The gaming community can be a truly wonderful thing. Millions of individuals take part in this hobby for a plethora of reasons, and there is a lot of passion behind the experiences put out for everyone to enjoy. Competition, camaraderie, friendship, or just the joy of helping people you will never see again are all parts of the community. There is also the aspect of being part of something big. Whether this is through testing or Kickstarting projects that to many, never stood a chance at first.
Of course, as with all things, even the gaming community has its bad seeds. But you don’t have to be one of those. In fact, you can be even better. Here are some ways that everyone can be the best member that they can be.
This is the biggest and most important way to be a better part of pretty much any community, not only gaming. Respect is a big deal because although it doesn’t entail much to keep, it is often tread upon with ease. Whether it’s through in game chat or on forums it’s important to always give respect to others you’re interacting with.
This may seem difficult at times, as the more passionate members of the community can sometimes be a bit…”unruly,” but never let that dictate how you treat others. It may seem small but a little respect can go a long way.
Speak About the Positive Things
For many fan communities, it’s very easy to find the negative. People tend to complain when things don’t go right, and that makes a loud noise. But, although it happens sometimes, you don’t often see a huge outpouring when things go very well. Be one of those individuals that are just as vocal when they love something as they are when they’re disappointed.
There’s an amazing new mechanic? Let it be known. You’ve stumbled across an online game where everyone who plays is super helpful and committed to a fun, safe environment? Share it. You never know who you may help by sharing a bit of good with the world.
When the Negative Needs to Be Voiced, Keep it Constructive
It just isn’t realistic to expect to like absolutely everything that’s a part of gaming. Everyone will come across things that they just don’t like for whatever reason they may have. It may be a character design, sales model, mechanics, or message of a game. Heck, it may be the fact that some of the people on-screen are faceless monstrosities and you just want to get back to some somewhat-historical events without having nightmares. But there are ways to go about sharing these complaints.
Sure, you can hop on whatever social network you find fitting and just type how much something sucks. There’s absolutely nothing stopping you. But, you can also log in to forums, send emails, or use those same social networks to start a conversation that helps to bring change. Telling someone something sucks with no suggestion on how to fix it isn’t the best way of doing things.
Use a Mic
This is more for when you’re in-game, and while it might not always contribute to the gaming community at large, it is something that is definitely appreciated by many. A lot of online-based games require communication. A lot of these games provide a chat window if you’re on a PC, but most console games don’t, at least not in a way that isn’t super distracting or doesn’t require you to leave the game screen.
A mic shows that you’re there for serious business. You have an open line of communication and are ready to play.
Help New Players
Ah noobs, there’s just something about the title that sends some people into a frenzy. Here’s a fun fact, at one point we were all noobs. Having someone new join a game can be a great experience. It allows you to reminisce as you take a stroll down nostalgia lane while helping someone out, and it’s a way of welcoming someone new to the community in a positive way.
Gaming is about fun and experiences, and the first impression is often a lasting one. Be that great first impression that everyone is looking for.
Get Involved With All The Good
There are a lot of charities and events that give back to the world community. Things that raise money for diseases, children, soldiers, food, and more. It’s easy to just take note of these things and go “hey, that’s nice.” More difficult is actually joining in whether it’s through directly raising or just giving a bit to these causes.
While many will ignore the good, it’s important to always acknowledge it in order for it to flourish.
Support Gaming and Those That Create It
The gaming community is built around…well, gaming. That is the hobby that everyone has huddled around and that every member of the community has in common. Many times, projects and individuals will need a bit of a push in order to get things going. Now we’re not telling you to give money to these projects and people necessarily, that’s entirely your decision, and your’s alone.
But, showing your support, sharing your excitement, sharing campaigns, and other things of that nature will help everything grow.
Support Small Businesses
Shopping through GameStop, Best Buy, and Amazon is easy so it’s hard to resist. It becomes even more difficult when they throw all of their exclusive deals and memberships at you. Discounts, trade-ins, a cool card you carry in your wallet, and more make these the first shops to pop onto many people’s minds. But then there are the mom & pop gaming stores.
These are the birthplaces of many gaming communities. Stores that were built around the hobby long before it became mainstream and you will often find things here you will never see anywhere else. Unfortunately, it’s hard to survive out there with everyone going to the bigger names locations with the brighter lights. Help keep these places alive.
Give Things a Chance
Many gamers have their favorite genres. Whether it’s an ARPG or a first-person shooter, there are those things that grasp your attention above all else, and that’s perfectly fine. But don’t let it blind you and keep you from experiencing other worthwhile titles out there.
Not writing something off just because it’s new and/or different helps the medium as a whole grow. It opens up new avenues and builds fanbases. It keeps developers’ doors open and may bring more fun to your life. And when these things happen, the community as a whole grows stronger.
Don’t Be Afraid of Change
All things must change. This doesn’t mean that you’re losing the thing you hold dear, it just means it is evolving. As the medium grows, so to will the community. And with new growth comes change so that everyone can enjoy the fruits of it all. That change can be a great thing because without it the community would become stagnant, and then just fade away.
Over time, gaming has become about more than just hitting buttons and seeing marvelous things occur on screen. There is feeling now, messages to be received, worlds to be explored, and people to meet as gamers embark on new experiences. Everyone can be a part of something more, something that started as just a simple hobby.