Networked gaming is the new social media, and it's a boys' club


#1

[Read the post]


#2

but we need to pay more attention to what kids miss out on by not engaging in the positive social aspects of gaming

And right there is where I started to laugh & stopped reading.

Honestly, I don't own any game that could have any "positive social aspects" & I like it that way.
If you wish to be social, Turn off the device and talk to people in real life.

"positive social aspects" Too damn funny


#3

Guessing from this that you have never owned any game ever. Which is ok too, I guess.


#4

I dunno, I've really enjoyed a lot of co-op games with my friends, from top-down crawlers (I really liked Dead Nation a few years back), to Dota, to the massive, highly organized melees in Planetside 2. When not playing from the comfort of a sofa on splitscreen, I always have my headset.

Anyway, videogames are creative ways for friends to engage at deep, problem-solving levels. They're a lot more socially interactive than, say, TV, or watching a sports game, or watching a concert (all fine social activities in the right context, like anything else).

Granted, as a hardcore gamer even I think people need to spend more time unplugged, for sure.

Mostly I think reactions like yours are becoming antiquated. All emergent media get treated like the red-headed step child (it was weird for me back in undergrad reading polemics against the novel form, claiming that poetry was the only worthwhile written entertainment), so I understand where it comes from, but it's on the wrong side of history.


#5

I concur. I was the kind of kid that had lots of fun going outside and doing dumb kid things and getting into trouble, but i also spent lots of time playing local co-op games with my friends and they are among the fondest memories of my childhood. Playing tons of Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64, Mario Party, Gauntlet Legends, etc. I do think that gaming in a group is an important social experience, is it necessary? Probably not but it is a good thing to bond over.

We did play plenty of co-op games with boys and girls, and we never had any biases about them playing with us. And it upsets me that some guys would be hostile toward women, or treat them as "not a real gamer". Honestly they improve the overall experience because they do bring something uniquely different to the gaming session and i've always enjoyed having girl gamers around. Hell one of the best fighting game players we had in our group was a girl and we were all perfectly ok with that.


#6

In my brain there are at least several wrinkles devoted to preserving the memory of each and every multiplayer map in Goldeneye. That is the game that really got me into gaming, and the first Halo a few years later was like the Second Coming.

Didn't game much with the opposite sex much until I grew up years later; now, women are more common, but still not that common in the competitive shooters that I enjoy.


#7

Are you sure this wasn't a Pew Pew Pew survey?


#8

Ah yes, such positive aspects of classics such as Half-Life. Learning how to use a crow bar to beat people to death, or you really can't stay under water forever, and lets not forget that the batteries in your flashlight will run out at the most inconvenient times.

The games I grew up playing where FPS, racing, and run & gun stuff. This was all before everything was more about co-op bullshit than single player. So for me, most of my games didn't have much of a social aspect other than perhaps talking about those games to other people...


#9

That would be quite a big social aspect for many. I know it was for me when growing up, not having an internet connection and all that.


#10

Same here, and I certainly agree that it had a big social aspect, but I think in a very different way than talking to someone or a group via a headset. I mean you were physically present and engaged with your peers and that goes a long way to developing all kinds of self things (awareness, social cues, conversational skills, ect..) much more so than the less personable forms of communication like texting.


#11

They certainly are. But at this point in my life I have come to two conclusions:

  • Ticket to Ride or gtfo
  • Communal problem solving like building a fence, making music, cooking for forty people, etc.

It all ends up scratching the same itch--sometimes I want to crit a mob, sometimes I want to map out a bread board with friends on a chalkboard (yes, we use chalk). It is all very therapeutic.

(I miss my guild)


#12

Awesome. The person who admittedly owns no games with any particular positive social aspects is giving advice to others about how to be social in the context of video games.

Too damn funny.


#13

Social gaming?

I think I'm well past that. No interest in getting my arse handed to me by random kids on the internet. On in paying a monthly subscription to XBox live for the privilege, I guess.

I do have some fond memories of Total Annihilation and Unreal Tournament LAN parties though.

And various Badassery here, natch.


#14

I miss building lan parties (you only have token ring and we all have Ethernet!? Time to raid the parts closet!). I also miss WoW (you fucker, stop grabbing agro!). And in the future perhaps another will come along.

There hasn't been a game disc in my ps3 in yeeeears though.


#15

Wait... is that Doctor Lawerence Kutner? I knew he couldn't be dead!


#16

Yeah, I don't miss the bit about getting the fucking network working.

But my buddy used to run an Internet cafe with a load of networked PCs in a training room, so we'd just commandeer those after hours sometimes.


#17

I loved it. It taught me with old AT cases sometimes you had to insulate components with cardboard so they wouldn't touch and short out.


#18

I never could get the appeal of WoW as far as the game itself goes, however the social interaction sounds like a lot of fun, The tales I have heard about xbox live chat have kept me far away from that and kept me from getting an xbox for the boy.
TF2 at least on the official servers and the community run servers that I frequent are quite good at calling out and if necessary booting anyone who is being a jerk for whatever reason. Heck the Valve servers are usually very quiet for actual chat and tell the kids to STFU when they get chatty.


#19

Was gonna type out something along the same lines so thanks for saving me the trouble.

About as close to social anything in gaming I've come to is when I was asked to join S.G.L. (Senior Gaming League) by a member. Joined for their servers being nice and quiet (No kids screaming)


#20

These days, video games are what boys do together, so if they aren't gaming, it means they might not be part of the boys' club. While it's not exactly basketball or football, being a great League of Legends player or Minecrafter can be a source of peer status. In Silicon Valley, coders bond on weekends through the After Hours Gaming League and the angst over who gets invited to high status Settlers of Catan games is reminiscent of elite old boys' networks' bonding over golf and tennis.

I find the title of this article spiteful and almost buries the lead of intent to encourage girls into engaging the medium. Drawing a strong link to boys at play, calling it a boy's club, and then leaping in logic to suggest this forms elite old boys' networks is wrong. Developmentally, boys and girls play at times with their same sex. It is not right to see it as inherently exclusionary, elitist, or politically motivated.