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How online MMORPG games help to make virtual friends

Updated: Mar 26

We all are thinking right now about how to socialise without going outside. While this new situation of the Corona Pandemic was new to many of us and is still partial, there are thousands of people who are making lasting and deep connections from home. These people do this through the world of online games, such as MMORPG games. This is also true for those who feel the need for a social connection beyond the occasional Skype or Zoom call. Generally, there are also large communities for these types of games, which means you don't need pre-existing friends to get started and play. In MMORPG games, you always come into contact with other players, which can quickly create a friendship. Innovations in game design and platforms have significantly improved the possibilities for interaction and socialising while playing.



Making friends and social contacts

Gamers socialise with others online, creating a sense of community and well-being. Most gamers rate the socialisation aspects very highly. They are among the main motivations for gaming, especially when it comes to "massively multiplayer online games". These games have a large number of players, typically from hundreds to thousands, interacting and playing on the same server - like" World of Warcraft" and "Runescape". Our mobile game "A Wizards World", also offers this possibility and one advantage of this is that you can play it anywhere and do not have to rely on a computer or laptop. You can easily find friends while playing on your mobile phone.

Over the last three decades, gaming has become increasingly social and many players develop good friendships with the people they meet online. This includes, for example, any tournaments in games. The chat, which is integrated into the vast majority of games, is now an essential part of the online experience and also contributes to a personalised experience in tournaments, for example. Thus, a social contact and even a friendship can develop and this, as simple as it sounds, through an online community.



Studies on the development of friendship through online games

According to the latest gaming industry statistics, 65% of adults play video games across different types of hardware - 60% on phones, 52% on a PC and 49% on a console. What may be surprising is that the gender split among gamers is narrowing - 46% are female (average age 34) and 54% are male (average age 32). One of the key findings is that 63% of gamers play with others and that many gamers receive social support from the gaming communities they are in. Other research has shown that there seems to be no difference in general friendships between gamers and non-gamers, and that the more time you spend gaming, the more likely you are to make friends online (Source: Visual Capitalist/Washington Post (2020).


Since communication is also possible through voice chat, you can play any game using apps like Discord, TeamSpeak, Zoom, Skype or other apps that are popular ways to create groups and communities for any kind of interest. Many gamers use the free voice app Discord to talk to each other while playing online together.


Common goal strengthens friendship


Video games have become a very social form of entertainment where teams and players cooperate to achieve a common goal. Video games are increasingly played on social networking sites such as Steam or Epic Games, for example, which encourages online gameplay and interaction.


Over 70% of gamers play with a friend by playing against each other or working cooperatively in a team - also called multiplayer games. Games like "World of Warcraft" or our game "A Wizards World" open up virtual worlds and communities that go far beyond the computer screen. Playing video games in teams with other players can enhance your social development if done in moderation.



Socialising and developing social skills through online games

Gamers have the opportunity to connect with local gamers or join people from countries around the world. This has created a fun and engaging way to connect with other people, which can also serve as an important teaching tool for developing social skills, as well as helping people learn languages such as English. Video games can help develop cooperation skills and supportive skills, as players have the opportunity to form alliances and create cooperative teams. Many video games often lead to better outcomes when players work together and encourage players to socialise. Video games also offer players the opportunity to take a leadership position, which requires greater social networking skills and teamwork to keep other players happy.


These skills are important in the outside world for making and maintaining friendships, especially at school and in the workplace. There is also evidence that video games can be a safe place for introverts to experiment with social interactions. Video games and other chat rooms are "safe" for these individuals because they allow them to communicate when they want, with little or no pressure to respond immediately and without having to be in the same physical space with others. Successful conversations require a variety of skills that many take for granted, such as reading body language, understanding tone of voice, maintaining eye contact, and quickly grasping and responding to information. Online video games can provide all of this. With them, the player is enabled to converse with others and make friends at their current skill level, even if they are emotionally or physically unable to leave their home. This can help build the skills and confidence needed to try it in the real world.


Children who play video games have higher life satisfaction and show more social behaviour than non-players. However, this effect only occurs in children who play less than one hour a day. If they play more (less than three hours a day), there are no longer any positive effects, and if they play a lot (more than three hours a day), negative effects predominate instead: declining life satisfaction and lower prosocial behaviour than in non-players. This could be due to the fact that other enriching activities are omitted from the children's everyday life because of the long video game time. Furthermore, it is also conceivable that children with lower life satisfaction are more attracted to video games. This can just as well be applied to adults; as we know, the dose makes the poison and a healthy frame can bring many positive qualities.



Conclusion

So going online and connecting with hundreds and thousands of people in the gaming community could be seen as another way to make friends and socialise. So it is not only fun, but also an opportunity for social development.


Let us know your experiences and stories in the comment section below.

A man vlogging while playing a video game
Video game vlogger

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