Hello Kids and Cadets, Lexxx here. It’s been awhile since I submitted anything. Largely because I’ve been sick, and I’ve had the worst writers block I have ever had in my life.
I’ve been thinking about all of you – Trying to put one word in front of the other, but the last few things I’ve written, I have ended up trashing because they looked to me like “I wright gud.” I am hoping this is a bit better. For this article I have my friend Kaine, and the Youtuber Musical Anti Hero here to help me – Discussing the Social Aspects of gaming. Why they are so important, why they are detrimental and why games and consoles are becoming increasingly MORE social to survive.
If MatPat from YouTube’s Game Theory is to be believed, the social aspect of gaming is one of the three main reasons gamers play games. We all want to feel a sense of belonging to a greater community (MMORPG), PWN some N00Bs with a 360 No-Scope or kick back with our buds and blow up some Skags with our Jacobs (multiplayer). Every time we switch on the game and party down with our friends, we engage ourselves and each other in the social aspect of gaming, ranging from pwning that scout, to commenting about how badly your buddy failed when he rolled that Warthog into the sticky grenade.
For some people in the gaming community (believe it or not), social interactions aren’t easy in the ‘real world.’ Neo certainly can’t take talking to people face to face, s’why he jacks himself into the Matrix. However, when the face-to-face portion of the interaction is removed (sometimes even the voice too) interaction over text becomes far easier for people to manage. Unless you play Call of Duty on Xbox Live. Then you’ll end up crying at a ten year old’s feet either way.
While social interactions can be a bit scary, there are some nasty people all around, the risk is well worth the reward. For some of us, friends come as easily as we breathe, but for others a great deal of trust is needed to allow someone into your life, even if its just for one match of team Deathmatch. When I first started playing MMO’s like World of Warcraft I was so terrified of people in that game that I played for six months without going into a single dungeon because I thought that I would mess up and the whole group would hate me. Now I have wonderful friends like these knuckleheads and I couldn’t be happier. Taking that step from wandering alone in the woods, to getting a party together and having an adventure is huge, but friends make everything so much better, especially gaming.
To be honest, social interactions are hard no matter where you go or what you do. For the vast majority of us – myself included – we are kind of awful at just socializing in general (maybe I really am only speaking for myself here but I HIGHLY dislike it most days). My main experience with this is World of Warcraft. Now I know there are many other games out there. A lot of them have social aspects to them. Console games are now adding social aspects too, but I will talk about interactions from a PC standpoint. I play MMORPG’s. I not only play them – I run a guild in one where the main focus is roleplay. Yes, I am THAT kind of nerd, and yes, I do ERP (and no, I’m not telling you what server I’m on). With all that said, I love it. I’ve made some of my best friends on this game. I play this game with the love of my life and I enjoy it. So does he (Yes, I am in a heterosexual relationship. A man stole my heart. No, that doesn’t make me suddenly straight or less into beautiful women folk). The point being- I love to meet people in the game. It adds dimension. It makes the world – my world – a more colorful place. Demands for tit pics and all.
~ All Images Link Away From NSFWGamer.com ~
However, games are not a substitute for reality social situations. Sure, downing Garrosh with your Lvl 585 Disc Priest on Heroic in SoO is a real accomplishment (especially with nine or twenty four of your closest friends/enemies/tanks), but it doesn’t help give you real life experience. There is no substitute for a group of friends shooting the breeze, or the loving touch of a man/woman/Pandaren/xenomorph. While we keep friends over the online social intergasm we need to keep friends in the real world. Where there’s trees…. and stuff.
While yes having friends in and out of game is important, don’t give your heart to just anybody. There are some people in this world who would love nothing more than to take your heart, yank it out, show it to you, and toss it away. People who lead you to do terrible shit just to remain your friend, its a fucked up sad but true thing that can happen. I’ve been betrayed, lied to, used and abuse, but I still hold out hope to make more friends. Whether they are chilling at your house, shootin the shit, or on Call of Duty shooting each other and laughing about it, friends are something special. Worth having, but they suck to lose, it hurts and sometimes it feels like the pain won’t stop. But you cannot be so afraid to get hurt that you stay alone forever, its a rough world, Earth, Azeroth, or Sera. Good friends are hard to come by, but they are worth the effort to get.
I guess the moral of the story is this. For a socially awkward woman like me, games are a FANTASTIC outlet for meeting new folks and making new friends. It can ease the pressure of social situations that anti social people often feel in public. However, balance is important. We all need to get out of the house and remember that the kind of interaction you have online is NOT normal for real life. Have fun out there darlings.
You get an extra treat this week. Commentary from Kaine, the MusiAH and Lexxx on this subject. Consider it a Gamergasm extra. I love you all.
See you next mission space cowboy,
– Lexxx ~ Bio