How Video Games Can Change Your Life… Socially

By LoL Smurfs

Opinion

How Video Games Can Change Your Life… Socially

Games nowadays are big business with hundreds of millions being spent on the development and marketing of games. But have you ever thought about how video games can improve your social life?

This might sound a bit strange as most people think of kids playing alone in their room, but it’s not all as it seems. Here’s why.

The Rise of Multiplayer Games

Many years ago a lot of video games used to be limited to single player modes only. This meant many gamers would sit alone in their room playing games. Of course there were some multiplayer games available but you’d have to travel to the arcade and pay a pretty penny to have go.

Nowadays thanks to the advancements in technology and the internet almost all games include multiplayer features that allow players to play and communicate with other people online. This has brought a whole new dimension to games as people can actually social without leaving their house. Many games have built in text and voice chat so as long as you have a microphone you can talk to your other teammates just like you would on a phone with a friend.

Not only does this help with playing the game itself, but it also helps players socialise with each other.

This is great for anyone that suffers from any social anxiety, depression or autism. Many of these individuals have trouble communicating face to face with other people and can often be confined to their rooms. But thanks to video games anybody can socialise from the comfort of their home and not feel alone.

Clans, Groups and Guilds

A lot of popular games now have huge online followings and communities to go with them. Most video games will likely have some kind of online discussion forum where members can ask questions about the game and other members will reply. This is a great way to make online friends you would have never made offline.

It’s even possible to join social teams or groups within games if you enjoy playing the game so much. Many game titles such as Eve Online, World of Warcraft and Counter Strike: Global Offensive have social groups which anyone can join and become a part of. Most commonly called clans or guilds depending on the game, these groups meet regularly to play the game.

In the game World of Warcraft some quests and objectives require a team of 20+ people and is impossible to do on your own. This is where these social groups come in useful. Players come together with an objective in mind and help each other to achieve it. Whether it’s killing a high level enemy, defeating the enemy team or just exploring the online virtual world these groups are a great way to meet new friends whilst playing the game.

Pokémon Go

If you’ve been keeping up with the news recently you will have probably heard of Pokémon Go, the new game available on mobile devices that is taking the world by storm. Available in many different countries this game is bringing players from all walks of life together.

The aim of the game is to track and catch Pokémon in your area while stopping off at Pokéstops to collect items for your character. As you can imagine this involves a lot of walking around outside and meeting other players playing the game.

There are many stories online of other players meeting each other in the street. These seemingly random strangers have all been brought together due to their love of Pokémon and gaming. Many people have reported making new friendships from playing the game and even go on Pokémon hunts together.

Although Pokémon Go is fairly new it’s already spawned a new genre for social video games. These type of games focus on getting people out and about and interacting with each other. There are already plans for new updates of the game which will allow players to duel each other, adding another level of social interaction to the game.

Comic-Con

Comic-con is a social event that brings together gamers, comic readers and movie lovers. These events encourage people to dress up as their favourite video game, comic book or movie characters.

Many of these events also have special guests such as TV and movie stars, comic book writers, and voice actors. These events have grown in size and popularity over the years as originally it was seen as a “geeky” or “nerdy” thing to attend but now people can’t get enough of these events.

These social gatherings are a great way for gamers and individuals to come together and discuss things they have in common.

Although we’ve just scraped the surface on how video games can help improve your social life there are plenty of other benefits you can get from video games. Some of these include increased focus, attention and intellectual ability. But we’ll save all those for another time!

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