Social Games Helping Us to Connect with Friends Online

It can often be difficult to connect in person with friends and family, especially those which we cannot easily travel to. However, that is one of the great things about the internet, it can be used to connect with anyone, anytime and anywhere.

There is research that has indicated that social isolation and loneliness can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

One of the most common ways to socialise online is through video games. Online games especially allow people to connect through a mutual objective. For example, playing through a storyline together or competing against one another in a management type simulation.There are plenty of online games which have been made for the social element to them too – these games have been developed specifically for socialisation in mind.

From playing online slot games together to playing board games online, there are choices and options for everyone in 2024.

An Analysis of Socialising Online

During the dark days of lockdown, socialising through gaming became a major lifeline for many of us and it shouldn’t be a surprise.

In fact, one professor at Nottingham Trent University wrote specifically about friendships through gaming during the pandemic. I have several friends who have visited another country specifically to meet up with people who they met through online gaming. The majority of new relationships are formed through meeting online, and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the majority of friendships are now formed online too.

A Google survey showed that 40% of new gamers said they were likely to continue playing after the pandemic came to an end.

Benefits of online gaming:

  • 63% of gamers play with others
  • Gamers get social support from the communities they play in
  • Hep to combat loneliness
  • Psychological and social benefits

Our Pick of the Top Games for Socialising

In truth, there are hundreds of excellent games available which are perfect to chill out with after a long day and there are even more where you can easily find other players to play with and talk with. However, the team here at HapsKorea have used our experience and picked out five games which we feel are excellent for anyone to find friends to play with.

1. Animal Crossing

A psychology graduate student at the University of Albany in New York wrote a paper on Animal Crossing which found that the game provides smooth feelings of safety and escapism, as well as a thriving and friendly online community. Social interaction is one of the reasons for the game’s success.

Animal Crossing can be played by children and adults whilst the game itself offers a large element of freedom. In fact, there are no objectives to the game. Players can spend their time in villages and can choose what they would like to do, be it planting plants, collecting items or any number of other things. The game is played in real-time too so the passage of time in the game world reflects that in reality, as well as the current season and time of day.

2. Minecraft

The best-selling game of all-time, Minecraft lets players create their own little universe. Another game which is enjoyed by children, teenagers and adults, Minecraft was first developed in 2009 and fully launched in 2011 and it is a 3D sandbox game. There are no rules or objectives which gives players a huge amount of freedom when playing the game.

It is this freedom which makes Minecraft so appealing. Minecraft is available on several platforms, but it is recommended to play on PC if your main reason for playing is to meet new people. The most popular server for playing Minecraft multiplayer is Hypixel, although there are several others.

3. Football Manager

One for the football lovers, the Football Manager game series dates back to around 1996 and is now as popular as it has ever been. Available through Steam, Football Manager allows online gameplay for as many people as you want. Players can talk and socialise through Steam chat as they play against each other at managing their own football clubs.

Be warned, this can get a little competitive, as I know from my own experience. I would recommend playing with at least three people. Each game lasts as long as you want it to, as there is no ending point. The game can continue forever. There are also retro databases available to download. So, if you decide that you would like to go back in time to the 2001 season, all you have to do is download a database for that season and you can be playing with the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and even Gareth Southgate when he was playing as a centre back for Middlesborough.

4. Overwatch 2

A first-person shooter with a thriving esports scene, I can confirm from first-hand experience how Overwatch 2 is great for socialising. One of my friends, Sergei, actually met several of his friends through first playing Overwatch 2 with them. Sergei travelled to Turkey to meet two of his Overwatch friends and he has been back several times since. One of them is training to be a doctor in Turkey, but still finds time to relax and play Overwatch 2.

According to Reddit, playing custom games is the best way to socialise through Overwatch 2 as there are plenty of people chatting publicly. Again, it seems that playing via PC servers is the best way to socialise. Incidentally, my friend Sergei plays on his PC.

5. GTA V Online

Have you ever wanted to rob a bank with your friends or take down the house at a casino? Then playing GTA Online is definitely the safest way to find out! Despite being over a decade old, the games creators Rockstar are still updating the GTA V online servers and there are still hundreds of thousands of players playing.

This game gives you the opportunity to play different heist missions with your friends. On the other hand, you don’t even have to complete missions. You can just drive around the city of Los Santos having fun. In addition, GTA V is one of the most successful games of all time and there are still plenty of players playing with their microphones switched on so that they can talk in the public servers to new people.

The Importance of Connecting with People

Humans are social creatures and we need relationships. Of course, there are introverts and extroverts but even the most introverted soul still needs to have the opportunity for socialising.

Say what you want about the negatives of online gaming and social media, but both offer us the opportunity to socialize with people thousands of miles away who we may never have had the opportunity to socialize with just twenty years ago.

Haps Staff
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