Relationships and Video Games

Our discussion of the role of other players in Journey raised an interesting point about cooperative gameplay. One of the most underrated aspects of video game play is its ability to build relationships especially in games requiring teamwork and/or synergy. The most popular video game in the world today is League of Legends, and as a 5 v 5 game, a large amount of teamwork is required to win. This teamwork fosters relationship building and helps teammates to get to know one another the more they play. Personally, I’ve gotten closer to many people and made even more friends through online gameplay, especially in team oriented games like league.

One of the games that I’ve spent the most time on is Runescape, where I became friends with quite a few fellow players. Runescape also included a mini-game called Castle Wars. Castle Wars was effectively a game of capture the flag, and the focused goal often encouraged players to interact and communicate more. As a result, I made far more friends playing as a team in Castle Wars than in normal gameplay. In whatever game or game type, teamwork tends to build relationships just as quickly as real life experience. Playing on a team with others, as we have all found during our time playing together in class. The sense of closeness a team feels after conquering an opponent together draws people together in a way that is difficult to replicate in the everyday world.

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2 thoughts on “Relationships and Video Games”

  1. “Cooperative gameplay” transforms the gaming experience in several ways that you note: players form friendships, and teamwork is often necessary to complete the actual game. I also think the communication between players (I call it inter-player communication or IPC) transforms the narrative experience of gameplay. While the game is structured around a narrative (and we’ve discussed at length how story is adapted from literature or film to video games), much of the narrative is left to the players to interpret–or in some instances, to create. IPC is a key function that invites user interaction with the game on a different level than physical gameplay–we’re required to engage intellectually and problem solve as a group to complete the story. -Emma Baker

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