Social Gaming Perspectives

Alright so after a bunch of real world problems got in the way I’m back with a vengeance and ready to hunker down and focus on my work. My last posts were a little scattered, I wasn’t too sure what to lock in on. I have however finally decided what I’m going to look into.

Social gaming.

Yeah… It’s a pretty broad topic. What I really mean is the spaces that people play their video games in. I was unfortunately too young to truly experience the old arcade days, when people would compete at their local store for the top score on Pac-Man.

I’m not saying that social gaming is dead, all I mean is that in my experience as a twenty-something who lives in Australia, is that social gaming doesn’t seem to happen in arcades. People own consoles or PCs and simply play online.

I suppose what I’m really going to look at is where and how people play games. Obviously my own social circle is not the best research sample so I’m either going to have to make new friends or go to social gaming places. While arcades are not as common as they once were, there are still arcades in the city (Sydney) where I can go to first hand experience what I’m researching. There’s also the gaming community at university I can immerse myself in.

All in all I’m looking forward to seeing why people play games where and the way they do.

To start this off though, I really need a starting point. I’m going to start with how I play video games. In my bedroom I have my computer and my Xbox 360. I have a smart phone that plays some games but I don’t personally consider that a gaming device. I also own a Nintendo 3Ds which is basically my Pokemon machine. Outside of my bedroom I tend not to play too many video games.

The PC and 360 are difficult to relocate and none of my friends play multiplayer mobile or 3Ds games so all my multiplayer gaming happens in my bedroom. I’m OK with this since my mates are all readily accessible online whenever I want to play a game so this isn’t a problem. We all go on Skype and blast each other to pieces and it’s lots of fun. Honestly I can’t see my opinions changing based just on locale.

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6 comments

  1. Maybe start with why gaming cafes began in the first place. What was the financial situation of the people going to these cafes? You said you prefer gaming at home that seems like a privileged choice that anyone would naturally choose if they had the option.
    ‘The game arcades of yesteryear’ that was before this option was available. It’s interesting that the increase in technology has debilitated some of the enjoyment that comes from sharing a pastime. You could ask from this what else in enjoyment has been sacrificed in the process of technological efficiency.
    You have a smart phone but you don’t consider this a gaming console, why not? In the gaming community what makes this device not suitable. Is there a hierarchy based on sensory stimulation? Are people bonding over their preferred choice of gaming device? Does this give them a reason to acknowledge one another as worthy or not worthy?
    Then there is the online gaming; not being in the physical vicinity of someone I wonder what does this do to the social interaction? History of gaming culture would indicate that if you can’t see the person, then some accountable will be lost. I would like to know how this develops, why is the physical presence still evidently crucial to our acknowledgement of another’s feelings?
    Sorry for the onslaught of questions, I’m not a gamer so I see a lot of potential to answer some of the burning questions I have surrounding the gaming community.

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  2. You’ve chosen a good topic, and one we used a fair bit in our esports presentation. “PC Bangs” are the internet cafes dedicated to online gaming, and are often used for casual and social gaming in countries like South Korea and China. Best of luck with the rest of your study!

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  3. I like the idea you have chosen for your topic, it is a really interesting way to look at video games. I wonder will you investigate into the PC cafes that are around Sydney and look into why people go there? or will you just stick to Gaming arcades with traditional games like DDR and pacman?

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  4. You might also want to look at gaming parties, it’s a similar sort of thing where people get a bunch of computers and set them all up in the same room or convention centre and play together for hours or even days on end. I suppose maybe it’s because you are so fully immersed in that specific gaming culture you are passionate about?

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  5. Social gaming is something I have also been researching for my individual work, however I am focusing on the game League of Legends. Social gaming is a super broad topic, but this supplies you with opportunity for fun and flexibility. Social gaming is interesting because it starts out as an extracurricular activity but essentially turns into a competition and in some instances a sport of esport for people. There are so many different forms of gaming devices and media that can be used. I find that around the people I know computer games have been making a comeback and other forms of social gaming such as playstations and xboxes are not as popular as they used to be .. however maybe that’s just my personal experience.

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