When I was thirteen I got into video games at my local arcade. Games like Centipede and Phoenix were amazing – different and fairly deep (yes, there were strategies, especially on Phoenix with the hidden 200,000 point bonus).
From there, I moved into home videogaming, particularly with the release of the Sega MegaDrive (the European version of the Genesis).
That started an obsession, as I wanted every new system that came out. And, thanks to a paper round and other part-time jobs, I was fortunate enough to get most – Super Nintendo; 3do; Neo-Geo; N64; Sega Saturn; Playstation and more were added to my collection as I turned a geeky obsession into a gaming reality.
Maybe it makes me a nerd (and it certainly shows my age!) but you know what? So be it.
I have no shame or regrets spending so much time collecting gold rings or rescuing princesses or enjoying so many other game cliches. And you know why? Because I firmly believe that video games were the original harbingers of what we view as social media.
Bold claims? False and rose-tinted spectacles at work? Maybe – maybe not. Think about it a little:
- Video games encourage multiplayer. Getting like-minded people around the latest title and enjoying it together.
- Video games also encourage you to use your mind and look for solutions to problems and share them with your friends that are stuck in the same section.
- Videogames now have fantastic online communities where users meet up to share the latest news on their favourite product, set up challenges that make people better players and encourage others to offer their own take on these challenges.
Do any of these examples sound familiar?
- Meeting like-minded people on Twitter and sharing/enjoying the experience? Check.
- Have a problem that your social media friends can help with (and do)? Check.
- Encouraging greatness through interaction and helping people improve? Check.
Today’s world is increasingly online, and video game consoles offer that in spades. Today’s social media world is about conversations and interaction – Xbox Live leads the way for this in the gaming world. Innovation and new approaches are the norm for social media – videogames that differ from the expected are often the most anticipated.
Perhaps just the fact that social media and videogames enjoy a small yet loyal following compared to the mainstream makes the two mediums such surprising bosom buddies?
Either way, the next time you sit down at a game, maybe you’ll compare it to what you’ve been doing in the social media space. After all, isn’t questioning and improving through action what social media is all about?
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