those unrealistic socialisations happen. Instead, these games require active social input. The selection for inherently ‘bad’ and ‘good’ answers also has a major impact. Even when players select the worst options, they understand that they’re doing so. For young players and even some of us diehard gaming lovers, this can be as good as any real-life social lesson.
Gaming events are growing
Lastly, it’s worth considering the growing popularity of wide-scale gaming events. Esports events can attract people from across the world, while even gaming conventions attract millions each year. And, guess what? These events tend to pretty social. It may surprise some people, but us gamers actually talk when we get together. If we hit upon a shared love for a niche game, you’ll struggle to even get a word in. And, as events like these gain momentum, less and less of us experience gaming us an isolated activity.
We may still have a long way to go until the world genuinely sees gamers as social butterflies. Still, a look at the changes of the last ten years shows that we’re definitely moving in the right direction to do away with the awkward stereotype once and for all.