With the ever evolving technology available to us, there seems to be less and less necessity to actually leave the house. We can have our groceries delivered to us, our music streamed directly to our phones, our doctor’s appointments virtually and so on. One thing that we had previously struggled to get in the virtual sphere though, is true human connection. Sending text messages helps us to communicate with our friends and family, but does little to curb loneliness. How then is the online gaming industry bringing companionship to people?
Twitch Live Streaming
If the one to one attention brought by live dealer casinos is not the answer, then live streaming might be. Twitch is a beloved resource for gamers all around the globe. Professional and amateur gamers alike can upload content as they play which can be watched by fellow enthusiasts all over the world. The person playing the game will usually provide a running commentary, which on its own allows the viewer to develop a connection with that person.
Taking this idea further, Twitch subscribers can even shoutout the gamer they’re watching. These shoutouts can be replied to in real time, creating a genuine connection between viewer and player. Players that know one another personally can also share their videos easily with one another, making the solo gaming experience feel more inclusive. In this way, lone gamers can make genuine connections with people around the world, and groups of gaming friends can stay in touch in a way that’s relevant to them.
Live Dealer Casinos
Interacting with an actual person is the best cure for loneliness. Befriending schemes, where people offer to make friends with a lonely older person, visit their house and chat to them for an hour or so, have been saying this for ages. However, befriending schemes only operate when people are able to visit each other. During times of pandemic, this is increasingly dangerous, particularly for the old or vulnerable. Similarly during busy periods of the year for ‘befrienders’, such as Christmas, or Thanksgiving, befriending trips can become more difficult.
At these times, interacting with people online becomes a more pressing need. Live dealer casinos allow people to watch and interact with a real card dealer. Chat boxes allow messages to be sent and the conviviality of a casino atmosphere can help curb feelings of loneliness. Whilst bricks and mortar casinos are closed, the option of a live dealer can be a comfort to those people who may not receive face to face attention very often.
Off the back of the success of the previous two ideas, many independent platforms have popped up. All of these platforms offer friends the chance to get together face to face online.
One of the simplest, but most popular, is Skribbl. This browser based game allows you to video call your friends whilst playing a drawing game. People on the video call take it in turns to draw something, whilst the other callers guess what it is. The game works for as little as two and as many as 12 players. This game focuses on private rooms, so that users play only with their friends, rather than strangers.
Cards Against Humanity Online
Never ones to miss out on the opportunity for hilarity, Cards Against Humanity also recently launched a browser based version of their popular card game. The game sees people dealt a hand of ‘answer’ cards and a dealer pick a ‘question’ card. The cards are sometimes rude, sometimes offensive, but always hilarious. Each player puts down the answer card that they think best fits the question and we all take it in turns to giggle. The browser game works in exactly the same way, but people create private rooms for up to 10 players, inviting friends with a secret password.
This game is both mobile and browser based, meaning that it reaches a wider demographic than some of the previously mentioned games can. Even better, you can play with as many people as you like, but you do need a minimum of three people for it to really work as intended. The computer gives all of the players a question and everyone thinks of a false, but funny, answer. It’s sole purpose is to get everyone giggling, but in times of loneliness, that’s what we need now more than ever.