Social media is one of the most popular pastimes of the current day with so much of the public even using it as their primary source of news and information. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook now present the opportunity to search for information, read or watch it, and to share it with other ‘followers’ making that information go ‘viral.’ Another of the most popular pastimes is, of course, gaming, and this is something that is using the Internet – and subsequently social media – more and more by the day.
In many respects, the two are actually taking advantage of what each other has to offer. A lot of games developers are now encouraging users to log-in to the game using their social networking accounts, allowing them to submit their scores to Facebook or Twitter – like the Vegas strip tease game – and you can then encourage your friends and followers to log-on themselves and try to beat you, or to ask for help or to play against each other, depending on the game. It makes for fun but competitive gameplay and also helps to expand the reach of the game.
Gaming of old was given a bit of a stereotype, with many perceiving that ‘gamers’ were mostly teenage males sitting in their bedrooms playing games on a console or using sophisticated software only appearing now and again for meal times and school. However, thanks to the Internet and social media, gamers are now taking on a whole new style.
Gamers can now interact with other players by using live chat features on the site that will allow them to communicate just like in a chat room, sending instant messages to each other to talk about the game and how to complete certain tasks or levels which can help them to improve their overall skills and get beyond that tricky level that they’ve been on for weeks!
You now also get the chance to connect your consoles to the Internet, meaning that you can now download the very latest content to your machine, including demo versions of the game and updates, and play against people all over the world. For instance, the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live mean that gamers can play against other users, and even communicate with them.
You can play with headsets on for games such as the Call of Duty series meaning that you can shout instructions to other people playing the game with you – whether they’re your friends from school or work or people on the other side of the globe – so you can all achieve your goal of finishing the game or specific level, giving ‘coaching’ along the way if necessary.
The Internet and social media have, therefore, influenced the modern game in a whole new way to other influences. You can communicate with other players using hashtags on Twitter and getting into discussions about player likenesses from FIFA and how rubbish your mate is at COD, or like the official Facebook page to get updates on the next release and hints and tips. It’s a social gaming world now and everyone can play.