By Joseph Staples // SWNS
Playing video games may actually help you make new friends.
The average American has made five new online friendships through playing video games over the last 18 months, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 adults found the average gamer has become so close with their online pals they’d invite four of them to their wedding, and 39% has seen an increase in their friend list since the pandemic began.
Aside from friendships, nearly half of gamers (46%) believe it is important that their significant others play video games since 43% had dated someone they met through online gaming.
Sixty-four percent of respondents said they cherish their video games because they make them feel less lonely and have helped them connect with other people.
Just as many respondents said buying a new video game makes them feel like they’re allowing themselves to be happier.
Commissioned by World of Warships and conducted by OnePoll, the study also revealed that video games have helped six in 10 people learn more about the real world.
Three in four gamers have done some kind of real-world research on the games they play, and 57% consider themselves experts on the topics they research thanks to video games.
Other than online games, people turned to movies (73%), TV shows (68%) and music (66%) to beef up their knowledge.
For many, that means playing video games that depict their passions — such as racing games (12%), boxing games (9%) and simulation games (9%).
Additionally, six in 10 (62%) said games had led them to explore new goals in their lives.
“Video games belong to everyone. Regardless of your interests, everybody can find a game that resonates with their passions and engage with it,” said Artur Plociennik, regional publishing director at World of Warships. “If you have an interest in a certain topic, like naval history, for instance, chances are you’re already watching videos, reading books and discussing it online with other people. Playing the game enables you to immerse yourself even further while giving you the chance to be a part of a vibrant community.”
While many like video games for the learning experience, the research suggests there’s a divide on whether or not games should look realistic or more fantasy-driven.
A third of gamers (35%) prefer games that offer authentic representations of the real world, while 17% enjoy more imaginative, unrealistic worlds.
Yet most (39%) prefer a mix between the two major types of games and prefer a hybrid of the two — 36% said they want a plot based on realism, while 22% want non-realistic graphics.
Characters and vehicle design should be a 50/50 mix of the two, according to 33% of gamers.
Sixty-four percent said they especially enjoy fantasy games because they can spend time in a world different than their own.
TOP 10 GAME GENRES FOR HOBBIES
- Racing games
- Boxing games
- Simulation games
- Rhythm/music games
- Football games
- Basketball games
- Historical strategies or shooters
- Visual novels
- Soccer games
- Baseball games