A lot of gamers would describe themselves as introverted. Some people think that being introverted means that you don’t enjoy company or that you don’t want to have any friends because you prefer to spend time on your own, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The difference between introverts and extroverts is actually just that introverts also need their alone time to relax and to recharge, while extroverts relax better in the company of others. When socializing is exhausting, it’s sometimes hard to force yourself to get out and meet people – but luckily, gaming is a hobby that’s much more sociable than a lot of people think. Here’s why…
Gaming can encourage socializing. Researchers have found that players of multiplayer online games were encouraged to socialize with each other thanks to their gaming hobby – gaming didn’t take away from socializing but rather it was something that was done simultaneously as people chatted online at the same time. If you’re a gamer, chances are you’re pretty clued in about what conventions are coming up, about anything from Star Wars to anime. Not only are conventions fun and informative but they’re also an opportunity for people to socialize, to be creative – generally, to be their best selves and to share that with other people who understand.
You can find romance online. Meeting potential partners through apps and on dating sites is how many people do dating these days. Going up to people in bars and clubs isn’t really the done thing as much, meaning that people relying on old methods to meet boyfriends and girlfriends may be missing out. But if you’re used to communicating via screen, you’re much more likely to be able to strike up a good conversation on Tinder or through another app, meaning that you’re more likely to form a solid, long-lasting relationship. It’s also been discovered that a number of people have found love through MMORGs – what you choose to do with your character is often indicative of what you’re like in ‘real life’, meaning that the people you’re playing with are seeing the ‘real you’ even if you’re hidden behind an avatar.
There are plenty of games that are designed to bring people closer together. This summer, Pokémon Go encouraged people to leave their computers behind and take their phones outside, and friendships were formed as people hunted for Pikachu and shared Pokémon Go tricks in their local parks. Minecraft is also a common hobby and has captured a generation of children. It’s something that a lot of elementary school boys in particular enjoy that builds friendships between them, and it’s also a game that greatly benefits kids with autism as it’s something that they find a lot easier to understand than other forms of social interaction.
Sharing common interests brings people closer together. A lot of friendships are built through online communities. Some might argue that it’s easy to misrepresent yourself online or to build yourself up as someone you aren’t, and although that’s true, you can also build sincere and long-lasting friendships and relationships after you meet online because you game together or you’re a fan of the same band or TV show. Gaming isn’t just a way to socialize – it’s a way to build relationships with like-minded people who you might not otherwise have met.