“What is a friend?  How do you get a friend?  How do you keep a friend?  How come I don’t have a friend?” – Dr. Steven Brule.


 

We all know that making friends is hard.  Most of my friends today exist on the internet, but over the years I’ve noticed that my number of friends online has been dwindling.  One friend got married and has kids and another is working or going to school full time. Another found a new hobby or interest that consumes all of his time and the last has become a mature well adjusted adult who thinks video games are for children.  We all know one of these guys and we all think he’s a prick.  So where do we find ourselves now that all of our friends are gone?  Sad, lonely and playing with random strangers who for some reason in the year 2015 still do not have microphones and wouldn’t want to talk to you anyway even if they did.

Why is it that in an era of accessible global social networking that making friends seems so hard, especially in video games?  When was that last time I, myself, made a friend online?  I had to think as far back as five years ago to identify the last actual friend I made.  After a moment of introspection I came to realize that I’m not as friendly as I used to be.  I’ve become secure in my already existing group of friends and developed a taste for anonymously acting like an ass to everyone else for my own enjoyment.

Generally speaking, the gaming community is not friendly and hasn’t been for a long time.  Anyone who has friends has enough, and anyone who doesn’t have friends doesn’t care to make any.  People don’t want to make too many friends because games don’t host larger parties.  Most popular games can seat 4-5 people per team at most so what is the point of having more than 4 close friends?  There isn’t one, really.  Unfortunately, once everyone has established their 4-5 person friendship circlejerk they don’t have any interest in widening the circle to allow some fresh hands to join in.  I don’t see any clear solution to this problem other than to visit a place where you can find other cool guys who are also looking for a regular crew to play their favorite games with.  Imagine such a paradise.

Guess what? You don’t have to imagine any longer-> ;) Beat It Together ;) <-Check it out, click here.

Another handful of players don’t care to make friends at all.  Online gaming to some people is just a single player experience where your teammates and enemies come equipped with advanced AI.  The internet has become such a standard commodity for PC and consoles that multiplayer is becoming the default experience for many games, causing it to overlap with the single player demographic.  See Call of Duty for example.  People aren’t buying expansion after expansion to play the campaigns, they’re buying them to play online (Pay attention, Nintendo).  It’s a trending phenomena that’s getting more common every single year.  Consequently the perception of players has shifted in such a way that other players are merely NPCs and not actual people.

All of the elements that required social interaction have become automated.  It’s actually slower to group up with other people to start playing than it is to join a multiplayer session by yourself.  It wasn’t always that way.  This is easily observed in a game like the World of Warcraft.  People have been complaining for years that it’s become less social.  There are a few reasons why this is, though the one I blame the most is the automation of social interaction.   Everything that used to require talking to other people, such as forming groups or devising strategies has been bypassed entirely.  Simply click the button that says “I want to do this” and within a few minutes you’re already in a party of players all the proper class and spec ready to do the thing you wanted to do.

Communication between players has become redundant with the neglect of teamwork and strategy.  Almost every FPS especially on console has the default mode set as death match.  Why?  Because you’re a one man army who can mindlessly sprint around shooting people in the back for a few minutes.  You don’t need to talk with a team to be successful.  Everyone plays the action hero who might as well not be playing alongside anyone else to begin with.  The existence of your team only serves as a measuring tape for identifying how long your penis is at the end of the match compared to the rest of your team.  Even games where you do need to play together have become so mind numbingly easy that places like WoW dungeons on heroic difficulty require no crowd control or strategy of any sort.  Pull a whole group of bad guys to you, kill them, move on to the next.  I have completed many heroic dungeons without exchanging as much as a word with anyone else in my party.

Most communication that may take place in any of these games is the occasional meme or two and perhaps a remark about my mom or a teenage boy’s pecker.  In some games I find that I would rather mute everyone than have to listen to a couple of people try to prove how funny they are by slinging around handfuls of someone else’s rotting diarrhea at each other.  IE:

“Hahaha he sucks dick,” cheers the audience of pre-teen trolling victims.

Thirdly, and perhaps most irritating of all, gamers are terribly complacent with their games of choice.  LoL, Dota, CoD, WoW, ect. are examples of this habitual dedication.  You learn to play the game, you enjoy the game, you never want to play anything else.  It’s the trifecta of annoying horsecrap that I’m tired of dealing with even amongst my own friends.  Nobody ever seems to want to try anything new because it requires learning something new.  You’re not going to instantly be good at every game you play especially when entering unfamiliar genres.  Please, as your new year’s resolution, try ONE new multiplayer game each month.  Set that goal for yourself.  Try new games and not just the free or incredibly cheap ones.  Gaben has given birth to a lot of frugal sons of bitches through his steam sales, don’t be one of them.  Give new games a fair chance before quitting and going back to League of Legends for the 900th game of the same old nonsense.

Finally, when it comes to my lack of gaming buddies in the present, I blame myself.  I’ve held onto people who are burnt out and don’t really care to explore new games anymore, or they just don’t have time to.  I know I need to make new friends but  I feel like a scared little child asking “heya pal you sure are good at this game would you like to be my friend!?” because it feels strange and uncomfortable.  I couldn’t get used to it as a kid and I’m still not used to it now.  It’s like the awkward process of flirting and asking someone on a date – except replace the prospect of sex with desperation and another candlelit night on pornhub.

You have to believe your gaming soulmate is out there and try to find them.  We’re here to help, but you’ve got to drop some of your bad habits first.  Godspeed, friends.

About The Author

Luke

I'm into massive multiplayer online gaming communities. My online alter ego is 18 feet tall and has wings like an angels, but also like a demons. His name is Yogzula. Yogzula can fuck anything and he will and has. Women. Devils. Angels. Animals. If you meet me online by Grub's tavern, I will show you where the treasure is hidden.

One Response

  1. Luke VanTrieste
    Luke VanTrieste

    An additional note, some people are just humongous cocks unfit for friendship. There happen to be a lot of humongous cocks on the internet so looking for a friend can be like getting lost in a forest full of giant sequoias, machete in hand, trying to cut your way through to paradise. Except in this example the giant sequoias are humongous cocks.

    Reply

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