December 3, 2021

The Mike Speaks: Where Have All My Friends Gone To?

First, let me preface this blog post by saying that my friends have not actually gone anywhere. This is about losing the social aspect of gaming with the prevalence of party chat. For years, you were able to talk to random people while playing some of your favorite online games, namely FPS style games like Call of Duty. In fact, a lot of my early gaming friends came about in this exact way. When I first purchased a PS3, I also bought games that included online multiplayer to enjoy gaming with other people, friend and stranger alike. I made numerous friends playing FIFA, Rainbow 6, and of course Call of Duty:Modern Warfare. I can still recall playing that game, being my normal talkative self and I stumbled upon a lobby that was all mic’d up, and people were talking, laughing, talking trash and the like.

Being who I was, I instantly started talking and next thing I knew, I had nearly a dozen new friends on my friends list, and I was playing custom games in private lobbies filled with new friends. This is also when I became friends with a kid from Minnesota (he’ll have to correct me if I’m wrong) who I still game with to this day. If it wasn’t for forced game chat, and I guess just dumb luck, I wouldn’t have made friends with this person not only for gaming, but in real life as well.

So what’s the point I’m trying to make? Well, it’s a simple one: I miss the social aspect of gaming. I love the fact that so many more of my friends own a PS4 and we’re able to play games together in the same party chat that I feel has ruined some of the social aspects of gaming I loved so dearly. But I miss the random interactions with people, whether it’s friendly banter, trash talk, or just plain annoying people online. But the issue is two-fold. Console gamers don’t seem to be as friendly anymore, and less and less people appear to have microphones even plugged in anymore. I think part of this is due to the fact of the advent of streaming gameplay to viewers and fans, and typically the mic the person uses is to record audio for their stream.

Hopefully some games will bring back forced game chat. Some games, namely Overwatch, are almost impossible to play without some form of communication. Whereas PC gamers have a keyboard and the ability to type messages to teammates, we on the console can only hope that the “blueberries” or random players who are teamed up with either have a mic, aren’t in a party, or aren’t just plain stupid or selfish. Rumor has it that the remastered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare releasing with Infinite Warfare will have forced game chat. So maybe I will end up buying that special edition, if not only for the nostalgia of days gone past. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you want to add me on PS4, look up xxthemikexx and let’s game together.

Mike Gassel

Mike Gassel

A video game and sports enthusiast, you can usually count on TM for his many and loud opinions. If it falls under the scope of nerdom, you can fully expect him to be into it and love it. Also a fan of hugs and holding hands... and trolling random people while playing video games.

Find The Mike on twitter at @wsthemikespeaks

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