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The Social Benefits of Online Gaming Communities

Forget the stereotype of the lonely teen gamer in his parents’ basement, playing alone for 12 hours a day. Enter the modern gamer – connected to gaming communities through an array of digital social tools built right into the system, with people who share the same passions. Evident by the breadth of research on the topic of game-based social interactions, plenty of health sciences and information technology experts almost always point to a Psychological Sense of Community (PSOC) that’s present in both old and new forms of gaming. While some of the earliest social studies on gaming tend to zero in on how games can intensify loneliness and anti-social personality traits, even the experts can no longer ignore how gaming can foster fellowship and genuine social interaction.

Level Skip points to a joint survey by Pew Research Center and the MacArthur Foundation on the cooperative nature of console games. Two-thirds of the young gamers they surveyed said that they play video games as a way to socialize with friends and family face-to-face, including the opportunity to discuss game strategies for either competitive or cooperative play – ultimately a way to improve young people’s conversation skills. And indeed, just like any social activity, games are a great excuse to interact with other humans over a shared interest, regardless of age, race, or background. Today, the connected technologies that are available to modern gamers create even more opportunities for such interactions.
This is actually what GameTree is all about. Whether you’re trying to find the best strategies for PUBG Battle Royale, looking for the best RPG or action games on mobile, or want to be the best Dungeon Master you can be, we’re the online social network you’re looking for. This is where you can get smart recommendations on which games to try out next – both by the algorithm and fellow gamers – covering over 200,000 games for consoles, PCs, mobile, or tabletop – yes, including board games. The goal is to get you playing the games that can offer you the best experiences based on your personal goals and preferences – through engaging with a live and evolving gaming community who shares your passions.
Even in the highly competitive world of Esports, the social benefits of online gaming communities are highly apparent. Apart from providing both young and old gamers plenty of opportunities to earn a paycheck via their skill in a popular game, the burgeoning communities around Esports allow even more people to participate in the joy of healthy competition. Nick Murphy’s Esports guide on Ladbrokes sheds some light into just how large this community has become, with tens of thousands of players competing in tournaments worldwide. In the US, there are over 9,500 registered professional players, while it’s 2,685 in China, 2,579 in Korea, and 2,479 in Germany. There are a lot fewer pros in the UK, but almost every Premier League soccer club now has its own professional Esports player, connecting the UK’s most coveted soccer players to a new breed of digital fans. Meanwhile, the popular game streaming site Twitch now boasts 299 million viewers, with expert estimates saying that the number could balloon to 427 million worldwide by 2019, thanks to Esports.

Gaming has come a long way from its dark, dank, Mountain Dew-addled days on the stained couch in your parents’ old basement. Today, that basement has been remodeled into a sleek, air-conditioned, and connected game room. In it, players share strategies and insights face-to-face, stream League of Legends or Fortnite Battle Royale and check on the current stats of their favorite Esports athlete from overseas. They’re also reading reviews of the next games on their GameTree recommendations and creating and developing a digitally connected community of like-minded individuals in the comfort of their own homes.

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Personality Psychology and RPGs: Interview with GeekPsychology

Recently we’ve had an incredible experience talking to Matt from GeekPsychology, a YouTube channel where he is combining gaming and personality psychology in an interesting way for years already while living in Japan.

We’ve used this time to ask Matt about how he got to where he is and keeps developing the projects he’s working on, including his YouTube channel, a book, that’s going to help beginners in psychology and a game made to be suitable for the real world.

He says, that knowing your type and other’s people type gives you permission to be yourself, embrace who you are, and grow as a personality. For Matt himself, the journey into psychology has given motivations, freedom to be who he really is, and open up to new possibilities. One of his brightest achievements is a framework comparing types to races, classes, and monsters in games (RPG’s in his case). It actually changes the way how one thinks, perceives, sees the world.

Matt is comparing life to a questing raid, with obstacles, trials and bosses – and that’s where personality psychology really shines. Not everybody is the same “class” as you, and it goes a long way to bring together other people’s skills and use those to help yourself and others. The point is, that only through specializing, putting all your “points” and effort into one field a person can achieve success.

As well as that, Matt is working on a game, that’s going to take those classes and bring them to a tangled world with decision making, changes, and evolving them. He believes, that his game is going to be great for anyone trying to explore himself, because it gives real-life lessons, that hold incredible value.

You are welcome to watch our latest video and join us for some awesome time with GeekPsychology!

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How newly introduced Dota 2 heroes affect matchmaking

     Of course, everyone likes some new content to their favorite games. However, sometimes it can be frustrating even while being super well-created. How does it happen?

A couple of days ago Valve announced the fact that is going to bring two new heroes to Dota 2 with The Dueling Fates update, and while everyone is going to try and play them in a competitive environment, some negative consequences are inevitable.

     The day a new hero comes out every Dota player is excited to use him in battle, and ones that fail to do so will be incredibly upset and demoralized. Moreover, any player using brand new heroes will be blamed for each and every mistake they make, ruining the game experience for others. Further down the line, Dota’s “hero ban” system does not provide 100% chance to avoid select heroes, so this is going to happen in the majority of matches after patch launch.



To be honest, Valve is definitely unable to deal with this case. Toxic players are and will be existing in the community, so each and every one of us, players, has to deal with the issue himself. It is hard to remain calm during such cases, but if your entire team consists of select players, that are going to go soft on such events – you are set and done to try out new heroes and have fun.

     And it’s not only Dota that has such issues – most competitive games share them. However, free-to-play games are more prone to having team conflicts based on such scenario, because, let’s say, Rainbow Six Siege and League of Legends have a system where a player needs to pay to acquire new characters, and further the game is balanced around it. Moreover, it can still bring negative experience to the gameplay and team creation is far more important during these periods of time.

     Luckily, anyone can avoid this situation by using GameTree app to connect and assemble a team of people that share your interests and views!

Have fun and good luck!

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Our First Hackathon

GameTree Team

At the end of September, our team assembled in person for a hackathon. Our goal was to plan out the product development strategy, brainstorm marketing activities, and conduct research on the correlation between gaming preferences and MBTI personality types.

Even though we live across five cities cities, all ten of us managed to arrive on less then 24 hour notice. Everyone was really excited to finally meet up and work in the same place. We were warmly welcomed by our CEO in his apartment, which became temporary headquarters for the hackathon.

GameTree Team Hackathon Meeting

 

Work was going really well since it was much easier to share details regarding each person’s work progress or issues that they had at certain parts. We also managed to brainstorm some great ideas and analyze the data we collected for our field-testing of the product. Department heads did their best to monitor our activities and provide help when it was required. Thanks to their experience and advice, our performance was very efficient. It was also nice to see how eager everyone was while working. It was clear that each person really wants this project to succeed.The overall atmosphere was really pleasant and friendly. It was really easy to break the ice during our first conversations since we shared a lot of interests, one of which is obviously our passion for games.

GameTree Team Hackathon plays Merchant sAnd Marauders table top game

 

Speaking of that, as a team-building exercise, John introduced us to a great board game called “Merchants & Marauders”, where each player took a role of either a law-abiding trader or an infamous pirate. The game provided enough competition and challenge to get everyone excited up until the end. Aside from playing games, we also visited a couple of parties together, though working on the next day was slightly harder.

GameTree Hackathon Team Building event

 

Overall, it was an exciting and interactive event, which helped us get great results and new ideas for our product’s development. And when it was time to leave, everyone hoped that very soon we will be able to meet up again.