Humans are social creatures as many studies have pointed out so it comes as to no surprise that gaming communities are extremely popular and have been for a long time. At this current moment, there is a vast amount of these communities that can claim longevity and membership. These communities were not easy to make and didn’t always remain stable. In fact, some go through splits causing massive numbers to leave communities, some don’t make it past console changes, internal disputes and more. Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. The definition best defines what video game communities are all about.
Most people join through the common interest of a particular game. For example, recruiting in some communities is done through voice chat during matches or private parties. This is when the current members of the community chat and “screens” the player finding out if they seem to be a good fit for their particular group. This particular set up can be a bit biased though. While the current recruiter may find that they don’t like the player for some reason another person attempting to recruit may find it hard to get the new person in resulting in that they [new person] may not be added; disallowing them to join based on poor judgment. It’s not to say that this method is a terrible idea but in fact, it teaches social cues which in long term helps protect the group as a whole. The recruiter must be able to pick up on subtle non-visual cues. These might be a poor attitude which may result in future confrontations, argumentive behavior about group sportsmanship, and general behavior towards other players.
Communities teach structure and command. Today the world is set up in a corporate structure and it matters how you act, speak, and behave. Quite a few communities break up members into small groups that allow for growth and support. Groups are lead by one or multiple members which allow the important skill to be fostered. Allowing members to create their own type of group within the confines of the rules and guidelines set above himself. Becoming a leader helps you learn problem-solving skills, internal dispute resolution, and politics. For example accusations of cheating, behavior, and ill intent require leaders to get involved. A poor judgment made by leadership may cause membership decline, arguments, and much more. Leaders must make decisions based on facts and witness statements. What makes this harder for communities is that this is not done in person to person but over voice and text. This is not to say that you cannot learn something but it allows leaders to learn how to maneuver a conversation with delicacy.
Communities make great strides in group participation. Requiring people to work together teaches trust, verbal communication, and support of each other. Today we must be able to trust each other to get ahead in the world even though it is a dog eat dog world. Basic verbal communication is taught in these types of events and group projects which allow others to express themselves and teach which words best describe situations. Situational awareness forces people to learn what to say, how to say, and when to say something. For example, people must be able to understand when presenting and who they are communicating with what is appropriate and when it is an appropriate time. Some people acquire these skill sets outside of communities and allow them to practice in this setting while others learn through the communities itself.
Besides skill sets being taught gaming communities affect gameplay. Some small groups that now are professionals came from small or big time communities. Nowadays getting a large group together seems to be a great idea to go match by match and dominate your opponents. This allows for friendships that go beyond the game and stretch for over many years. Games themselves teach but communities enhance the experience allowing for so much more. Instead of just playing by yourself you have a community of people who are ready and eager to log online and play. The video games don’t have to be just violent as some would say and shooters but you have calmer games such as Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Mario games, and much more. Hoping that communities can stay on track for stability we shall see in the future what will become of them. Will they start to end or will they prosper bringing new ideas to the table.