There are many people out there who don’t play video games all that often. Perhaps they don’t like the feelings of loneliness when they’re playing by themselves. Or perhaps they use video games primarily for the sociability they can offer. Indeed, there are many people out there who play video games less for the immediate stimulation they offer. They play them because it gives them time to interact with others during busy schedules.
Like them or not, there’s no denying that video games offer amazing opportunities for gathering socially. This can be a “real” gathering, where people come round to play games together in the same room. Or there are virtual gatherings, where people play the same game over the Internet from around the globe.
So how can you ensure you’ve got the best setup for gaming for social purposes?
Fighting the problems of local multiplayer
Before online gaming really took off, people would gather in the same room to play games. We’d all go round to a friend’s house to play some 4-player Halo 2 instead of revising for exams (which, in retrospect, was a little silly. But hey, it was fun!) Many friendships have been made and fortified in this way.
This style of multiplayer gaming isn’t dead, not at all. But the problem is that people have lost patience for split-screen. This is the process through which players would take up half, a third or a fourth of the screen. If you want to engage in local multiplayer, you’ll have to ensure you have a bigger television. That, or stick to single-screen multiplayer games like FIFA.
Ensuring you have strong broadband and server hosting
Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, superfast Internet wasn’t widely available to the public. It wasn’t too much of an issue for gaming. Back then, they were a lot less tech-intensive. There were also a lot less playing. While dial-up was never that ideal for online play, a 1mb/s broadband connection could handle pretty much any game threw at it. But modern online games now send a tremendous amount of data to all those players. You need to make sure your Internet is fast enough to handle it. If you can, avoid using wireless connections. You’re going to have much stronger reliability if you used wired Internet connection.
You also need to consider the server on which you’re playing the game. Your Internet can be the fastest in the world. But you need a strong server for that game in order to play with friends. Usually, the game developer have you covered. But if you want to limit the amount of people you’re playing with to just your friends, you’ll have to look into dedicated servers. For example, if you’re going to play Minecraft, then you need to search for the best Minecraft hosting.
Securing your communication needs
Of course, none of it is going to feel very social if you can’t communicate with others. Many online games offer some form of native communication. World of Warcraft, for example, has an in-built instant messaging system. But what about games require a more hands-off approach?
In order to use voice chat, you’ll probably need an external chat client. That and, of course, a microphone. Get a headset that allows you to hear in-game sounds as well as your friends’ voices. It also allows for hands-free microphone use. After all, you need your hand on the controller, right?