Game On: How Gaming Fosters Social Interaction and Connection

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Game On: How Gaming Fosters Social Interaction and Connection

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“A game is the complete exploration of freedom within a restrictive environment.” – Vineet Raj Kapoor. For many, video games have been more than just an escape or recreational pastime; they offer the opportunity to connect with others and build relationships. Take Tyler and Tanner for example, two individuals dealing with disabilities who used video games to socialize with others and make new friends online. Beyond this type of connectivity though, gaming can also provide numerous social benefits, such as improved communication skills, increased team-building abilities, and enhanced cognitive functioning.

How Gaming Helped Tyler and Tanner to Socialize with Their Friends and Family 

For Tyler Baker and Tanner Hunter, the power of gaming helped them to socialize in ways they never imagined. Esrb.org highlights that Tyler is living with open spina bifida and uses a specially adapted Xbox Elite controller in order to play his favorite video games. Not only does this give him an opportunity to socialize online with friends he’s made through gaming, but it also helps him build his coordination skills and cognitive abilities. Similarly, for Steven Hunter’s son Tanner – who had been paralyzed from the neck down due to a wrestling accident – adaptive technologies have enabled him not just to play games again but to do so alongside his two younger brothers. This way, all three siblings remain close as best friends with their shared passion for gaming without any physical disability getting in their way. It’s one more reminder that through gaming, wonderful things can be achieved, especially new opportunities for socialization.

How Gaming Strengthens Social Ties

To begin with, playing multiplayer video games encourages trust-building behavior among players as they work together toward mutual success. While not creating “real-world” connections between gamers per se, these experiences enhance social skills, such as communicating with teammates, along with cognitive functions like problem solving abilities. To back this up, a study conducted by Isabela Granic, Adam Lobel, and Rutger C. M. E. Engels of the Radboud University discovered that engaging in video gaming, including shooter games could enhance children’s knowledge, well-being and social aptitude. Moreover, video games provide an escape from judgemental situations found ‘in real life,’ thus giving players a place where they feel comfortable enough to develop an identity and experiment with new personality traits. 

Gaining recognition through achievement is also key when it comes to forming eSport teams, thereby creating virtual gladiators out of average Joe’s– vastly expanding one’s social circle. Rachel Kowert’s book Video Games and Well-Being looks at the psychological benefits associated with gaming culture in further detail. It includes academic research, which explored World of Warcraft players using the game to expand their social networks and those who found evidence connecting higher levels of offline social support to greater “social capital” in their own gaming networks. Builtin (a career building site) reveals that 66% of gamers use video games to relieve pressure, while 37% cited feeling more intelligent after playing problem-solving titles like puzzle or

The power of online games in fostering positive connections among players has become increasingly apparent — with a range of people being able to benefit both socially and mentally by taking part in these digital worlds. Whether you are looking for new ways to stay connected with your family or want to make new friends, doing so in these virtual worlds may be just what you need.


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Author: Firdaus

I work as an IT consultant in the Toronto area and I love to write blogs about a variety of subjects. My passion for writing stems from the desire that everyone should have access to meaningful information. Whether it is a blog about society, culture, technology, or social media, I don’t want to miss the opportunity of sharing my thoughts with my friends and audience. Since I believe in mutual exchange of ideas, I am always on the lookout for a feedback on my writings.

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