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The social impact of gaming: Fostering a sense of camaraderie behind the screen




Gaming’s popularity has increased massively in recent years – according to the most recent data, there are around 3.32 billion active video gamers globally, and the market’s total value is around $282 billion. If you’ve been following the trends, you likely know that gaming has evolved considerably, with technologies like generative AI and blockchain reshaping the industry. Blockchain is a disruptive technology that has been created for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin – simply put, this digital ledger enables the process of transactions recording after checking the latest bitcoin value and buying the token. However, this technology is more valuable than it seems, with its impact going beyond cryptocurrencies – gaming is also benefiting greatly from its excellent features. 

But besides the technologies that make them more appealing, there is another reason why games are so popular and timeless – they bring people together in a way that nothing else does, transcending boundaries. Researchers studied the impact of video games on fostering social connection, and the findings were impressive: spending time playing games can foster a strong sense of social identity, which is associated with higher self-esteem and lower levels of loneliness. Sharing an interest brings people together, creating a common ground where they can build lasting friendships – it is powerful and incredible. In this blog, we will explore gaming’s social side in detail, so keep reading. 

a woman holding a video game controller in her hand

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How gaming has evolved from a solitary activity into a social one

Gaming has had some humble beginnings, and it was mainly a solitary activity, with players sitting alone in their rooms and enjoying a game on their own. However, this is no longer true, as the rise of online gaming has made it possible to connect with other players from all parts of the world, resulting in the creation of gaming communities. 

Unfortunately, video games are still perceived negatively by some people who state that gamers are socially maladjusted loners. But this is only a stereotype—and it’s enough to look at the research to find out that, in reality, things are different. Video games are socially valuable—especially when it comes to geographically isolated people. In fact, experts state that game-rooted friendships are as genuine as offline ones, and it isn’t fair to discredit them only because they’re built through the screen. 

Through online gaming forums and social media groups, gamers can exchange tips and start a discussion about a game. They can share experiences and join forces to tackle challenging quests. The opportunities for collaboration that gaming offers promote teamwork, resulting in a more immersive gaming experience for players. 

A gaming community can be a valuable support system for gamers

Games are powerful when it comes to building connections—we’ve highlighted that already. But they play an even greater role, providing a safe space for players. Everyone needs a support system, as studies have shown that this provides better coping skills and considerably impacts one’s well-being. Fortunately, in gaming communities, players can find such a support system, as they are met with empathy and understanding by fellow gamers. 

In fact, research has shown that a gaming community offers an avenue for people to discuss their personal problems – even big ones like mental health issues. Many individuals around the world struggle with problems like depression, anxiety and so on, and unfortunately, due to the stigma associated with mental illness, they have a hard time opening up. For these people, gaming communities can be a lifeline when they don’t have any other person to reach out to. While gaming platforms are definitely not a substitute for professional help, they can indeed go a long way in providing the necessary support for individuals to better cope with their problems. Given this aspect, it’s clear that gaming is more than just an activity – it’s an excellent resource that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. 

Promoting diversity and inclusivity through gaming 

It’s remarkable how big of an impact gaming can have on people’s well-being, especially considering the stereotypes surrounding it. And the good news is that the list of benefits continues. Games can also foster inclusivity and diversity, as they bring together people from different cultures, backgrounds and identities, building an environment where everyone feels seen and valued. By encouraging acceptance and open dialogue, gaming communities can break stereotypes and enable meaningful conversations regarding pressing social issues.

In such a space, gamers can express themselves freely without being scared of judgment or discrimination. The increasing number of women-gamers evidences the inclusivity aspect – even if the ratio between male players and female players is still unbalanced, there is a notable shift in the industry when it comes to gender. Moreover, the gaming content is now more diverse than it used to be, with games having multiple character creator options. Players get the chance to customize their avatar in a way that allows them to stay true to themselves, which is essential for groups that are inadequately represented, like trans and non-binary communities. These games promote acceptance of differences between people, encouraging you to be yourself. So, instead of having to choose between a female or a male gender, you can choose to be whoever you want. 

Finally, games are now designed to be more accessible to people with disabilities, whether hearing, vision or motor skill impairments. They can change settings so that the game can accommodate their needs, promoting an inclusive space where a disability can’t limit someone from enjoying a game – in this new gaming space, everyone has equal rights. 

The bottom line

Gaming has evolved considerably since its humble beginnings, and there’s no doubt that it will continue to impress us in the future. It provides excellent benefits, and its social impact is one of the most significant, as it goes a long way in preventing loneliness and improving people’s moods and overall sense of happiness. 

In this new landscape, gamers are part of a community that represents a valuable space where they can share experiences beyond the ones within a game and find solace. This sense of belonging that exists in gaming communities contributes to positive social change while also significantly enhancing gameplay experiences. As the impact of gaming keeps growing, the role of gaming communities will likely get stronger and stronger, shaping how people interact and build friendships. 

Adam loves gaming and the latest Tech surrounding it, especially AI and Crypto Gaming are his fave topics

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