Saturday, August 13, 2011

Games are Typically Extremely Social in Nature

In fact, I would argue that games can create some of the most satisfying, encouraging, and constructive social experiences to be had. Put away the connotations of the shut-in playing computer games in a basement for their entire existence; instead, picture a high school football match or a midnight round of Settlers of Catan. These are the games that are coming to my mind when I think about games socially. Even video games, which, thanks to the predominance of single player experiences, have been seen as naturally anti-social (rightfully so), are starting to show their capability as an impressive social platform due in part to the rise of networked play.

I truly do believe that if one's task was to, as easily and non-awkwardly as possible, introduce several strangers to each other, that the best way to warm them up to engaging in social interaction with each other is through some sort of analog game (board game, sport, or folk game). The magic circle breaks pretensions and fears, allowing for the players to work towards a goal either with or against each other in a common universe of understanding.

While the conversational interaction found on an online multiplayer video game server leaves much to be desired for, it is soon to evolve in quality to someday match the depth of conversation found in reality. If computer AI technology slows in its growth, a multiplayer predominate industry, instead of a single player predominate industry, is a very possible, very real, and very bright future. The communities focused on competition and custom content found for many PC games such as Quake and TrackMania will become the norm. And while the audience who grew up on single player experiences of the past three decades will probably have a large resentment for the trend (as they already do now), they will have to realize that, with all of humanity in mind, they are a niche. Single player games will always exist, but soon they will no longer be as common and widespread as they are now.

No comments:

Post a Comment