Social Interaction in Gaming

Some people might say that gaming and “social” networking nowadays are very anti-social. In some ways that is true but also false. After all, social media and online video games are supposed to promote social interaction right? But because we are “stuck” behind computer monitors, TV’s, and have a headset over our ears to talk to our online friends, that socializing connection feels very distant and not very sociable at all. Well, social media and gaming can be very interactive. First, people must realize there are times when you should have fun and there are times where you should be doing something else (going outside, hanging out with friends outside of an inside setting, etc).

Social networking in itself can promote various interactions. Some friends might plan an outing or a day to hang out on Twitter. Or a whole group on Facebook could plan a huge flash mob in a certain popular location. A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purpose of entertainment. The second part of these actions are the same: it requires people to come together and socialize. So actually, social media could be a very strong form of “assembling the troops” and interacting with one another.

Gaming is similar. Some people might be casual gamers (people who come online and only play for a short period of time then log out) but socialize with friends pretty regularly. Others might be more passionate about one game or a few games and could be limited on social interaction. These two groups of people are very similar though. All online gamers talk to one another to strategize a round of gameplay or a whole game. This promotes interaction by planning cooperatively to win an end goal. Some gamers might be adventurous enough to meet each other outside of games to get to know one another. All in all, the main idea is that social media and gaming can be very sociable but only if people allow it.

-John

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