Social Media and Gaming


“Gamers are loners.”, “Gaming is not social.”, “Everything was better in the past.”
In the old days, when kids went to the arcade, they went with friends. These days, kids lock themselves in their rooms alone with their gaming device. That isn’t social, or is it?

Sony and Microsoft don’t agree with these statements. Their latest products, respectively the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, have social media integrated. They blend the online and offline world. For example, when a friend finds a legendary item while playing ‘single player’, the position of this item appears on your single player map too.
While playing a videogame you can also stream your gameplay live. This way your friends can watch you play and via their headsets they can interact with you. There’s even the possibility to aid your friend while using your tablet or phone. (Hunt 2013)

You could say console gamers are finally catching up with PC gamers on the social aspect. Failbetter Games, for example, is pulling people in socially long before Sony and Microsoft did. Failbetter creates unique interactive stories, like Fallen London, “which could be best described as a sort of choose your own adventure story in which you play alongside Facebook and Twitter friends, asking them for help”. (Harper 2013)

Moreover, the crowd-funding website Kickstarter lets both big and small game developers fund their game ideas. This really changes the gaming industry, because fans spread the word themselves via Twitter instead of the developer marketing their games via traditional media. (Harper 2013)

There are countless communities where people spread their love for gaming. People interacting, collaborating and sharing. Building new relationships, maintaining them, even ending some.
It’s like people are all around you, but are they really? Is it the same as having a real person standing next to you, breathing? What is the difference? Do you think people are less social because of these changes in gaming that are supposed to make it more social?

References:
– Hunt, T. (2013) ‘5 Ways Video Game Companies are Leveraging Social Media’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via https://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/media-journalism/5-ways-video-game-companies-are-leveraging-social-media/.
– Harper, E. (2013) ‘Insiders Explain How Social Media and Video Games Are Merging’. Visited on 4 November 2015 via http://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-video-games/.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media and Gaming

  1. Very Interesting! I think the problem we have right now is that we don’t easily go out of the house for the social part. We stay inside because our platform for gaming an socialism is behind a tv or pc. I don’t think that is less physical then when you have a person next to you. The problem that can occur is that the gamers who stay home a lot because outside they can’t be social that they would not know what is happening in the outside world. Their interaction with people face to face can get weird. I think that if you want to be social you can combine these to, so being social online and in the physical world so that you people skills don’t go to waste.

  2. Contrary to popular believe, I think that gaming is a very social activity. The most popular video games are often multiplayer ones because people like interacting and competing against other people. The gaming industry as a whole is becoming more and more social every day. The examples you used of Xbox One and Playstation 4 are the proof of this, but even in pc and mobile gaming interaction is a key focus. Twitch.tv website is a social media website that allows people to stream their games and interact with others similar to what the consoles are developing. Mobile games often have options to invite and share your scores with other friends, and are often connected to Facebook or other social media websites. To reply to your final question, I think the changes in the gaming industry are making people more social. It is not exactly the same as having a friend next to you on the couch as this is a more personal experience but it is becoming more and more similar. People can see each other, talk to each other and play the same game so it basically exactly the same. Furthermore there is also the benefit that you do not have to be in the same place at the same time, making it more accessible and easy to socialize with your friends.

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