Written by Johnathon Goodenow. Media by Kayla Morton.
Those who play online or role-playing games are often labeled as “nerds.” An antisocial personality can sometimes be associated with those who play these games. However, gaming can be social.
Most of my socializing in high school happened during classes, sports or lunch. I rarely interacted with friends outside of school, except for the rare occasion of playing a card game, “Magic the Gathering,” with a small group of friends. I didn’t enjoy the game very much, but I played because of the people I was with.
A group that I am in started playing League of Legends on a regular basis in Joy Hall. Everyone in the group agrees that playing this game has strengthened relationships with each other. A member of the group, Blake Muehlich, said, “The fact that we work together instead of against each other is a huge factor.”
I can attest to this. The competition between my brother and I when we played Super Smash Bros. or Warcraft III would get in the way of us having fun. Cooperating and communicating with each other is much more satisfying than winning every game.
Muehlich commented, “We get angry at each other when we do badly, and that conflict helps grow our relationships.” We play competitive games cooperatively by struggling together. Constructive criticism is given rather than bashing.
Nate Brown stated, “Friendship is about spending time together. Getting all of us together and playing a few games has a big impact towards that.” Playing League of Legends in a group has helped me meet people and make new friends.
Another example of gaming that promotes socializing is a group that playsDungeons and Dragons. A member of the group, Jared Carriger, commented, “If you walk past the room that we’re in you’ll probably hear a bunch of yelling, but afterward we come together and mend our relationships. We grow as friends through the experience.” Dungeons and Dragons is not a game that promotes cooperation, so Carriger’s experience is different than the Joy Hall groups. Killing a friend in this game does not build friendship, but getting through the conflicts and making memories does.
If you are a student who enjoys playing video games, find a group of people to play with. You could make lifelong friends in the process.