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Wolfy-Boey avatar 1:24 PM on 04.25.2011  (server time)
What Video Games Have Done to Us

Bringing people together since 1985

Hobbies have a way of bringing people together. There is no better way to strike up a conversation with another human being than to have a common interest: favorite sport, movie, television series... Whole relationships can be built solely on the basis of one common occupation, and sometimes they can even flourish into a friendship.

Video games are no different on that matter. Many have got into discussions and debates on the subject of gaming, and many have also developed friendships because of it. And like any other hobby, the number of such relationships grew exponentially over the course of time until they became their communities.

This is where video games become much more unique than any other medium or hobby.

Football fans may sit together to watch a match every week, whilst movie buffs may watch a movie on a weekend and ping pong players, well their just hoping anyone out there likes ping pong in the first place. But gamers, gamers were always a bit different in this regard. Because even when gatherings are never planned they just happen. Whether in the arcades or at home, theres always someone who can come along and join the fun, even if theyre not actually playing.The bond that games can create between us is one of a kind. The fact that players and observers can create a symbiotic existence within a game is something no other art form can dare claim to have.

And this power is made even more astounding when you think of the universal appeal that videogames hold. As a result, gaming has come to span a wide range of people. No matter what gender, race, ethnicy, religion or nationality, it seems anyone and everyone can enjoy video games.

The Appeal of gaming: No other medium has ever succeeded in attracting the lucrative bunny market before videogames.

Many can tell stories of the times where they shared their screens with their brothers, sisters or cousins as they played games like Super Mario World. Tales of how two brothers would work together to come to solve any problem, or even how one game helped build relationship with someone you will never forget. But times change, and with them so do our habits.

As home consoles and the Internet came spread to most our homes, and the arcade scene crashed, many predicted that gamers would become more isolated than ever. Many though that this niche culture we had created would just fizzle as we locked ourselves in our rooms, never to make any further contact with putrid humans. But they couldn't be further from the truth.

If anything all these factors have brought us closer together than ever before. Just look what were doing, look at what youre doing right now! Scanning every tiny morsel of gaming news, reading every blog, commenting and discussing all day long. Afterwards its on to some much needed porn, but then its all back to videogames. Heck some of us even join forums and maybe start our own blogs. And of course, multi-player gaming has changed as well. Gone are the days where one could only play with a few friends nearby, anyone and everyone in the world can be our teammate, enemy or partner.

Strangers, all of strangers, most of us have never met one another and yet we get along so well. We have somehow become the absolute opposite of what we are stereotypically portrayed as, while keeping faithful to said stereotype at the same time. Were still in our rooms, on our computers geeking out and nerd raging faithfully to our public persona's. But contrary to popular belief, we were never alone in doing so, and we did actually connect with people. All our words may be through avatars, but these avatars have real people behind them.

Look at them, they only now discovered what weve known for centuries!

The fact is we have so many social interactions online that I would theorize that we probably invented the precursor of what social networking is today. We were the first to embrace it, so how could we not have been a part of how it would eventually become? We were the first to demand the option to comment on articles, we originated the "@ (insert someone's name)" reply and Im fairly certain we might have been the first to share personal details online. Heck, even online dating might have originated from us as well.

Maybe this all happened because we were lonely, and maybe because we were kind of isolated, and maybe that's true. But one cannot deny that what had come as a result is thriving culture and community that is entirely it's own beast. We had tamed this mighty creature others so casually call the "Internet". And while others are only beginning to unlock its true potential and discover its gifts on facebook and twitter, we have turned all the knowledge we have acquired to further enrich our culture and broaden our communities.

Look no further than the site you are currently reading: Destructoid. Look at what happens on the blogs and on the forum. People Schedule parties and meetups at each others houses, weekly fight nights, send gifts and even interviews! Oh, and have I mentioned already that this occurring between random strangers?

Video games have always been a more unique form of entertainment that the rest. Yes, many times it borrows from others, but the level of interactivity it provides is exclusively its own. I guess maybe all that might of rubbed off on us. As even when we couldn't interact with others, we found our own unique way to do so.

As a result, weve come to have a different, unique community of our own. So unique in fact, that even as most start embracing what weve been doing for so long with their social networks, most still dont fully understand us.

This photo alone is unequivocal proof of the awesome power of video games

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