The positive values within the gaming community are numerous—and they’re the reason that gaming is so popular, to begin with. Despite the bad rap gaming has gotten in the media over the years, gamers and streamers and those who participate in other ways tend to be effusive in their enthusiasm for the community and the opportunities it provides and the values it espouses. You wouldn’t have 2.5 billion gamers around the world if gaming didn’t lead to positive experiences.
When you read about the community, you find some common threads regarding why people flock to gaming: to have fun, find friendship and camaraderie, enjoy the freedom games provide, engage their creative side, experience the thrill of competition, and be a part of a field that innovates. These are all values reflected in the community, and they’re the same values that Ritual Motion strives to embody as well. These positive values were evident over the weekend at our Playing for Pride Tournament, so thank you for helping us show the world just how much of a force for good, gaming can be!
I mean, it’s called “gaming,” isn’t it? The very premise of playing a game is to have fun. It’s what many people start gaming to have—and then they end up discovering everything else the community is about, too. But it begins with fun. At Ritual Motion, if things aren’t fun, we’re doing something wrong. One of our main missions is to make sure gamers can stay healthy and, as we like to say, “Win Well.” You know why? Because gaming can’t be fun if it’s causing you pain. So, our goal is to give you the tips, tools, and gear to stay pain-free and get back to having fun—the reason you started gaming to begin with.
Community and friendship
While people may start gaming to have fun, they usually stick with it because of the community and friendship it provides. In fact, this is probably the number one value of gaming worldwide, and it’s made possible in part because it’s virtual! Being online gives people the opportunity to connect with others from around the globe, people they would never normally have the opportunity to interact with.
In general, people establish friendships and communities because of shared interests and passions. Out in normal everyday life, meeting people as they come and connecting on topics through conversation alone, it can be challenging, or at least take time, to find a solid community of people with your interests and hobbies, who spend time doing the things you like to spend time doing. With the online gaming community, you get those things nearly immediately. Of course, there are many different types of people in gaming, too. But if you’re super into The Witcher series, you can go directly to forums that are devoted to that game. Conversely, if Animal Crossing is more your speed, you can find forums and fellow gamers for that. Basically, whatever niche you like, there’s a community around it that you can be a part of.
There’s also the fact that it is part and parcel of gaming culture to help fellow gamers. From posting tips and tricks people discover when a new game is released, to putting up tutorial videos and videos showing people how to do certain moves or beat certain parts of a game, to even just streaming while you play—embedded in all of those things is the idea of sharing with the community and helping others play better and improve their own game.
Furthermore, the gaming community is not relegated to traditional social rules of interaction that you’d find in public places like schools or bars or clubs. You don’t have to act a certain way or follow certain codified norms in online gaming communities the way you might otherwise. So you have more freedom and less potential anxiety in your interactions. Friendships can happen and be fostered in an unpressurized zone.
The belief in the positive community gaming provides is further exemplified by the fact that as the coronavirus pandemic set in and people were forced to separate themselves from their in-person communities, the video games industry grew by 35 percent. Now, not all of those game buyers have started participating in the online community in full force. However, 35 percent is massive, and there is certainly some correlation between the lack of community in daily life and people turning to games to find community in virtual life.
Ritual Motion is all about building community and providing another virtual communal space for gamers. It’s important for us to build networks and help gamers to grow their own, or even make gaming their full-time gig if they want to. And the biggest part of this is to ensure that gamers of all backgrounds, mentalities, and capabilities feel welcomed and encouraged.
Freedom and creativity
We mentioned the freedom in interacting in the gaming community above, but there’s way more freedom than just that which gaming provides. As we wrote about in our piece on inclusion and the LBGTQ+ gaming community, and another about the democratic nature of gaming, one reason why so many people (we repeat, 2.5 billion) delight in the gaming world is because it’s inherently free from immediate judgments based on physical identity. Judgment has certainly been a part of the gaming community’s history—we won’t say it hasn’t. But to play, or to game at all, there is no barrier to entry that’s based on your physical person. That is very freeing.
You can play as yourself and rise through the ranks without needing to be a certain gender or race or physical type. You can also create avatars and online identities that you like and identify with, that make you feel comfortable and powerful and fully embrace those. You have an immense amount of freedom to express yourself how you want to and not be bogged down by what “society” might say to you or put on you in other spheres of your life. There’s even a whole industry of cosplay, which is linked to the gaming world, where people dive headfirst into their creative side and build incredible costumes, design amazing wigs, and do elaborate makeup to become the gaming characters they love. Creativity is thus rewarded both in and out of the game.
Good competition and drive
Like other sports and activities, gaming is competitive—and that’s a good thing. People like a bit of healthy competition. It’s good for motivation, it’s thrilling, and it pushes people to learn more and get better at whatever it is they’re passionate about and competing in. With gaming tournaments and a whole competitive eSports industry now, the competitive drive within the community keeps growing and growing and making gamers better and better at what they do.
The gaming field is constantly evolving. Game design is getting more life-like, game stories are becoming more intricate and varied, and game development is growing more inclusive. There are games where you can play without a set gender. With VR and AR, there are games you can play in your own home while seeing another place entirely. It’s a super unique and exciting industry, and one of the most innovative things about it is how unconventional recruiting and development within the industry can be. You don’t need to have a Master’s to be a master gamer. You don’t need to have a degree in game design to be an incredible designer. In fact, with Game Maker, you can create your own game and put it out there to have others test it out and take it to new heights. It’s a community that is very open to new ideas and new talent. That, in and of itself, is what innovation is all about.
All of these values are at the core of what we at Ritual Motion do and believe in. Without the openness, creativity, and incredible determination of gamers, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to share in this incredible community. So in short, stay positive, rely on your community, and Win Well and just as importantly, Win Together!