Online gaming is a large and expanding business. With the help of technology, we can speak with individuals anywhere in the globe while sitting on our couches. Although this technology is not new, the social dynamics among the participants are evolving.
Playing Xbox Live games like Halo 2 and Call of Duty with random people and getting into fights, forming friendships, and exchanging laughs with them brings back many happy and nostalgic memories for me. What transpires, though, when your colleagues cease responding? It appears that console gamers have been limited to party discussions during the past number of years, and player interaction has been drastically reduced.
Team communication has gotten so quiet that when I hear someone else’s voice while playing an online game, I find myself startled (nothing below the waist). Why has everyone now ceased speaking, then? It’s obvious that they haven’t.
Today’s console players are accustomed to more limited communication methods. Party chat features enable players to communicate just with their “clannies” and avoid the nuisance of young children, trolls, or the terrifying sound of someone playing loud music over their microphone. Party chat and other tools that may seem like a godsend might actually make cooperative gaming less fun.
In order to succeed in games like Assassin’s Creed Unity, Call of Duty, or Halo Master Chief Collection (sigh…), players must cooperate and work together effectively. Therefore, if your pals are out in the real world (which is hugely overrated) on a Saturday night and you’re spending the evening on the couch ready to pour some gory blood, your only option is to play with “randoms.” Party talk may really bite you in the arse at this point. You could be left alone to make snarky remarks, instructions, and even praises (very rarely) to other players who aren’t likely to respond because they may be engaged in their own party discussions with their buddies.
How is this to be resolved? Sincerity speaking, I’m not sure it can. The tendency of the recent four to five years seems to be the new rejected quiet. Despite the frustration of having your team not communicate, it’s possible that we gamers will have to put up with it until game creators figure out a method to reinstate the necessity for teamwork in games.