I got an invitation a few months back to join Azrael and Adarel in an ongoing chat on Discord. More recently, the folks from Multiplaying and the MMOShow invited me to their Slack, another collaboration service. Honestly, other than dipping my toes in, I haven’t logged into either in quite some time.
Discord. Slack. Raptr. Anook. The field of social media for gamers seems to be exploding. Add in VOIP clients like Ventrilo and Teamspeak, and company-specific chat services like Battle.net, and we’ve never been more connected as gamers. It’s a little overwhelming, actually. I have easy access to Twitter and some other, more generalized, social media sites at my office. But even G+ was unreachable for at least a year after it launched, and I still am not as fully engaged there as I am on Twitter.
Needless to say, to even get to some of these “Facebooks for Gamers” that are blocked on the office network, I need to use my phone, something that is not exactly convenient to read, depending on the site, and what else I am doing during the day. And then, when I get on my computer at home, I don’t generally get on any social media, but log into whatever game I want to play. Which, right now, is usually the fully voiced SWTOR.
Several years ago, when I started playing World of Warcraft, the quests were issued in text form. It was not difficult to participate in voice chat, because there weren’t really voices in the game other than “atmosphere.” It did become a bit of a distraction during the raids I participated in, where we used Vent to coordinate our efforts but which included audio cues for some major boss abilities—and again simple ambiance or story notes. To this day, I don’t really know what the floating bone dude was doing in the bottom of Ice Crown Citadel. The last time I participated regularly in VOIP during actual gameplay was on Secret Mondays playing with the Knights of Mercy. It was sort of a “last straw, because, we were never quite in sync on the cutscenes, and folks would talk over them.
Back in my WoW days, I regularly participated in the text guild chat while traveling by taxi to various locations. Mutiny (of Uldum) was a large and friendly guild, and there were several people online most nights. I was part of several guilds up through TSW and even the WildStar launch. But more and more, I find I don’t really need the social interaction of a large guild; and certainly, voice chat is taxing when I am both listening to in-game dialogue and holding a private conversation with Scooter.
Scooter and I play as a pair most of the time. Since we’re usually in the same room, we have no need for headsets or VOIP. The games we choose to play aren’t very difficult even for soloists, so we have no problem as a duo. In the meantime, despite being aware of others supposedly in our guild in SWTOR (the remnant of Mercy Gaming), we rarely see anyone else online. That may change with the upcoming expansion, but will it really matter? Guilds in MMOs once filled a need for companionship in my bachelorhood, a need that is now satisfied by Scooter.
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Source: I Have Touched The Sky And Then There Were Two