What is your first thought when you hear the phrase ‘online gaming’? We bet you instantly think of first-person shooter games and eye-pleasing graphics, but our thoughts take a totally different direction to enter the sociological realm.
Well, the idea is that online gaming has become a social lifeline. Video games don’t just attract players – they generate entire communities of likeminded individuals. Online games have a genuine ability to help people socialize, regardless of the language or the country of origin.
Millions of gamers prove this point every day, but it’s not enough to simply conclude that gaming is the driver of social connections. On the contrary, we need to delve deeper into the subject and explain key factors that make video games an anchor of digital socialization.
What do reports say about it?
Before we begin analyzing the subject, let us introduce you to the latest reports and findings related to online gaming. According to the report published by Statista, there are over 2.7 billion gamers in the world today.
In other words, two-thirds of the global population take part in online video games at least to a certain extent. Of course, we are focusing mainly on regular gamers who spend at least an hour playing their favorite games every day.
The same principle applies to digital casinos and online gambling platforms. Gamblers who search for the best casino bonuses at UK Gamblizard are prone to sharing news and updates about the latest offers and bonuses, thus creating a whole community of dedicated players. In such circumstances, it’s not a surprise to see so many gambling and video gaming communities on the Internet where people can make friends and have some quality time with individuals who share the same feelings and interests.
Top things that make socialization a side effect of gaming
Video gaming obviously has a tremendous social impact on most players, but how is that possible? We can name at least seven different aspects of this phenomenon.
- Gamers make a massive community
We already mentioned that gamers make a huge community, which is the main prerequisite for turning something into a global phenomenon. For example, rough estimations suggest that over 125 million people play Minecraft alone.
In such circumstances, it is completely natural to see dedicated players making connections with their team members and peers from all over the world. They all share the same interest in the game and that gives gamers enough fruitful ground to break the ice and establish stronger relationships.
- Video chatting
The game itself is always an interesting feat, but video chatting makes gaming an even more pleasurable event. It represents a major milestone in terms of socialization because now almost every game enables players to chat and discuss their matches and actions live.
The situation is different is you look at other online platforms. For instance, if you join a casino with a minimum deposit 3 pound, you will immerse yourself in the game so quickly that you will hardly find time to socialize through the platform. Online gaming is different because it encourages socialization through video chat and many other communication features.
- Gaming helps socialize during the lockdown
Most people believe that video games lead to isolation and depression, but things have taken a different turn since early 2020. The coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay home and avoid face-to-face meetings, which is why video games have become paramount for young individuals.
Instead of spending entire days in the quarantine doing nothing in particular, gamers can have fun with their friends and socialize in the digital realm. To put it simply, video games help you socialize while self-isolating.
- Gaming promotes teamwork
This can hardly come as a surprise to anyone, but we need to mention that gaming strongly encourages teamwork. Massive multiplayer online games usually gather five-member teams that work together in order to achieve a common goal.
The result of this process is clear – gamers cannot act independently because the only way to complete the mission successfully is to cooperate with other members of the group. Teamwork is crucial in video gaming and it has a strong impact on the overall socialization of players.
- Gaming leads to offline relationships
Many studies are trying to prove – many with great success – that online gaming leads to offline connections and friendships. In one such study, results show that being similar in terms of identifying as a gamer at the later part, but not the start, of the school year makes a friendship 1.5 times more likely. It is only a minor example of how online gaming has become a social lifeline, but the fact remains that video games contribute to offline relationships more often than not.
- Real-world gaming events are also important socialization-wise
Although the pandemic slowed down the gaming industry in terms of offline events, we can still claim that traditional gatherings give many players a chance to interact with their peers and establish face-to-face connections.
Gaming events and conventions gather tens of thousands of participants every year, with some of the largest events being the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Game Developers Conference, Casual Connect USA, and Penny Arcade Expo.
- Gaming gives players a sense of belonging
Every human being wants to feel acknowledged and appreciated by a larger group. The situation is not different with gamers who are also looking for external support and appreciation. Video gaming helps with this, too, because it gives players a sense of belonging to a wider community, which in turn improves their psychological well-being.
The bottom line
Video gaming is not just the thing you do for fun – it is an entire movement that boosts socialization and helps people to establish precious connections with their peers from all over the world. In some cases, it can even climb to a higher level and lead to offline friendships and relationships. We identified seven factors that make online gamins such a powerful driver of socialization, but you are free to share your opinion in the comment section and let us know what you think about this exciting subject.
Chris Bell is an online gamer and a casino-related blogger at Gamblizard. He follows the latest games and writes extensive reviews about popular gaming trends. Besides working, Chris loves reading books and drinking beer with his real-world friends.