Games and Socializing

Double Jump Kris MiiHello everyone, and happy Monday!

With last week’s posts detailing favorite multiplayer games and co-op modes, this post is dedicated to how video games contribute to our social needs (kind of like the Sims, ya know?).

Back in the day, being a gamer was on par with being a nerd who had no life. Gamers were those elusive folks who spent the majority, if not all, of their free time hanging out in their parents’ basement and pwning noobs in their favorite MMORPG.

That last sentence was painful to write.

Nowadays, not so much. Video games have become one of the top ways for people to socialize with WiFi always at the ready. In fact, we’re in such a digital age, that meeting others online — through dating sites or video games — is the second most popular way to meet others, just second to being introduced to others through mutual friends.

Despite all the misconception about gamers being anti-social, I think it’s funny how most video game companies have been trying to avert that for years. For instance, the reason why Pokemon started with both the Red and the Blue version was to force others to interact and trade those version-exclusive Pokemon with each other.

(Of course, we were/are such Pokemon fans that we got both versions anyway, but that’s besides the point.)

Video games are such a focal point in our daily lives in this digital age, especially with all the vast improvements to them — storylines, graphics, characters — that even those who don’t play games on a regular basis know about them. Mario and Call of Duty are well-known enough that those who haven’t picked up a controller know about them.

Those who create and produce video games are just as creative as those who work in the movie industry. Indeed, they’re pretty similar: script, camera and control work, voice acting, plot, it’s all there.

So, if going to the movies — where you sit in silence in a darkened room — is considered social, it makes sense that video games — where you’re shouting strategies and curses together while (usually) working toward a common goal — are social as well. Many of my favorite games have a co-op mode, and it’s awesome reaching for the same goal with Rachel or my friends, or even sabotaging them to make sure I’m the best.

How about you? Are video games a social thing for you, or do you prefer to play solo while getting away from the real world?

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