Why Social Media Wants Our Games

By Ben Hamill - March 02 2020
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Why Social Media Wants Our Games

They’re where we go to connect and where we sometimes go to hide behind the anonymity of an alias not altogether unlike your typical video games avatar. They help us to vent and say our say without the immediate blow-back of having to “say it” in person. We use them to catch up and at times, we may even use them to avoid. Some of us even use them to help us find love and romance. View all of this as a combined digital reality and what you ultimately end up with isn’t all that different to the virtual world we disappear into when assuming the persona of an in-game avatar.

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Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are virtual worlds of sorts, even if the description applies mainly in a lightweight sort of way. The fact of the matter is that there really isn’t much reality left in reality as we know it anymore. Our digital presence has in a very many ways become much more “real” than the “selves” navigating our days in person. Considering all of this, it becomes obvious why social media platforms want to incorporate more and more of what our personas would typically engage with in the real world – or at least what used to be the real world. And to many of us, gaming plays a leading role.

Crossing The Divide

This explains too why social media giants spend millions each year on interconnectivity; why every conceivable game and app now prompts the user to “sign in using Facebook”. Its all about wanting a larger slice of the real-time pie. And this isn’t to say that its an altogether one-sided affair. Quite the contrary in fact.

Many gamers game for the gaming heck of it. And that’s perfectly fine. That’s what games are for, after all. Or at least, what games used to be for. But then there are those who game for a living, those lucky enough to have figured out a way to combine what they love to do with making an income and a life. And to this variety of gamer, understanding the social media connection is the key to keeping it sustainable.

Welcome To The Real Economy

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the perfect platforms – think soapbox – from whence to explain to an audience exactly what it is that you’re up to as a gamer. And don’t forget YouTube. In 2018, YouTube’s dedicated gaming section boasted nearly 80 million subscribers. Also, gaming-related content continues to fall into the category of “most viewed” on the platform.

The bottom-line then is this. As the divide between the virtual world and the real world continues to fade, it’s becoming more and more important for social media platforms to create seamless connections with gaming and with gamers. It’s all about tapping into the big double-dip. And needless to say, learn how to tap into all of that (read: social media influencer), and you’ll have it made.

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