How gaming platforms have become the new social media
Gaming formats have evolved at a significant pace over the years. Currently, they reach beyond the usual gameplay and have become all the more immersive and engaging. Owing to the industry dynamics, the gaming platforms are undergoing various changes and have transformed into communities as huge as social networks where billions of players log in every day and every minute – not just to play but to also interact with their friends, express themselves, share knowledge and their feelings, and foster connections with new people.
Gaming platforms are gradually treading on the path of social media. With their socially engaging and connectivity features, they have upscaled the gaming industry and are emerging to be the new social media platforms.
Various factors have contributed significantly to transform gaming formats into social spaces. Here’s a glimpse at some of the broader reasons:
Socially immersive and interactive gameplays
The developers have taken the gaming formats to the next level and are focused on creating gameplays that offer opportunities for social interactions such as real-time text chat, voice and video chats, co-op tasks or guild mechanics – to make the gaming experience all the more interactive, connected, engaging, and immersive for players.
These features enable them to build connections with other players across the globe while indulging in their favourite game.
Young generation preferring self-expression
Be it the millennials or the Gen-Z, the young generation, on the whole, is inclined towards using those apps that enable them to build, edit, and modify the virtual environment. The applications that can help them imagine possibilities in a virtual setting in the truest sense gather their attention and interest.
Additionally, the user-generated content is real and is gaining prominence.
The digital persona enables gamers to express their true selves within the community, be it purchasing their favourite skin, or any virtual assets to customise their in-game avatar, thereby making the gaming experience all the more expressive and interactive.
Rise of multiplayer games
Multiplayer games are increasingly preferred and are becoming popular due to the strong community connection and social interactivity, giving the players new ways to connect with others who are strangers at first but soon develop special bonds.
With this ability to build new social connections while playing, players have been able to find love interests, life partners, or even new connections. It is this shared experience that gives the players a sense of belonging while they play, strengthening their ties as communities, and making gaming platforms an appealing social hub.
The shift towards sharing virtual experiences
In 2020, mobile gaming witnessed unprecedented growth, primarily because many players found new social connections while being in isolation. The pandemic-induced lockdown made people comprehend the importance of gaming and that it can be a source of social interactions and camaraderie too.
It stepped in as a social lifeline in the age of social distancing and provided a platform for the players to connect with others anytime anywhere.
People who were not playing games earlier started relying heavily on gaming as a new connection outlet in the virtual space. As a result, gaming became a popular social channel during these unprecedented times of solitude.
Live game streaming
Now that the games are streamed live as well, players have got an opportunity to display their gaming skills while interacting with the audience who is watching the stream.
Live game streaming has also made gaming a high-end social experience. This helps to foster a sense of community amongst gaming enthusiasts and leads to the formation of micro-communities within player groups.
Additionally, this allows for a connected and engaging gaming experience along with quick and instant social communications of the gamers with the viewers.
Edited by Kanishk Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)