Stomp your gameface
Is Alex Jensen and his faculty mentor, Laura Walker’s report becoming increasingly irrelevant today?
The report, published in 2010, emphasises on how the quality of relationships with peers and parents was going down because of video games. Today, Gamers seem to be socialising more than ever through eSports.
Vaibhav Shah, a sales manager at Guitar Club, shares his story. He says, “I usually play with my friend Kiran and a few others. It is always more fun to play these online video games with the involvement of at least five people. And when we are playing, there is a possibility that there is a fifth person in the room whom we haven’t met, that person to me was Sebastian. After the game, we went down to grab a snack and began chatting. Ever since, we have remained close friends. This is when we play offline, with a few friends or at a cafe. But, I have a couple of friends who have met people not only from outside Bengaluru but places like Georgiana, NSW. They haven’t met in person but they talk a lot virtually through whatsapp or gaming messengers.”
There are many types of multiplayer online games with different genres and rules. One of the most common is Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. Games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Counter Strike and Fortnite are a few of the many games with a large player base that expands to over 100 million people.
Sharing his experience, Vikas Viru, a Dota enthusiast, says, “In a multiplayer online game, you are often paired with people from across the world or the city, depending on the nature of the game. Sometimes we really enjoy playing with certain people either because of the strategies they use or the level of competition. I use this as a cue to play with them again, and add them. We also have a whatsapp group with other gamers who enjoy gaming on a daily basis. We use it to stay in touch and discuss the tournaments that are coming up or new gaming strategies that we have come across. Some of the most common messages you can find here include ‘hey, I’m gonna play now, do you want to join?’”
The best Dota 2 teams in the world competed for millions of dollars in prize money from August 20-25, in Canada. The stadium was jam-packed with over 20,000 people.
Ashwin M Sundaram, a production engineer in Bogo, tells us about the various ways through which he has met new people because of gaming. “Pubstomping is one of the easiest ways through which I’ve met gamers; it is when a tournament is screened live in pubs and gamers who are interested in the said game head to the pub to be a part of the screening. Also, gaming is always double the fun when you are playing with a group of people. When we play in cafes or at a friend’s place, we tend to meet other people who play the same game. Over time, this relationship grows and we develop a bond. Now, we do so many more things other than gaming like going for a movie, grabbing a beer or just chilling.”
Most gamers do not give out their actual names; they prefer using a gaming name. As to how one can get in touch with these players, Allan Raj, a lecturer at Sheshadripuram College, explains, “Discord team is an app through which you can have free voice and text chats with gamers. You can find players that you have wanted to get in touch with and have conversations with them through this app.” He adds, “Having said that, socialisation through gaming does not restrict itself to interactions with strangers. There are people who I knew in College and even at work whom I have gotten to know better after playing with them. I never knew them outside the game but now we do share a close bond.”