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The Social Aspect of Online Games


I might not be old enough to have experienced the camaraderie and bringing together of people Arcade games provided people in recreational centers as I’ve seen on Netflix’s Stranger Things TV show. However, I certainly remember having lots of friends hanging out in my dad’s living room during the days of PlayStation 1. Even upon getting to the university, the only way to share a game amongst friends without using one single PC or console was via a series of cables; those days were quite frustrating. One of the joys of playing video games stems from the fact that you share the experience with friends and thanks to the advent of technology, you can now play with anyone from anywhere across the globe.

As graphics and animations continue to improve in gaming, the way we play these games online also improves. These days you don’t even need to own a high-end gaming PC or console to play games and online casinos – . With the introduction of cloud gaming, thanks to Stadia and others, all you need is a smartphone or smart tv, fast internet, and you can play almost every game available against anyone in the world.

While these new avenues have caused controversy, due to some researchers citing the negative effects of online gaming, recent studies have shown online gaming provides a large number of positive effects on both gamers and society itself. Here are some of the social aspects of online gaming.

Positive Aspects

Building the Spirit of Perseverance

Video games might look easy on the eye but trust me, they can be quite tasking sometimes. Some of the games require deep thinking and a sheer amount of determination to complete. There’s a video on a YouTube page about the top ten most difficult video games; you only need to check out the comment section of that video to see how video games have built a level of perseverance in a host of gamers.

Some games leave you completely frustrated due to the level of difficulty, but the joy experienced from completing these difficult levels or challenges can’t be explained and builds this never-say-die attitude that could become a huge aspect of the life of these gamers.

Meeting new people and building networks of friends

If the Covid-19 global pandemic had taken place 20 years ago, maybe the social effect would have been more devastating. Because, thanks to the internet, meeting people online became more of a regular occurrence, and even gamers were not left out.

Even before the advent of the pandemic, not everyone has the confidence or opportunity to meet new people physically. However, the presence of online gaming has made such difficulties a thing of the past. Friends have been made, relationships have been built as not only do you get to meet new people with similar gaming interests, you also get to communicate with them while playing the game.

A survey of gamers in the United States in 2021 showed that 80% of gamers surveyed have either met new people, connected with people of similar interests as well as maintained communication with people thanks to online gaming. 67% of gamers in the survey also revealed that it is easier to find the right community or space they felt belonged to due to the presence of online gaming.

Problem-solving skills

As the saying goes, “practice becomes reflex”. One constant thing that can be found amongst online gamers is the ability to think on one’s feet and the ability to solve problems. Playing against someone who has the equal ability to think rather than the computer-programmed AI has helped a lot of people improve their decision-making skills in real life, which can be attributed to the quick decision-making abilities provided by online games.

Constantly playing online games involving quick thinking and problem solving is an easy way to develop a habit of solving challenges whether they appear in the game or real life.

Health benefits and character development

In 2021, the level of attention paid to mental health issues increased, and rightfully so, thanks to more awareness and less stigmatization. Studies conducted in the same year also showed several gamers battling mental health issues like anxiety disorder finding improvements in such ailments by playing video games.

Another social impact of online video games is character development. Video games allow players to take on different roles and characters to complete certain challenges or missions, giving gamers a chance to experience positive characters, good behavior, or negative characters a chance to understand why people do some things. I’m pretty sure I’ve imagined myself as a young, good Jedi so many times, thanks to Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.

Negative Aspects

While online gaming offers a lot of positive social impacts, there are negative aspects of it as well. For example, a host of gamers’ battle addiction appears due to the fake sense of reality created by constantly playing these games while totally ignoring other aspects of life. People with gaming addiction problems insist they’re in a better place; hence, the absence of physical and virtual interaction with other people can also lead to hours or days of isolation.

There’s also the issue of cyberbullying, which comes in handy to bullies who know the anonymity of online gaming provides them an avenue to exhibit such vile behavior. Some of the aggressive actions exhibited in some of these online games are also something to check out. Because the last thing we want is an underage child playing an above 18 video game while harboring intentions to act out the aggressive behaviors or actions carried out in the game. Trust me; there’s nothing cool about being a villain or attempting to shoot at someone in real life.

Some of the most cogent Negative Aspect of Online gaming includes:

  • Reduced Motivation
  • Social disconnection
  • Online bullying

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