The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live our lives in a variety of ways. But just think for a moment how different it would have been if the pandemic had broken out 20 years ago. Today, carrying out day to day tasks like working, shopping and banking from our phones or laptops is something many of us routinely do anyway. Back around the turn of the millennium, or even as recently as 2010, it would have been a very different story.
For most of us, it is the loss of routine social interaction that hits hardest. Yet technology can help here, too. Social media and communication apps like FaceTime are great for keeping in contact with friends and loved ones. But when you’re cooped up indoors, you can soon run out of things to say and photos to share. Social gaming, on the other hand, provides an opportunity to engage with others, do something together and escape from the real world for a little while. Let’s take a look at the different types of games available.
MMO – for serious gamers
Massively multiplayer online games are probably the types of game you immediately think of under the social gaming banner. World of Warcraft is perhaps the most famous example and while the number of registered players is down from its in 2014, there are still well over five million registered players. That number might well see a resurgence this year as those who lost interest in the game rediscover it during the current circumstances.
There have been numerous studies over the years on who plays MMO games and why they play them. Around a quarter say the best part of playing these games is the social interaction with other gamers. About three quarters said that playing games like World of Warcraft and Everquest had led to strong friendships – and a surprisingly high 10 percent said they had gone on to have a romantic relationship with someone they had met through gaming.
Live gaming – bringing the action to you
Of course, MMO is not for everyone. However, the wonders of webcam and live streaming technology make it possible to play games across a range of genres in real time with people across the globe. A glance through the top Twitch gamers will show they don’t just stream games like Fortnite, but also sports games, strategy games and even casino gaming.
A night at the casino is seen as the ultimate in sophisticated leisure and has been since long before the internet was around. Even if you visit a casino on your own, sitting at the blackjack table or perhaps standing by the roulette wheel and exchanging some chat with the dealer is all part of the experience. Many online platforms offer live dealer casino games where you can get that authentic casino experience while following social distancing advice. Roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat and more – and you don’t even have to put on your tuxedo!
Social media games – for everyone
If you’re neither an MMO gamer nor a gambler, don’t despair. There’s one category of social gaming that literally anyone can play. Platforms like Facebook offer a whole host of crowd pleasers like Words with Friends, Chess and even Ludo.
These are the sorts of games that appeal to players of all ages and abilities. So if you are feeling bad that you can’t visit an elderly family member this weekend, why not encourage them to get online and get them playing?