Since the advent and increased adoption of the internet, online gaming has taken the world by storm. They’re currently one of the highest consumed entertainment media in the world being enjoyed by millions of people. Not only are they a source of entertainment, but they also help connect distant friends and families, or cultivate new bonds between strangers no matter where they reside. Studies have also shown that games in moderation can be a source of well-being for the players, and improve some cognitive abilities such as spatial detection, teamwork, communication, et cetera.
One of the earliest modern examples of fostering such in-game communities that can be thought of is via a popular MMO game, World of Warcraft. Its subscription-based payment model allows players to access a vast fantasy world full of adventurous quests, unique creatures, and scary monsters. The best part is, of course, the social aspect, as the game lets players socialize with each other in-game and go on journeys together. Players can also go on large-scale raids that require good strategies and proper communication to achieve success in defeating a legendary monster. Raids help each player feel valuable and like they’re contributing something, it provides them a means to show their sincere teamwork towards a common goal.
Growth in Modern Era
With better capabilities in the internet and improvement in networking technology, there has been a recent boom in another kind of online gaming dubbed “Esports”. More emphasis is put on collaborative effort and competitive spirit rather than storytelling and relaxation. It provides a platform for the players to hone and showcase their gaming skills to the world. Audiences get to cheer for their favourite players or teams making it a great spectator event. Games such as Fortnite and League of Legends have extremely large and vibrant esports communities. Not only are the games themselves played by millions of people, but professional esports events for multiplayer games such as these are also watched by people and fans around the world. It’s a celebration of gaming and community and being able to build on top of each other.
Online gaming presents countless means to form long-lasting, fun memories whether it be with friends or strangers like the example of World of Warcraft or Esport games. As online gaming usually tends to be self-directed, even introverts or others not too keen on socializing can gradually get out of their comfort zone and try something new all from the comfort of their homes. It helps build a sense of community and bring people together. It’s also a form of escapism for people who’re going through a rough phase in their lives or battling any other unpleasant circumstances. Having the ability to transfer oneself into a virtual world full of complex characters, heartfelt stories, snowy mountains, fascinating creatures, and intricately designed cities is an ability that is to be treasured. And doing it with loved ones leads to an even better experience that lasts for a long time in memory.