Unless you are part of the gaming community you probably won’t understand just how social gaming really is. We are one big and happy family, who embrace difference and champion inclusivity. So we thought we would dedicate this week’s blog to the incredible online community platforms that allow us to connect with each other and talk about the things we enjoy! Being part of a community is amazing for your sense of wellbeing and a great way to enrich your confidence.
Like the games and gamers we love, online gaming communities come in different shapes and sizes—some are focused on reviewing games, some on specific games and franchises, some on news or guides, and many with different facets and discussion threads for every gaming topic you could want. They’re also full of other gamers who also want to connect and dive in while playing at home.
In general, getting involved in online communities is a great way to build your network and get more in tune with both the industry at large as well as more specific segments within it. Community engagement can help you improve your game, whether by learning from other players, picking up tips and tricks through discussion threads, or simply by amping up your excitement and sense of connection. And on top of all that, it can also help grow and establish your audience.
While there are numerous options, we’re going to write about our favorite gaming communities for you to join in 2020. Make it the year to find your tribe in the gaming world.
GameFAQs is one of the most tried and true online gaming communities. Created in 1995 as a forum for gamers to post—as the title says—frequently asked questions about games and gaming, it was also from the get-go the foremost platform for video game walkthroughs and guides. Now with over 40,000 video game FAQs, GameFAQs has got the answers for almost any game you could name and any struggle you’ve had with playing it. Oh, and it also has thousands of cheat codes . . . in case you ever want one of those.
Run by the video game producer and entertainment company, IGN Network (formerly Imagine Games Network), the IGN website and online community is a leading source for video game news, reviews, and walkthroughs. For one thing, the usability and design of the site is pristine—simple, clean and very easy to navigate, with boards and Wikis separated out by console. But the forum also has topic upon topic to peruse discussions of and add to yourself, and the cherry on top is that the community is very friendly. A winner all the way around.
No list of this kind would be complete without a GameSpot mention. Linked to GameFAQs, and launched just one year after it, in 1996, GameSpot is the all-in-one resource for gaming news, launch info, trailers, guides, walkthroughs, downloads, and of course, reviews—with a very user-friendly interface to boot. The community is exceedingly active in all the best ways, with fresh, new content posted nearly every minute on topics ranging from the new character in Overwatch to an explanation of major PS5 features. And while the site itself is mainstream in the gaming community at large, there are plenty of boards for the more offbeat sectors and games out there.
Alright, we may have used the phrase one item too soon, but: no list of this kind would be complete without a Reddit mention. With over 25 million subscribers, the subreddit r/gaming is, as they describe on the site, “for (almost) anything related to games—video games, board games, card games, etc. (but not sports).” (They might have to modify that description soon, because of eSports!) Sports debates aside, this subreddit thread provides countless discussion opportunities for everything video games, but traditionally in a more fun and amusing vein with lots of meme-sharing and weekly threads like, “What are you playing Wednesday!” Gamers flock to the subreddit around new game launches or big industry events to tell stories and share quips from their first endeavors into a new game or a funny encounter or truly anything else another gamer might appreciate. It’s definitely a go-to for light-hearted gaming fare, and we certainly advise taking part for some comic relief.
There are several other subreddits about gaming, too, such as r/pcgaming, r/Gaming4Gamers, r/GirlGamers, r/leagueoflegends, r/Zelda, and many more. Basically, if there’s a game you like or a specific group of gamers you’re tight with (or want to be), there’s probably a subreddit to go along with it.
Vox Media’s site, The Verge, comes in next on our list. Founded in 2011, the community site is a bit more wide-ranging than others, encompassing not just gaming but also tech, science, art, culture and how and where they all intersect. Honestly, the site feels like it is itself the intersection with its cool-kid, high-tech look and navigation ease. But beyond appearances, the media content is top-notch, too, with articles like “PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: a complicated battle of SSD and GPU series” and “Co-founder therapy teaches tech bros how to be in their feelings”—or a timely piece in more ways than one: “The creators of Animal Crossing hope New Horizons can be ‘an escape’ in difficult times.” It also has an entire page strictly devoted to Fortnite beyond its normal gaming content. So, Fortnite enthusiasts, definitely check it out STAT.
A part of VGR’s broader gaming news and guides site, the VGR forums are both welcoming and comprehensive. They’ve got boards for general gaming, gaming news and video games, which have discussions on things like gamers’ thoughts on violence from gaming and its connection to life outside, the oldest video games gamers remember playing, and movies gamers wish were made into games. But the site also has boards for video game deals, eSports and competitive gaming, auctions, and one of the nicest—an introductions board for new members. This site’s got everything covered. We’re fans.
Called Gaming-Age Forums back in the day, NeoGAF is a discussion forum that used to be linked to a video games news website but then broke out on its own. They, of course, have boards for all things gaming—with things like opinion columns on Xbox’s 16GB memory, analyses of whether the XSX’s move to use 52 CUs was effective, and the plain-old-fun NeoGAF March GIF and Meme contest. But they also have boards for politics and anything else “gaffers,” as they affectionately call NeoGAF participants, want to discuss (plenty of off-topic dives!) as well as a full “Communities” section with more threads and ongoing groups.
The Steam Community platform is a subset of the broader Steam website and company, which is the digital distribution service for video games by gaming giant Valve (think: Half-Life, Dota 2, Counter-Strike). Self-described as “the ultimate destination for playing, discussion and creating games,” Steam is great for all, but particularly for those who are Valve game fans. The site is straightforward and has sections for all the things: industry news, game guides, reviews, gamer artwork, live play broadcasts, in-play videos from users, noteworthy screenshots, and even workshop items from novice to pro designers. As of last week, Steam hit a record number of users on the site at one time, topping 20 million—over 6 million of which were actively gaming.
Discord is a great, free voice and text chatting app designed especially for gaming communities. It’s compatible with multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux and web browsers. You can send text, video, audio, and images to other users over the channel in real-time during play. The added social benefit is so positive—it makes it easy to play with friends in other cities, states and time zones and feel like you’re in the same place.
Ritual Motion Facebook Page
And last, but certainly not least, is our very own Ritual Motion Facebook page. It’s important to us that all members of our RM community have a place to learn from and share with each other and us. We want to hear from you—what you need, what you’re working on, what you’re having difficulties with, what move or game you just demolished, what would help you feel better while gaming, etc., etc. We use our Facebook page to post updates and news from our own company as well as that of the wider gaming world, varsity eSports, pro teams and major tournaments. But we also want you to be able to connect with other Ritualists who share the same values and want to keep building a group of gamers they can grow with.
Get social, gamers and win well.