It’s important to balance time spent gaming versus time spent working, studying and socializing, as we discussed in a previous piece on video games and learning. Even with this being the case however, it’s also worth noting that games aren’t as isolating as they once were. Today, games can actually enhance and improve people’s social lives, in that they can help people connect over distance, enjoy activity together, and in some cases even meet new friends.
With that in mind, here are some games that can actually boost your social life.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
This multiplayer video game allows you to get together with friends online and experience the fun of being fully engaged in a team that’s fighting through a modern battlefield. You will have guns, ammunition, and a mission to infiltrate a war zone and escape without getting caught. There is never a dull moment as you and your band of brothers/friends complete each mission together. And while it’s true that there are many other first-person shooter games that fit this general description, it’s fair to say that CoD: Modern Warfare is among the best strictly for multiplayer gaming. Just remember to buy a headset for your PC or console; it’s much more fun when you can chat in real time with your teammates!
Playing board games is always a good way to socialize and have fun with your friends and family. This is why we should perhaps not be surprised that the board gaming industry was actually among those that saw a boost during the roughest days of the pandemic. With limited activity and ways to socialize, it seems people turned to board games to liven things up.
Chess is of course a classic –– a mentally stimulating game anyone can play, and one which can be about as simple or complex as you make it. It’s also a game people tend to enjoy learning together once they get started, as there’s always a new opening strategy or defense plan to pick up. And in addition to all of this, chess also makes for a great social game even when you aren’t able to play it as a physical board game with people. There are at this point all kinds of online and app-based chess options that allow friends to connect and play.
Similar to board games, poker is a game that incentivizes gatherings and gives you an activity to do while you socialize. And even when you aren’t necessarily able to play with the friends you already have, networking with other players is seen as a key component of how to win at poker. In other words, meeting and getting to know other players is actually viewed as something that can boost your game (as you pick up strategies, bounce ideas off of more experienced players, and so on).
Another perk is that, as we noted with regard to chess, poker can be enjoyed both in person and virtually. Whether you’re looking to link up with friends or do a bit of that poker-centric networking, there’s always an app or online service you can make use of.
4. Friday The 13th
It’s not just a scary movie anymore. In this case, Friday The 13th is a game in which you can take on the leading role. But as a multiplayer video game, it also allows up to eight people to link up and enjoy gameplay revolving around the movie’s theme. In each session, one player is randomly selected to play Jason Voorhees, the terrifying villain who attacks and tries to kill as many other players (who play the role of counselors) as possible.
Strange as it may seem, both running from the killer and trying to kill your friends (just virtually of course) are fun and thrilling bonding experiences. This will be particularly true if you happen to have that one group of friends you like to go see movies with, as it sort of feels like you’re all taking part in a classic franchise.
Getting back to card games, another fun option is bridge. Like chess and poker, this is also something of a “classic” and challenging game, testing each team’s math and memory skills. Arguably the grandfather of all trick-taking card games, bridge is played by four players divided into two teams, with partners sitting opposite from each other. From there, it’s largely a matter of quick thinking and unspoken team communication.
Players form bonds and enjoy the challenge of trying to outwit opponents. And once you get into it, you can always take things up a notch by joining bridge clubs, which will put you in contact with hundreds of players who enjoy this game.
Playing games no longer confines players to the four corners of their room, or those stereotypical dark basements all by themselves. Games are now known to be social activities that can help you bond with friends or in some cases meet new ones. And as we all focus on returning to a bit more socialization, the games above offer some great options to consider.