The Social Benefits of Online Gaming Communities
by GameTree Team • December 20, 2018
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.