Sociability in Platforms for Gaming

Zyngor | Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Power overwhelming
Last night I meant to start playing through Bioshock on a higher difficulty, but does it count if I instead watched the guys at Sourkoolaidshow do that, while I went out plundering for loot and undiscovered locations on my Skyrim map? I did manage to find another of those stones you can activate for a passive ability, so that's another trick to hide up my sleeves. I also managed to take my Sneak skill up to 100, after having previously done so and making it "legendary," so I suppose another reset of the skill is in order.

While checking out some other fellow Blaugustians, I came across Isey's post on their observations about ages of those that blog. They noted that it seemed a good population of bloggers seemed to lean toward the older population, and was curious "where the 20somethings are talking about their games." As a "20something" myself, I found their curiosity about gaming discussion platforms for the younger generation of interest.

So when I'm not doing my spurt of blogging, where am I discussing gaming? Well, when I was an even younger youngin', and many of the social media experiences were not around, I'd say I could be nestled pretty well in the adventurous world of forum discussion. With its arms still stretching wide around the web today, forums were the ultimate close-knit experience. Once you found your niche and joined the community (and possibly wait for the admin to give you the proper permissions), you were in - simple as that. Assuming you weren't there to troll, you were usually welcomed by the members, regardless of age. I have met all sorts of cool people through my heavier times with forum involvement. This was the OG social media experience!

Eventually, through either site closings or changes in gaming interests, my forum chatting has since waned, though I'll still lurk several forums for discussions or information. After that time, I did start writing in a blog...this one in fact, as writing had always been a sort of passion for me, and I wanted somewhere to post my musings. This started out as a gaming/personal blog, and although I had abandoned the content for a couple years, I suppose it still remains as such. There may or may not have been a Myspace thrown in those years, but I better pass that over to retain my coolness....yeh. Facebook came, though I rarely used it as a means to discuss gaming. This place started as a means to connect with my actual an organized virtual means. This is not to say I didn't enjoy my share of Facebook games - I certainly did, and my involvement with a couple even led to a resurgence of my forum posting days (one in a more professional manner, others for fun).

Probably a couple years past my Facebook creation was my start with Twitter...extreme micro-blogging at its finest. I believe my start there was triggered by my involvement on Youtube. Oh ya, guess I forgot to mention YT in the mix. I was once a content creator on YT, where my content was more of either recorded video gameplay, or vlogging. The majority of those that I was kind of in contact with and kinda in the "circle" were vlog content creators, so that was more of playing around with video creation and virtually meeting another group of individuals.

Anyways, back to Twitter. I guess this was my first medium since forums and blogging that I was more free to discuss gaming stuff, if I so desired. This was minimalist journalism, so it's not like it took much of an effort to throw out some musing, or perhaps post a link to a gaming article. I had abandoned it for a couple of not-so-fun years, but eventually came back...maybe I missed it? Sure, comments may be a bit compact for some that prefer a more drawn-out platform, but the applications of twitch blogging seem to have worked, and you can get so much of a variety in content, depending on those you decide to follow. Conversations are nestled pretty well, though can sometimes get a bit weird when you have more than two conversing, some of which may not be following one another.

Speaking of twitch, I suppose this leads into what is probably my latest medium of an obsession. Twitch is a video game livestreaming platform, allowing anybody with the proper (can be free) software, and possibly a webcam/mic the ability to stream their video game experience in real time. Streamers log which game they are playing at the time, making it easy for users to search for a title they'd like to watch. Users can enter a channel, and not only watch/listen to the streamer, but converse with one another via their chat channel.
I know watching others play games live is not something everyone enjoys, especially when they could perhaps instead be playing that same game themselves. As for me, I prefer to not watch the competitive games that often receive the largest number of consumers on Twitch (such as a League of Legends stream), and instead I'll sometimes watch a stream that has an interesting game, or more often, a community better suited to my tastes. Many of the streams I watch on a more regular basis fit into that last category just seem to have a better feel with their community, and are more interactive with their watchers. I think the medium is also excellent for streaming indie games, which usually only helps to market these titles, especially if the streamer is able to promote the game well (links, possible on-air Skype calls with the developers, etc).

So I suppose I've been a kind of connoisseur for many of the e-social experiences on the web, especially when it comes to gaming. As for these days in gaming conversations, I have been maintaining a daily blog schedule as part of Blaugust, as well as writing occasional content over on LOTRO Players. Other than that, Twitter has been more of a conversation-joiner than starter, and Twitch is more of a wild card, as I'll often just lurk and enjoy the content produced while I'm gaming or surfing the web. All in all, I think I'm a bit of the old and a bit of the new - I dance the Charleston upon the lines of virtual conversation!


  1. Thanks for the link! (my links are broken right now, and my blog isn't accepting them sadly. I found this through Blaugust. Hopefully they all update when it gets fixed..)

    You did run the whole gamut and interesting to see how you settled in on blogging - or at least for this triumphant return. I too have taken breaks blogging but at bare minimum realize the joy of it all and have committed to a once a week post minimum - the Blaugust thing is a whole beast of its own.

    1. Yeh, once a week will probably be my goal once Blaugust ends. It was a new experience doing this blogging marathon, but, like some others, I probably wouldn't want to do it daily on a regular basis in fear of burning myself out.