For some, video games can be a solitary journey, a means of escapism from the real world, a way to check out from reality, spread their virtual wings and soar above the brutal truth that the world can often be an unpalatable place to exist in. And you know what, that’s fine — I can totally relate to that. Being able to just let go and enjoy yourself and entertain yourself is a particular skill set in itself.
Video games gift us with an experience that can be talked about and interpreted in our own individual way. This is a very special social aspect of video games that, in many ways, synergizes well with social media. We can share our experiences of video games, with like-minded people in real-life or through Facebook, Twitter et al and engage in meaningful discussions, dissect narrative details, or simply say if the experience was valuable or not.
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For me and many others, playing video games can be a very social, meaningful experience. It’s a way to share, to connect and bring like-minded people closer together. There’s a positive community that often gets buried within the negativity that stalks the comment sections, the forums and the general discourse within the video game industry, which is something that often drags our medium down. It’s easy to forget that video games do have the capacity to bring people together.
In many ways, video games and social media are unlikely cousins, cut from the same digital fabric that makes up our modern world. Personally, I feel that connecting through a video game is a more meaningful experience than connecting through social media, thanks to its artistic beauty and the more active participation and interaction that comes with the art of play. However, I don’t mean that as a slight towards social media. In essence, they’re two very different beasts, but you’d be surprised how similar they are when you really stop and think about it. It’s just a shame that video games get such a raw deal when put under the same microscope.