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Not so Silent but Appreciated: Social Networks in Gaming.


As we come into the new year having just had a locked-down Christmas, for many of us, I’m sure many are seeking the comfort and enjoyment of a good gaming session. Many are probably enjoying these gaming sessions with gifts from the holidays. They offer a great release from a day to day reality that, especially at the moment, can be quite bleak. As well as allow us to connect with our friends at a time when we can’t physically see them. However, it is weird that when most of us think of gaming we pay little attention to the wondrous features that keep us connected online even though we use them constantly. What is a game of Call of Duty without listening to the obscene language pumped into the team chat at max volume, or my personal bane the music sharer; usually pumping in songs that can only be described as mind-numbing.


All gaming platforms from Xbox to Playstation, from desktop to handheld, offer a variety of services to connect us to both friends from school, work, or even those met through gaming. Increasingly as gaming tech advances games have their own built-in networks or chats to keep gamers connected as the game progresses. Even solo franchises such as Assassin’s Creed has features to share pictures. interesting stories, and tips. Yet we as gamers pay so little heed to the details of them and what they add to the game. 


                                                    


Even if games don’t have a built-in chat you can still connect through your console of choice’s network, or discord has been gaining more and more prominence in my life as a way to chat to a single friend or multiple at the same time. It isn’t even necessary that you are playing the same game to enjoy the conversation and atmosphere, as I have experienced through being in the same chat as friends playing League of Legends and Among Us, just to name a few, and alleviated the desire to socialise that many of us just can’t do in person due to the circumstances. 


                                                  


Ultimately despite the lack of attention gamers pay to the networking aspects of games when speaking about them I do feel that all gamers appreciate them, now more than ever. The BBC even mentioned that due to the socialising aspects of gaming online many of the younger generation brought up on games are surviving better in the pandemic thanks to the limited social interaction offered through gaming. 


The pandemic has undeniably changed life for the time being, maybe permanently, who knows, but for now, gaming offers those both experienced a new outlet through which to socialise and distract ourselves from the monotonous nature of lockdown life. I feel that it is only fair we raise a toast to the unsung heroes who first decided to add a chat to a game in thanks for keeping us sane for the time being. 


Peoples' favourite boardgames are also beginning to adapt thanks to COVID-19 so no one can escape the horrifying boardgames nights you leave either feeling like a king or a joker. There’s even twitch for those people who prefer watching gameplay to actually gaming, and that has a chat that updates so fast it is often hard to track.



Jack Glidewell 


A self-taught writer and news enthusiast, with a deep love for new and exciting developments around the globe. Aspiring Novel writer and traditional and pop Japanese culture lover. 


Not so Silent but Appreciated: Social Networks in Gaming. Reviewed by Jack Glidewell on Sunday, January 03, 2021 Rating: 5

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