Finding Community in the Gaming World
Written by: Lainey Huffman
Edited by: Shania Kuo
How do we begin to find communities within the gaming world that we fit into? What are the basics to even approach a question like this? Gaming isn’t always a solitary activity, even if it is a designated single player game. There are online forums, discussions, social media threads, and even stream chats to share in the experiences of any particular game. It can enhance the experience of a solo game to have another person who understands to share with. It can be one of the best feelings when someone understands your interests and investments without any explanation. That feeling is community. It’s the ability to share the love of gaming with people that support you, and to create personal connections that can last a lifetime. However, finding a comfortable community isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are so many online communities to choose from that apply to so many niches within the gaming world. So, what are some tips on how to find that personal connection to a gaming community?
There is more than one way to approach this question; for instance, you could find an already existing community that you fit well into, or you could think about creating and growing a community that’s entirely your own. Although the latter is more difficult and time-consuming, it would allow you to create an environment that’s completely your design. A major foundation for creating your own community is getting the word out on social media. On a surface level, the process sounds simple: create a brand, make social media accounts, and post away. However, it is a lot more complex than that. Although this article intends to cover a good basis for starting out, this is something to consider on a deeper level: what kind of audience are you trying to reach? It’s important to think about what niches in the gaming world you are interested in and find out what social media platforms like-minded people are more likely to be on. It is key to outreach on all platforms, but it helps to put a primary focus on the platforms you know your audience is more active on. If you are interested in competitive gaming of any sort, posting about your achievements is a good way to draw people in to your community. Always be consistent! When people see you’re dedicated to your community, they will want to stick with you. It can be anything from starting a Twitch channel to creating a fan account for your favorite video game - being consistent is vital to finding that sense of community.
For finding an already-existing community that you fit into, the basis is generally the same; however, there are a few extra steps you might want to take. Social media is still key to finding an online community. One approach is to find a fan run social media page for a game or games that you are interested in. There, you will find people who have the same interests as you, and that can make connections easier. Another approach, if this is where your interests lie, can be to connect with people through massively multiplayer online (MMO) games through online game and voice chats. Of course, there are always Twitch stream chats to connect with people as well. If you enjoy a streamer and/or the content they produce, head to their chat and be an active part of the stream! Better yet, join their discord server. Often, streamers will have places for members of their community to chat or play games together in voice calls. Discord is an amazing platform that helps people make connections even further than just gaming. Celebrities and music artists often have discord servers for their fans, and it’s always fun to bond with people over a music artist or famous streamer that is mutually enjoyed.
It can take a lot of time-consuming research to find a community that feels just right for you. Thankfully, there are several apps and sites that help make this process easier and more efficient. For example, GameTree is an app in which you can input your interests, games you have, your skill levels, and other details. It then connects you with people who have similar interests. GamerPals on Reddit is a thread where people actively seek out others to play with. You could respond to someone’s search or post your own. Additionally, WeGamers is a social community app made by gamers for gamers. It provides you with resources to learn from experienced gamers and streamers. There are a lot of communities out there with different niches and interests in mind, and it can be a grueling process to find one that you enjoy most. Hopefully, this can help you get started in the right direction towards one that will work best for you!
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“GamerPals.” Reddit, www.reddit.com/r/GamerPals/.
Singh, Nikhil. “7 Great Sites to Find Gamers Like You to Play With Online.” Entertainment Den, 2 Sept. 2020, entertainmentden.com/7-great-sites-to-find-gamers-like-you-to-play-with-online/.
“Tips & Tricks: How to Find a Gaming Community.” YouTube, Bravado Gaming, 14 Dec. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj5rGOgYeBQ.