Online gaming and the social interactions that come with it have always been present since players could pick up a headset and chat to friends several miles away. It’s something that previously escaped me for years until I was drawn back into playing new online games with friends, either through co-op, competitive or easy-going multiplayer adventures. There are some great benefits to to it all, but most importantly, it’s a way to establish communication both within and outside of the gaming space.
We previously worked with World of Warships at rAge Expo 2022 and the results were pretty positive regarding its reception. However, the basic idea of chatting online has since evolved into something far greater, especially as we ease back into normality during the global pandemic. The pandemic was harsh on a lot of people as most were confined to staying indoors with worrying degrees of fear and uncertainty. While physically being there to socialise with friends and family wasn’t on the table, online socialising quickly took off, especially in the gaming world.
I never really considered myself anti-social but socialising was always awkward for me, especially in person. When the pandemic hit, I found myself indoors going through my backlog of games that I previously neglected. Among those titles were many online games that I could enjoy with friends. After a few nudges, I put on my headset and leaped into some co-op titles with friends that were just as exciting as being there on a couch with them.
Something that helped ease a lot of my anxiety, especially when it came to meeting new people online, was the veil of being detached physically from face-to-face interactions. This might sound like a negative, but it allowed me to express myself verbally and not feel anxious or worried at all about in-person stresses. As a result, I got to make some awesome online friends who I still game with today and have even met a couple of them since then.
Socialising online felt a bit more natural when conducted around gaming sessions. We got to bond over games that we mutually loved and could talk about and connect with, despite being from opposite sides of the country – sometimes the entire world. I guess that’s the great thing about gaming in general. It’s not just an entertaining way to pass the time, but a genuine way to connect with people in the online space.
It’s now so easy to flip your camera on and talk to people, be it on a laptop, computer or phone, but there’s a great sense of fellowship when it comes to online gaming. I’m the last person to say this since I’ve always enjoyed my single-player solo adventures, but being introduced to the online gaming world, I quickly found spaces where I felt a strong sense of community. There will always be elements of toxicity in any community, sure, but I always favoured coming back to the joyous parts of it all that made me laugh and feel happy in those moments.
Tying back into World of Warships, seeing the great response from fans at rAge there made me even more curious about taking on new online experiences. World of Warships was certainly one of those free-to-play options. It’s not something that I would usually play but I thought about giving it a shot and found that a number of my friends were already deep into it. Immediately, I didn’t have to worry about that awkwardness of finding new spaces and groups. Friends made the online transition much easier and to date, I’m still jumping into the game and playing in sessions, meeting new people and finding more memories to make.
That can applied to almost any online game where you personally feel a sense of belonging. You’ll sift through plenty until you find one that clicks with you and suddenly, it’s the thing you look forward to doing every day. Online gaming opens the door for social interactions in ways that allow you to express yourself and talk about something you love without being judged for it. It’s great to see so many people, gamers or not, gravitate towards those experiences because they are truly special when you find your place.