Reality Check - Could Gaming Level-up your Social Life?

Reality Check delves into some new scientific research which confirms gaming can supplement and even improve your social life!

Discussion

56 comments
Wensea10
Wensea10

I highly agree with that, playing video games is one of the most enjoyable ways to bond with people.

godoubledizzle
godoubledizzle

You should do an episode on Psy-Ops The Mindgate Conspiracy and telekinesis and stuff like that. I think that would be fun.


jonny_dutch
jonny_dutch

Um, that study is a piece of shit. If they're finding 100% of their sample at social events like LAN parties and pub nights, they're obviously going to conclude that gamers are all sociable. I'm a very sociable guy, but like most gamers, my gaming habit is mostly anti-social.

I would say that at least from experience, most 1hr+ a day gamers are reclusive, the sociable gamer you meet at Loading Bar is a rare breed.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I love a good LAN party. I don't like to think I'm anti-social, I just think I'm terrible at small talk.

Thanks for another great episode, Cam. It's nice to know society hasn't written us all off as social-lepers, even if it is full of self-important morons. ;oP

loafofgame
loafofgame

I don't know. I feel the image certain groups might have of gamers has less to do with not being social than with not adhering to how 'social' is generally defined by these groups. I consider myself a social person, but I only have a few close friends, since I don't mind being on my own and I prefer to focus on building lasting and meaningful friendships. I feel I am an open, considerate and respectful person towards people in general. And yet, I get the feeling some people label me as not social, since I have very few casual friends and I don't go out much. Not that the same applies to gamers in general, but I think there's a difference between actual social behaviour and what people value in social behaviour.

MotokoHutt
MotokoHutt

I actually rarely socialize with people online in gaming, I tend to find that even when I am "on the same team" as people that I ether get negative reactions or people (usually guys) trying to unwantedly flirt with me.

however even though I am an avid gamer I don't have any problems at all socializing with people offline when I want to, I do find though that I keep my gaming life & offline life quite detached though because of this social feedback I get from people online, to be honest I wish that I did have some friends that actually played games who I could LAN etc with but it seems that the fun has slipped past me lol

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

Cam, I greatly enjoy this series as it's refreshing to see gaming-related info that draws on actual science and research. 

I tire of the "my 'console' is bigger than yours" articles and appreciate a well-written and researched segment.

Spybreak
Spybreak

Like I said when this study was reported by gaming news sites, this isn't a big enough pool. It depends on the genre chosen and of course MMOs are going to show more social trends because that's the point of MMOs and LAN parties. It's like the equivalent of studying athletes and then looking just at golf players.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

This study is equal to any kind of gaming stidy be it poker or DnD. All games that is not single player requires associating with others of like mind. Be it casual, hardcore or in between. We all share a love for the same thing like car fans at car shows and what not. I live in a dead end town and I would love to hang with gamers. I am sure if I met some at a convention I could hook up with some to go gaming with easily. As it is I am probably a 'loner' classed because my town is so damn small I have to which I can even speak about games without eyes rolling.

perphektxero
perphektxero

Not all gamers are anti-social basement dwellers, but they are out there.  I hate to see this become an excuse not to socialize with others outside of video games, because not everyone can talk about video games all day. 

 Although, since online gaming, it has opened up new opportunities, regularly talking to other people from around the world, connecting us.  That I think is amazing, something I didn't exactly grow up with.


Its all up to the individual, not a group.



SphinxDemon
SphinxDemon

Its funny reading some of the stories on here, because you wouldn't expect people to actually use games as a social medium. I myself have my own good friends from high school to game with, but unexpectedly found some good ones in a pre-guild leading up to a FFXIVs release. Known them for almost a year now and we check up on each other. I would have never thought to find good people through the love of games!

Anywho I would encourage people, if too timid or nervous to be social in public, to at least brush their social skills in gaming. It doesnt hurt to try!

GunEye
GunEye

The internet has transformed today's people into such un-social animals it's downright disheartening and disgusting.

Whether you are an average MMO or online shooter player, a hardcore gamer, or someone who simply sits around facebook and twitter all day: people simply stopped being a social.

You will find it incredibly hard to make real new friends, since the majority of people will sum up their friendship and communication by a message in whatsapp, a like in facebook, or a few words exchanged in the 15 minutes break between classes.


I have experienced this in person so many times in recent years, it's just ridiculous:

I recently started an evening IT course in a small class. 3 of us students hooked up together and we usually spend the breaks chatting. However, when I tried to talk them into going out to hang out together, or invite someone to my place: one of them said: "well maybe, message me in whatsapp sometime".

That was so absurd I didn't know whether to laugh or feel sad lol.

I also was studying in the University and was in good contact with a few guys there in totally different courses and subjects. Unfortunally this year I couldn't sign into my 2nd year for personal reasons. Well not surprising: non of the guys I considered as collegues - people whom I met every day, bothered to call or even contact me online to check up on me.

Don't get me wrong, I am not devastated or shocked by this, its just disheartening that our society became so obnoxiously closed and apathetic.

And I know others who feel the same as myself.


People simply don't hang out as much as they used to, they are not inclined to visit friends or invite friends to their homes. They barely have the mental will to make new friends or see friends. It's a new level of selfishness.


I don't think gamers are anti-social people, I just think that online remote and rare communication is not enough.

How many times have you seen you casual online "friend" checking up on you? or inviting you to do something outside of gaming?


Fortunately for me, I play Ice and Inline hockey, and I think sports, no matter the age differences, especially team sports: is a great platform to stay social and friendly.

Still - the communication usually ends up there - thanks to the internet  - in fact instead of using the internet and mobile communication to stay social - people use it to stay away.

pitbull0123
pitbull0123

Enjoyed this episode. I have a nice active social life because I put equal time into offline and online interaction. It's like life in general, the key is balance.


That being said I struggle to find good, mature online players who I can game with. So that being said would anyone like to game with me sometime?


Steam - oliverc12345

PSN - ragingwolf92 (don't ask)


Thanks :)

carloravelli
carloravelli

Gaming doesn't level up your social life, being social does. 

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

LAN parties, guild meet ups and internet cafes are easy to establish a social life because its a common interest and you feel comfortable around them. in my opinion, this was not new to me.


I thought this was going to be about how gaming is building confidence in other social life situations outside of the gaming community as in, entering a social environment that has nothing to do with gaming. for instance, socializing with your buddies college friends you've never met or interacting with classmates etc.


now, I will agree that there may be ppl out there that are very closed off and socializing with guild mates can potentially give them the courage to step out of their comfort zone and meet there guild mates and potentially establish a new friendship.

DoogyDonDoogy
DoogyDonDoogy

So mesa game to get friends? Be my friend will you Cammy Cam? :D

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

I was very social when I gamed on PC. A great game, dedicated servers, and a healthy online community makes everyone want to play together and establish friendships. Console games with their match making shinanigans makes it tougher to be social, also no keyboard.

Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

im a loner, people actually like me and  i don't have any problems making friends at all. but they just bore me, i'm the one that ends up rejecting society and not the other way around, i try to socialize but people just pisses me off. its weird, my dad was like that also. am i sociopath? >.>

Grey_Eyed_Elf
Grey_Eyed_Elf

Science?... :D


Sorry to be rude but a UNIVERSITY experiment is not science especially when comes down to essentially a bunch or surveys that are probably answered by other students.


New's flash!... Gaming is accepted in universities and can improve your social life if you actively want it to while at university or if you are in your late teen's or early twenties.


Once you leave college or university and your in your late twenties or older... Gaming won't level up a f***ing thing.

kankermohhol
kankermohhol

I have played games for over 9 years and now i am 21 years old, im fat, i am a virgin, i have never had a girlfriend or a close friend. The last time i had a friend was over 4 years ago when i was in school. I dont really see how gaming improved my social life. I try to go outside and make some acquintances, to get friends, but people always giving me a wild look and dont even want to talk to me. I am so sad that everyday i think of suicide. Anybody has the same, i wonder?

meedokicky
meedokicky

Well I actually am a loner irl, I do have friends and close friends, but I find myself very different from them.

However gaming did help me make friends online, friends who understand me a lot better.


I can say though gaming helped me improve my English and my art, which both help me communicate better irl :P

Talis12
Talis12

A few years ago i joined a COD4 clan because i always played on the same server, which was theirs. More people joined as time went by. Some of which were Dutch, like me. After the clan was broken up we kept playing together. After a year or 2 we organized a few lan parties at our houses. We got to know each other better while having lots of fun. After that we went to each others birthday parties, helped each other move and last year we even went to Mexico together for our holidays with our families. We're not just online buddies anymore, we're friends.


Gamers are conceived as anti-social because they sit behind a screen and talk into a microphone. People forget that there's other people on the other side of the line. Is a phonecall not social? Besides, we dont just interact with our friends, but also with strangers. How many strangers do you talk to on the street? Gamers anti-social? I think not..

cboye18
cboye18

I started gaming for actually the opposite reason, to have the time for myself without people bothering or interacting with me while taking a break from reality. As more and more games are going online and wanting you to play more with others while becoming realistic, games I want to play are becoming more difficult to find. 

Ailurusf
Ailurusf

@jonny_dutch  Not sure about it being a piece of shit, but your critique is spot-on. Their sample was already biased.

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

@GunEye  It is true that remote message has allowed people to become more reclusive and less caring about in-person social interaction, but the study showed (I think) that the non-social shut-ins are not most made up of gamers.  People who invest in their digital communities can form lasting relationships, but people who sit on the sidelines will not grow socially, just as it has always been.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@kitmeep  This is "social science" don't worry most scientists hate social science as well. 

Unless it is grounded in the physical the amount of actual useful data that can come out of it starts to become shaky. Ever heard something in a magazine about how a certain diet can help this ailment or help you lose fat from just your abdomen? That is because diet is the most wishy washy and least understood area of science ever because it is practiced by everyone not just scientists. 

Food is easy to understand but Biology isn't. So magazines might say crap like you have to drink X litres of water a day but in fact it is complete crap.

Social science is the same idea. A small group of people tested might yield one result and another group might yield another result all together. The conclusion is that the results are largely unrepeatable and the reliability ends up in the toilet. 

I'll stick to making stuff in the lab personally. At least then you can test if your experiment worked in a reliable way.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@kitmeep  

Maybe you don't really have any interest in science beyond how much it can amuse you in the first place. :/

alonfire
alonfire

@Zidaneski  yeah i kinda get what you are saying but nowadays people use mic to speak with the community

bilbosmynturtle
bilbosmynturtle

@kankermohhol  If you think people don't like you then screw them. People who can judge someone without even getting to know them are not worth your time. I have had issues socializing. I am still a kid but I have always been shy. My social skills used to be pretty bad i would supposedly "hug the wall" when i felt awkward. But I just had to step out of my comfort zone and talk to people. Now some of those people are my best friends. Now this is probably totally different from your situation and I am just a kid. But what people say or think about you does not define who you are. Its not easy to socialize but I guarantee there are people just like you.

lonewolf315
lonewolf315

@kankermohhol  Just keep trying, man. Someday you'll find someone that isn't as judgemental and is weird enough like you that you both seem normal to each other. Your life has barely begun at 21. Every serious relationship I've had and every friend I've made that I'm still friends with now happened after 21. Just keep trying to talk to people. The easiest way to learn to be social is to be social. And I say this as an anti-social person that is almost completely lacking in social skills.


Whatever you do don't give up. If you're fat and don't like that you're fat then look into doing some exercise to lose weight. If you're fat and you're comfortable with that then don't bother. Be who you want to be and screw everyone else if they can't handle how awesome you are. Clearly they aren't worth your time.

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

@kankermohhol Did the friendship end because school was over? Look them up to ask how're they doing. 

Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

@meedokicky  im reading my own story right there. even the english and Art part lol XD guess i'm not the only one eh?

ParanoidPaal
ParanoidPaal

@Talis12  That's awesome! I've met several people via internet forums (well not in person), but we are all very close friends, and I even send birthday and Christmas presents to two of them. It's a special connection, not just "some stranger on the internet". I'm also in a clan, and I've actually met one of the members. Sure he was twice my age, but he was an amazing dude, and we're even having a big meet up this summer (the clan had one last summer as well). It's a wondrous age...and it's very exciting that we are some of the first to experience this type of connection first hand.

GunEye
GunEye

@amdreallyfast @GunEye and yet most hardcore gamers consider single player the way to go. Of course that doesn't mean too much. Many MP games are involved playing for hours with random players not knowing their real names or backgrounds.


I really love the discussion and social activity here on Gamespot. I kind of wish that Gamespot would change their site into some kind of Gaming Social Network - and allow better connection between users - such as group chats and stuff.


Might sounds silly to you, but the "follow" on gamespot isn't as good as "friends" in steam or something, and it would have been nice if Gamespot would help keeping online social connections.


Anyway, I agree with what you said. What can we do huh? perhaps in the US it's different, but I play my games with people from across the globe. I live in Israel, and I don't do gaming with people from my country. So I can't really hang out with them.

Gamers aside: "reclusive" is the word I was looking for to describe our lousy new society.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Dannystaples14 

Indeed, you would stick to experiments in labs.

(Little wonder why there is a stereotype for lab workers too.)

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Gelugon_baat @kitmeep  Social Science is not science. Science is reliable and ultimately repeatable. Social science normally ends up yielding a different result every time an experiment is conducted. Basically you need to test the entire population of the planet simultaneously to even have a chance of understanding it in full and that is impossible to do.

To put that in perspective at my University there are three buildings for the core sciences. Biology, Chemistry, Physics. Each of them is at least six floors and several basement levels. Chocked full of expensive equipment and chemicals that would likely cause permanent disfigurement and lasers that would definitely cause burns.

The social science block is smaller than any one of the single science buildings and has a tiny fraction of the budget. Not because it isn't worthy but because it doesn't yield the results.

Talis12
Talis12

@ParanoidPaal Our clan consisted of peoples age ranging from 16 to 50+. Im still in contact with a lot of people ive met during gaming and forums, The only problem is that most of them live in other countries and you cant just visit them on the weekends. We keep in thouch on Steam, Ventrilo and Facebook but whenever one of us visits anothers country we still meet up. One of our clan members is from Sweden and did a Europe tour, when he came to Holland i showed him and his buddy around Amsterdam and he crashed on my couch for the weekend to save some money. 

Meet-ups and lan parties are awesome ways to connect and make new friends. Make the connection you have with them even stronger. Definitely meet up with them on the summer ParanoidPaal, only good can come out of it.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Dannystaples14  

Yet there is one block for the social science field in your university anyway, despite your assertion.

Also, it does not "yield the results" because it is ill-understood - just like biology, chemistry and physics were when they were still nascent.

Perhaps you have too much disdain for social science.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

@Dannystaples14 @Gelugon_baat@kitmeepLol. Reminds me of what Sheldon thinks of Geology. Sosiology is interesting though -the reasons why masses behave the way they do- and the theory of memes being a form of virus.

Dragerdeifrit
Dragerdeifrit

@meedokicky @Dragerdeifrit  concept art for animation/games, i specialize on character design, i also do 3D modeling on maya/zbrush, basically i do everything related to characters, even a bit of rigging but not really my cup of tea lol XD  btw sry for the late response