Has Gaming Lost It's Social Foundation?


I've been a gamer for most of my life. I was five years old when I played my first console, an old Sega. And shortly after I was introduced to the Xbox. Then the 360, all the PlayStations, and now the Xbox One.

I suppose growing up in the internet age, I've always felt that everyone is connected. Just look at any trend, no matter where it starts, it'll be across your country and all the oceans before you can finish your next post.

Throughout the years gaming has had the same sort of social experience people get from Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site. It brought people together, but in a more personal way. You could share experiences in real time, in a way that didn't have the time-gap of a Facebook post or Twitter Tweet.

Not only was it a great way to connect with people you didn't live around, but it was a blast sitting on the couch, shouting at your buddy to shoot that Grunt in head and watch his brains explode in a puff of confetti. I can't even tell you the number of parties we had, with everyone sharing sitting around, passing the controller back and forth between deaths.

That was years ago though, and now I find it hard to actually find anyone to play with. Go into a game of Battlefield, and how many people use their microphone? The answer? None. Without the conversations starting between players, you never meet anyone new. An as for your hometown friends, or the people who grew up on your block? Well, chances are they moved on to other things like unexpected children, or are trying to balance a full time job and school. It's not that they don't love gaming still, but they just don't have the time they used to.

As for me? Well, college and a job take up a lot of my time. And I know how hard it is to come home after a day of working in the heat, drenched in sweat, and feeling that there aren't enough hours left. But have we all forgotten how much fun it was laughing with other people as you tried to beat that one level on the hardest difficulty? Or smashing a rival team because of great communication?

What ever happened to plugging in your mike and trying something new? Has ridicule and bullying become so rampant that people are scared to talk? Are we at the point where a social experience has effectively become unsocial? With upcoming games like Ubisoft's "Tom Clancy's: The Division" and Bungie's "Destiny"; and "Titanfall" having already dropped, that focus more on the multiplayer side of gaming, will we start to see a rise in players joining up?

Or is everyone just going to sit on their couch in silence?

I'm interested to know if others feel the same way I do. Feel free to leave your opinion, as well as answer the poll provided. Thank you all in advance!

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