There are many reasons we play games. Some people play games to escape from a mundane and stressful world. They want to say goodbye to their small corner of the Earth and enter an entirely new world where they can dominate, explore, and achieve. Other people play games to improve their skills or cognition, for example, brain games or strategy games. And lastly, people play games to meet new people. Let's take a look at how games can enrich your social life.
How Games Help With Social Anxiety
With the COVID-19 pandemic, millions more people than ever before have taken their communication online. Hanging out in person became hanging out over Zoom. However, one thing became clear to many people. Zoom calls can be awkward! They can be uncomfortable even with the people you're closest to. Why? Because you're typically just staring at each other and taking it in turns to speak. There's often no real reason to be on the call, and keeping the conversation going can feel painful. For people with social anxiety, hanging out with friends over Zoom can be a nightmare. And hanging out with strangers? No thanks!
Gamers don't tend to experience this same awkwardness, and it's not because gamers don't experience social anxiety. So why is it sometimes easier to chat with a stranger online while playing a game than talk on Zoom with friends or family? Because when you're playing a game, you're always busy completing a specific activity. You and the people you're playing with have a shared goal. Uniting with other players and working towards something has a way of breaking down those social barriers and getting the conversation going. In between completing activities in-game, you start to talk about other stuff.
A defining feature of social anxiety is the fear of social situations because of fear of judgment or humiliation. If you have this fear, then you're less likely to engage in social activities than someone who doesn't have social anxiety. However, many people find games to help overcome this fear.
MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Path of Exile, and others, allow and encourage players to come together to achieve. For example, in World of Warcraft, you can't get the highest rewards at the endgame without cooperating with other players. If you want to raid in Classic WoW, you'll need appropriate gear, WoW Gold for consumables, and up to 40 friends to take down the boss!
The fear of judgment isn't as strong when playing MMORPGs, but why? Because you and the other players you come across already have two things in common - a love for the game and a desire to succeed.
Meeting New People
You can enrich your social life by meeting a broader spectrum of people, and games are excellent for this. You can meet people from all over your country, continent, or even the other side of the world. You can learn about their experiences and share yours, and it makes for interesting conversations. Gaming is a unique way of interacting with others because you can potentially spend all night talking to someone on the other side of the world without intending to. There is no forcing relationships to happen; they just happen.
Some games are better for meeting new people than others, and it largely comes down to the type of game and the community. For example, Counter-Strike Global Offensive has a reputation for being somewhat toxic. If you're someone who struggles to talk to new people and doesn't like fast-paced banter, then CSGO might not be for you. However, there are other options. Rocket League is known for having a friendly community, and it's extremely popular and free! It's also easy to make friends on World of Warcraft, and particularly the Classic version where there are no cross-realm servers. In Classic WoW, each server is its own little community, and you can even find servers that match your playstyle. For example, you can opt for a roleplay server, PvP server, PvE server. If you look around a little, you can find servers with significant populations from a particular country. For example, there's no specific Swedish server, but there are servers that Swedes gravitate to. If you're looking to get your hands on the specific game that might have a price tag on it, you should check out Gamecamp, where you can find all the retailers available for the specific game and choose the best deal for your liking.
The Serious Stuff!
Sometimes we meet people while playing games who go on to play a massive role in our lives. If you're an avid gamer, then you probably know someone who has met their best friends while playing games. You might even know someone who has met their spouse or partner from a game.