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Breaking News: Video games are social by Rafiki 01/19/2022, 11:01pm PST
WaPo wrote:

Microsoft bought Activision because gaming is the new social media
Games aren’t just where kids go to unwind anymore. They’re where kids go to hang out.


But it’s not just the number of users that matters. It’s how they’re using those games. Increasingly, games such as “Fortnite,” “Roblox” and “World of Warcraft” serve not just as places to complete quests and shoot bad guys but places to hang out. “Fortnite” hosts massive live concerts attended by millions; “Roblox” invites you to build your own games and experiences and invite your friends; “Warcraft” was a pioneer in encouraging players to make friends, chat and work together in guilds.

These three are not outliers. They’re just some of the better-established examples of a trend that is fast becoming the norm. These days, teens are as likely to hang out on Discord or Xbox Live playing video games together as they are to interact on Instagram or Snapchat. Kids who aren’t old enough for a Facebook or Instagram account can socialize on Roblox, which is played by nearly 50 million people per day, most of them young.

That convergence of gaming and socializing [emphasis mine] is part of what has tech CEOs and investors frothing about “the metaverse,” a buzzword cribbed from sci-fi that is being marketed as the next generation of the Internet.


In the most starry-eyed vision of the metaverse, it will be a limitless, always-on digital realm in which we will someday lead full second lives, accessible from any Internet-connected device or platform, carrying with us our avatars, digital goods and cryptocurrencies wherever we go. But that’s a very long way off. Microsoft dropping $69 billion on Activision to counter Facebook suggests that the near future of the metaverse will be something less grandiose: an extension of today’s corporate platform wars in which the largest companies vie to expand their empires of attention and data by conquering swaths of the fast-growing gaming and remote-work sectors.

As futuristic as “the metaverse” might sound, these moves make more straightforward sense simply as a bet on gaming as an ever-growing part of what people do online. Or viewed another way, it’s a bet that socializing and working on the Internet will increasingly take place in apps that look more like games than stand-alone chats or feeds.

50 years later and people still are only just getting it. Video games are a social activity, they always were, dating all the way back to the arcades of the 70s. Kids would go to the arcade with their friends and play games together, and watch each other play, etc. The 70s were before my time, but the same thing was still going on when the arcades were still big in the 80s and into the 90s. Whenever I could bum quarters from my mom, I'd be right at the arcade playing games with my friends. If I was dragged to the mall by myself I'd play games until inevitably random strangers would walk up and pop a quarter to jump in. BOOM! Instant chatter and co-op play.

Home consoles were no different. Going over to each others houses every day after school, on the weekends, playing Nintendo. Then Super Nintendo and Genesis. Then Playstation and N64, and on. Two players passing controllers around, and then 4-player party games. How many dorm rooms jammed out on Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and Mario Party? Even single player games were (and still are) a social event. We'd be sitting at the lunch table talking about who beat what boss in what game none of us could beat, and who's a dirty lying sack of shit because no you didn't beat Ninja Gaiden. That game's impossible. Fuck you, you lie! YUH-HUH.

Then the internet and PC gaming ushered in online gaming. Chat windows built right into games so you could talk to people - I'm sorry, talk shit to people. Clans were created! Guilds were started! Internet forums and websites spun up, whole communities created where people sit around every day talking about and thinking about and jerking it about games! For 20 years! Whoah, hey, kids are hanging out in Discord?? They were hanging out in Ventrilo in 2004. They were hanging out in IRC. People trading ICQ numbers, AIM handles, cell phone numbers to coordinate login times. Twitch streamers playing games and shooting the shit with followers. Live-streamed charity events with live audiences, live chats! Annual gaming competitions!

And people writing articles like this is some new paradigm. World of Warcraft was a pioneer in encouraging people to make friends to chat and play games with.
The convergence of gaming and socializing happened all the way back in 1972. The only thing that's changed is the size of the population that plays games and the technology that has come in and out of fashion that people have been using to communicate.

Which also brings me to why I quoted all the stupid shit about the metaverse. It's the future! Where gaming and socialization converge!

[Playstation Home] launched as an open beta on December 11, 2008. Home remained as a perpetual beta until its closure on March 31, 2015.

Yeah, that already happened too, and it sucked. Double-clicking a channel on Discord and immediately being able to start talking to people while doing anything else I want to in the background (even in real life if it's open on your phone): GOOD. Putting on goon goggles and loading up some cumbersome 3D world and jog jog jog jog jogging across the land for 5 minutes to find the person I want to talk to so we can discuss what game we want to play before we log out, hop into Discord, and start up the game: BAD. Second Life only survived because of the number of people that wanted to RP in a three-dicked fursuit without the smell.
Breaking News: Video games are social by Rafiki 01/19/2022, 11:01pm PST
    You're looking at it wrong. by blackwater 01/20/2022, 1:31pm PST
    Re: Breaking News: Video games are social by Roop 01/20/2022, 8:28pm PST
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