The online gaming industry has never been bigger. With various consoles and PCs growing more and more powerful in terms of their ability to support increasingly sophisticated games, there’s no slowing down in sight. And then there’s the Internet. Like it or not, it has changed everything, and the digital entertainment sector is no exception. In this post I’m going to look at how can live chat make the online gaming experience better.
Goofing around on your own in the single player mode is all fun and games but usually it’s the multiplayer mode where the big boys roam. Gamers have that competitve gene in them and want to see where do they fit on the ladder. With hundreds of millions of people worldwide engaged in playing all kinds of games and the market itself worth billions of USD, the online gaming industry still has a lot of room to grow.
Allowing people of all walks of life, ages and cultures connect is one of the most prominent functions of online gaming. Games themselves are becoming increasingly social, especially those of the alternate reality gaming genre, and many players want to extend the interaction with each other outside of the game world.
Despite the popular belief that gamers are aloof and antisocial, research shows that people use online gaming and social media to enrich their real lives. To be able to do that, they need means to interact with each other, and chat room might just come in handy. Let’s now take a look at some of the aspects of online gaming that could use live chat to build community and increase gamers’ engagement.
Enhance themed online gaming shows
Let’s face it, people’s attention spans on- and offline are getting shorter. Nobody has time (or patience?) to read a lot anymore. This causes a lot of new content to lean towards video. A lot of gamers obsess over their favorite franchises and are on never-ending quest for more game-related material.
Running an online gaming show is an excellent way to get these people involved in interacting with you. There are two things, though, to make your videos even better. One, obviously you’re not the only one doing it, so in order to stand out among the competition you can have a recurring or a constant theme. Take a look at the Angry Video Game Nerd’s YouTube channel to see what I’m talking about. Its author is nearing one million views on most of his videos.
Two, you can make your show live and add a chat to it to let the viewers interact with yourself and each other in real-time. This task is probably a little bit more demanding on your part, but at the same time opens up more creative possibilities and options to reap benefits.
Set up a discussion panel with a bunch of gamers, try to do a Q&A session, put some of your own online gaming skills on display. All this while having your audience ask questions or expressing their own points of view using live social chat.
Online gaming clans
Online gaming clans have become a pretty big thing and some of them have reached the status comparable to that of the biggest sports teams. That’s in digital world, of course. Nevertheless, they are an important part of the online gaming landscape.
As with other social groups and subcultures, bonding and interaction are crucial for a group of gamers to preserve integrity. Having live chat installed on the clan’s website will help its members communicate in real-time and strengthen ties.
One unorthodox way to use chat for guild purposes would be to run some kind of preliminary initiation procedure for new members who want to join in. With clan members in different parts of the world or country, online interaction might in fact be the only kind of contact they’ll have.
Thus, live chat can help establish whether a candidate shares similar interests and values or even check their online gaming skills. Present members, on the other hand, can call up meetings to discuss internal affairs or other, less official matters.
Live chat provides means to use Internet slang
Alright, I sense some frowning. ‘Why is this even here?’, some will probably ask. Well, let me tell you why, because although this by no means is the most important reason for installing live chat software, I still think I have a bit of a case here.
The primary function of any language is to transmit information. However, it also has a huge, underrepresented cultural role. Basically, it determines the way we think on a daily basis. It’s also a living entity both, in terms of speech and writing.
As I said earlier, the Web has had impact on many of life’s aspects. Among other things, it has spawned rich Internet slang, with one of it most notable examples being Leet, relying heavily on its visual aspect. You can read about these fascinating cultural developments by following the links I provided.
My point here is that pople like to use these linguistic inventions and need mediums to do that. Chatrooms were essentialy the birthplace of Internet slang. Speaking, or writing in case of the Internet, in a certain manner is a way to express yourself and indicate group membership. Communities centered around online gaming are all about it and having live social chat on a website where they gather is an excellent way to facilitate their communication.
Live chat as a source of information
If you’re running an online gaming related website, then you probably publish news and other content useful to your visitors. If you have a chat room, chances are, there are users who drop some exclusive or insider information too. Be easy, that shouldn’t take away anything from you. As a matter of fact, in may attract more online gaming enthusiasts to your website in search of tips or to ask for advice.
If your website happens to host some discussion panel or live gameplays, new gamers may visit your website to learn about best practices or playing strategies, among others, just by watching or reading the live chat timeline.
Live online gaming sessions
Ok, so I’ve left a big one for dessert. Live online gaming sessions have grown significantly, and if clans are teams, then these are the sports that are being played. There are two cases here, that I’d like to discuss, and what they have in common is the presence and involvement of audience.
First case is a live online gaming tournament, where there are guilds or individual gamers competing against each other in public. Matches are broadcasted online and more often than not attract a considerable number of spectators, who are interacting using live chat. The contents of their comments vary, obviously, but you could easily compare it to cheering in sports.
Second case involves individual gamers, who play games for the public to see and comment upon, again, using live chat. This experience offers more to the viewers, who are frequently asking game-related questions or place various requests.
This is an opportunity for particular gamers to build their personal brands and interact with their viewers, who are gamers too. Some of the players reach celebrity-like status and can actually make a living off their online gaming streams.
The online gaming industry is growing and there’s no slowing it down. Gamers are expecting not only for games to be more sophisticated and offer more real life like experience but also to be able to interact with other players.
Live social chat is one of the tools that can be easily implemented on a website and provide its visitors with an enhanced experience. People from all over the globe unify under the online gaming banner in search of new friendships and some competition.
The Internet can be an untamed beast at times, and of course there are instances of people abusing chat rooms for various reasons. There are, however, methods of dealing with that like profanity filters, IP banning and moderators.
Also, gamers are consumers who usually have quite considerable purchasing power and are willing to spend. There are ways you could use live chat to reach them with target offer. As you can see, a simple chat widget can have lots of applications in the online gaming industry. Feel free to share your comments below and let me know if you have any other ideas.