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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Digitization of the world

The average time we spend online is 96 minutes a day and 11.3 hours a week. We cannot imagine a world without Internet anymore. I remember the time that my parents bought their first computer. It was huge and made lots of noise, but we had a computer!  In the past few years a digital revolution has taken place and since this revolution we cannot imagine a world without internet, computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and web-shops anymore.

Nowadays everything happens online and you can do everything online. Even the lectures are streamed online and tests are taken online. Is it someone’s birthday? Just send him or her a message on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter or send a postcard via Hallmark or Greetz. No need to go outside anymore.

Earlier you could make a kid the happiest kid in the world if you would just give him or her a marble ball, a jumping rope or a coloring page. Nowadays they only settle for iPads and  smartphones. And when the battery of our smartphone dies we feel disconnected with the world. We cannot live without Internet anymore.Image

But don’t you think we exaggerate? Are we really not able to live without Internet, smartphones etc. anymore? I actually think it is nonsense and we should really just put away our smartphones for some time and spend some quality time together.

During my last holiday abroad we only had Wifi at the reception. At first I was like ‘oh my gosh no Wifi at the apartment?!’ But then I actually enjoyed it. No internet for a week! What a rest! It was just me and my family and no one else. And we had a great time.

What do you think? Are we becoming too dependent on our smartphones and Internet, or should we continue living the way we do and digitize more further?

Can You live without internet and your smartphone?