Games as a Social Space and My Experiences Therein.

Mohamoud Adan
5 min readApr 15, 2019
Imagine this, but in any game and you get the idea

I’m going to do something a little different in regards to writing this week because I want to branch out and try different things. And by that, I mean that I’m mostly going to spend this post taking about the idea of video games as a social space and my experiences with that concept.

The idea of video games as a social space is nothing new. Games have been this way since the idea of entertainment has been a thing in human consciousness. But the thing I want to get at is the idea of video games as a chat room in the modern-day. This is because games these days are much more of a social experience than they were 15 or so years. While there were certain things like arcades where people could gather and socialize while playing games or when in between games and things like Dungeons and Dragons (recently in the context of the last four or so decades) and other Tabletop games have been around since time immemorial; the idea that I’m getting at is the use of video games themselves as actual meeting places so that you can hang out with friends and possibly meet strangers if you’re into that sort of thing.

This idea is a bit hard to get at because my own experiences with this concept are a bit limited and whenever I did a Google search for “video game chat rooms” I got a whole lot of nonsensical results that I’d rather not talk about because the internet is a dark and scary place, so naturally I’m doing by drawing on my own personal experiences however limited those may be.

One of the earliest instances of this idea of games as chat rooms was when, surprise surprise, I first played through the original Borderlands back when I finished high school with some people I met back on the old IRC channel for Destructoid (Good Night Sweet Prince, not sure if it’s actually dead, but at this point in time, it would not surprise me if it were). There was this one dude I met one night who went by the name of…let’s call them Gribb (keeping them anonymous because I’m not a dick) we both started talking about Borderlands on the IRC when I was hanging out one afternoon because as an 18-year-old kid who was on a break from school because of admissions timings (I graduated high school early that year and had roughly eight months to kill before starting college).

This led to us coming to the conclusion that we should play some together and we end ended up playing through the entire game over the course of a weekend because we were that hooked. We talked about all sorts of things outside of games like life, the weather (cut me some slack, I was bad at socializing when I was younger), and cracked a shitload of silly jokes about whatever we were talking about and it really helped us bond. As a result, we still play games together and hang out to this very day, so thanks video games.

Another example was when the original Destiny was a thing that people played. I got into it when The Dark Below “expansion” came out for the first game, so needless to say I know what Destiny at its most dire looks like, but that’s beside the point. I met this dude by the name of Dan (again, anonymity because I ain’t a dick) when I was trying to run high-level Prison of Elders for the Elder Cipher quest (it’s how you got the Lord of Wolves and the other two, not as good Fallen Weapons). We met through that because I had and still sort of do have the attitude of “If you want to just go through the highest level content in Destiny, you can just hop onto and LFG Site and just get a group together quick”; it was quick, mercenary, and detached all of the times that I decided to go through with this before this and this is one of those times where it was so goddamn efficient that I decided to keep playing with him.

#SquadGoals

This lead me to get super into Destiny because I finally had a group to do the raids consistently with that also had time to do them consistently. I still think my favorite moment in that game was when I decided I was going through a nightfall strike (basically the toughest three-man content in Destiny) with Dan and a friend of his, I thought it would be a smart idea to use my exotic sword Razelighter and nothing else. There was a lack of heavy ammo for most of the strike. I died. A lot. This lead to the in-group joke that my Titan had a death wish, but couldn’t die because their Ghost would just keep reviving them. And that’s one of the many in-jokes at the times regarding how we usually operated when doing stuff in the game, though we don't really hang out all that much anymore (sadly life gets in the way of things), I still cherish that three or so years I spent with them as my fireteam. Now I do that same thing again every now and then with my closest friends that I’ve still made now that they have access to Destiny as a series (Because Destiny 1 wasn’t on PC for some strange reason).

These both have one thing in common: the game itself serves as a place to just go in and hang out with your friends. And that’s is a fantastic thing to have, especially in my case where a lot of my friends aren’t local because they’re all friends I made online (one of the times the internet has been an unabashed good in my eyes). Be it through overcoming a tough challenge, doing well in a competitive team setting, or just screwing around and being clowns, games have proven, to me at least, that they can be a good place to hang out and make good, possibly lifelong friendships, and that is something that I think is really valuable and I’m gonna leave it there because I am running out of steam on this for the time being. But if you’ve gotten to this point, then once again thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a wonderful day/afternoon/evening.

IMAGE SOURCES:

Destiny Image https://www.igdb.com/games/destiny/presskit

Hanging out https://www.youworkforthem.com/photo/139533/friends-hanging-out

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