Gaming and communicating during social isolation

Published: 15 May 2020 Tagged: CommunicationCoronavirusCOVID-19COVID19gamingIbelinKahoot!Keep Talking and Nobody ExplodesLeague of LegendsLoLMinecraftMMORPGonline gamingOverwatchsocial isolationWorld of WarcraftWoW
Gaming and communicating during social isolation

With more time at home, many people are trying to have fun by playing videogames. Parents should be aware of the negative effects of the excessive use of electronic games over children, but actually online games can be very important tools for communication and socialisation, with touching stories in the internet about strong friendships formed from these online games.

By offering new social environments for players to handle, their social skills are stimulated because they need to form alliances, negotiate and persuade, while the real world sometimes puts these players in positions where they are not comfortable expressing themselves. There are times when people with disabilities can overcome physical and communication barriers in MMORPG environments to become memorable people, such as the remarkable story of Mats, who in the World of Warcraft was Lord Ibelin Redmoore, able to run and talk even with very limiting conditions in real live. You can read about his story by clicking here.

There are many games which can help people communicate and socialise, overcoming the sometimes-annoying conditions from the social isolation. We have separated some good ideas for children and adults to engage in with family and friends:

  • Minecraft: An breakthrough in online gaming, Minecraft has become the second most played game in Australia and allows its players to build structures in almost any shape then can imagine, complete varied missions and interact with other characters in the game. It is a powerful tool for the development of imagination and organisation skills.
  • League of Legends, Overwatch, World of Warcraft: These games are based on forming groups and alliances to complete missions and defeat evil enemies to keep peace in chaotic worlds. Not only communication and strategy are necessary to survive in those games, but also social skills and ethical principles.
  • Kahoot!: This platform is extremely flexible to be used in a classroom, a therapy session and among relatives and friends. Many different approaches can be made to explore this game’s functionalities for several rules and needs from players.
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes: This game is highly engaging and thrilling, where two players have access to different sets of information but, together, they must deactivate a bomb within the time. One player can interact with the virtual bomb, while the other one has the access to the bomb deactivating manual. One player provides instructions to deactivate each module of the bomb, while the other player must interpret, follow instructions and describe the bomb’s characteristics. Watch below a funny session of friends playing this game to understand how it works:

As parents, you have many opportunities to enter your children’s worlds and have fun with them while you keep them practising communication and social skills. The more you engage in their interests, the more trust and transparency the family emanates among its members.

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