Video games and esports are often linked with isolation and loneliness, but they likely serve the opposite purpose. In modern times, gaming has brought people closer, nurturing friendship in the online world.
Technology has developed in a way that we no longer need to be in the same room with people to play computer games together. You would think it automatically means social isolation, but gaming works in a miraculous way. Even though people are physically in different spaces, they still feel connected while being in the game.
Escapism during the global health crisis
The best illustration of gaming connecting people is the rise of its popularity during the health crisis. Most of the global population had to spend weeks and months without leaving their homes, keeping their distance from friends and family. Frustration grew from not having opportunities to make new connections or from falling into a repeated routine at home with loved ones. And that’s where competitive games in all their shapes and forms came to the rescue.
Because it was extremely easy to play together in collaborative games like CSGO, Apex Legends, or Dota 2, gaming became one of the most popular social activities during the pandemic. People formed teams with friends or could resort to random matchmaking. Voice chats and emotes helped communicate with each other, and skins or other avatar customizations were a simple way of self-expression. Gaming has proved itself to be a social arena, a place to find new connections or to rekindle existing friendships.
Collaborative spirit and esports
Competition bears great significance in communication through gaming. It propels teamwork and cooperation, singles out leaders, and creates viewership and following from the crowds. You see where we’re going with this? This is exactly what esports is about.
Just like in football or hockey, esports is a series of competitions that aims to find the best teams in each gaming discipline around the world. And just like in football or hockey, teams would not be able to succeed in esports without great communication between players.
Gaming lounges as a social forum
Remember LAN centers that were super popular among teenage boys in the 2000s? Well, they are making an impressive comeback these days. A lot of them managed to survive the pandemic, even though most gaming centers were put out of business for months. Granted, they managed to stay afloat due to the quick business decisions of their owners, but also because of the support of their loyal customers.
LAN centers of the past have evolved into futuristic neon-lit public spaces that offer professional gaming equipment to the public. They purchase licenses of the latest, most demanding games and run on automated gaming center software, making the customer experience for gamers exciting and comfortable. They arrange tournaments, championship leagues, and competitions, rewarding the best players with free gaming time or great gaming hardware.
But what’s more important, modern LAN centers try to make gaming inclusive for all. Most of them are now branding themselves as a safe space for any gaming enthusiast, not only teenage boys of the old days. That’s why quite often, we can stumble upon ladies’ night or vintage game nights there – those kinds of events and activities that might be appealing to a wide audience regardless of gender, occupation, or age. Gaming lounges serve as a social mixer this way, connecting people and forging friendships between those who wouldn’t have met otherwise.