Video gaming is increasingly becoming a social pastime. As the internet continues to connect people all over the world, playing games is no longer a solitary hobby. Today, millions of people connect with each other every day over the shared experience of playing an online game.
Many games feature chat facilities, either within the structure of the game itself or as chat rooms on the side, allowing players to communicate with each other about the game and about any aspect of their lives that they may choose to share.
There are many genres of games that lend themselves to the social aspect of modern gaming. These types of games facilitate connections and forge bonds between players, both within the immediate social circle and beyond. Whether playing an MMO, live casino games or multi-player platform or puzzle games, there are myriad ways people can join together online for a fun, shared experience.
Minecraft boasts the prestigious title of most popular video game in the world, with 131 million monthly active users as of 2020. The sociable game is a cross between a virtual construction site and a fun fantasy world, which allows groups of players to collaborate on projects and work together to create their dream landscape. Up to eight users can join together and craft architectural wonders or explore the many mini side-games embedded in the online universe.
There are multiple tools online to facilitate hosting a virtual poker night from home, allowing several players to come together and strategize to beat each other. For real-money games, players can use cash transfer apps. With one player acting as the bank, everyone adds their stake to the pot. At the end of the game, the banker distributes the winnings in whatever formula was agreed on before play commenced.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
The Rainbow Six franchise is available across multiple platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox and desktop. The competitive multi-player first-person shooter from Ubisoft is scheduled to launch the latest episode, Rainbow Six Quarantine, some time in 2021. In the meantime, players can enjoy Rainbow Six Siege, the version that has sparked multiple tournament events and thousands of smaller online group games around the world.
Skull and Bones
Skull and Bones is scheduled for release by Ubisoft for the Xbox, PlayStation and PC in 2021. The game appears to be inspired by the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise and will feature a four-player multi-play mode where partners can work together to search out treasure and steal loot.
Moving Out is a co-op game based on that most stressful of life experiences: moving to a new house. The premise of the game is based on physics – the players are cast as a group of house movers and must pack up vans to transport possessions all over town. As simple as it sounds, this can be a truly addictive game requiring good spatial awareness, a fast mind and a keen eye for detail.
Rocket League is a multi-player football game with a twist – each player is represented by a rocket car. This fast-paced game can be played as a one-on-one, or with up to eight players in total, which allows for group socialising alongside the game when larger groups want to get together online. There is also an online league system so teams can track their progress against others as they go.
Jackbox Games has developed a party pack of multi-player games designed to be played with groups of friends virtually online. To access the games, one player must purchase the games, either individually or as a party pack, which can be bought through Steam for desktop or for a variety of consoles and gaming devices including Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation, Apple TV and Xbox. Players then use any group video chat app to connect with each other and the primary player uses screenshare to let everyone see what is going on. The games themselves are a variety of party activities such as trivia quizzes, drawing competitions and more.
Among Us is a virtual take on the popular murder mystery game, where a group of players must use clues to guess which member of their team has been taken over by a shape-shifting alien. The imposter will be visually impossible to tell apart but will perform a series of sneak attacks such as trying to deceive or kill fellow shipmates or sabotage the ship. The rest of the crew must work together to keep the ship safe and work out who the alien in their midst is, without knowing if it is the person they are working with.
Playing games is a great way to connect with people, particularly at times when groups cannot all get together at once. The game provides structure to an online social occasion and gives each group member a common purpose, which can keep people chatting long after the game itself has finished. The social interaction combined with strategizing and meeting the challenges posed by the games can also help improve critical thinking and cognitive ability, which is great for overall brain health.