Online gaming has become a popular pastime with 1 out of every 4 Internet users being an online game player. Some popular and traditional games best known for their social aspect, such as bingo, have made an easy leap into the online world with chat forums easily replacing the chatter of the bingo hall. Playing bingo online has become a fashionable pastime, appealing in particular to women aged between 20 and 25, who may have shunned the dated scene of a traditional bingo hall.
Other online gaming sites provide their users with similar methods of joining an online community, after all studies show that social gamers are far more engaged and are likely to visit the site twice as often than an online gamer who does not participate in the social interaction. If you are looking for a gaming site to join, there are some great new bingo sites out there. Most sites offer the opportunity to play for free to give you a feel for the site and the community established there.
So, do the usual rules of social interaction apply in these virtual worlds? When social media exploded into our lives, we only had the briefest of moments to understand the vulnerability and visibility of the things we post. Going from a time when the only people that knew what we were saying were the ones that were in the same room or on the end of the telephone, online social etiquette has been quite a minefield to pick our way through. Social gaming can be even harder with so many other members. We have all heard and seen with horror as an over-share on Facebook or Myspace causes friendship problems or an innocent comment taken in the wrong context. Online social gaming is a friendly community and by following some basic etiquette, you will feel the full benefit of it.
Introduce yourself. It is good manners to introduce yourself to people you have just met, and the same applies online. If you are joining an existing game, introduce yourself to the dealer or other players. You don’t need to give a bio of your life so far, just be polite and brief.
Play Fair. Cheating or using exploits is a sure way to leave yourself open to a negative reaction from the other players. If the game is too hard to win fair and square, find a game more suited to your level.
Don’t Spam. The online chat facility is not a tool for you to sell your sofa or promote your new business. If someone doesn’t respond to you immediately, don’t bombard them with a repeated message.
Be a good sport. This applies in many aspects, don’t drop out of a game you are losing without a word, make fun of someone who has lost, even if you think it is light-hearted fun.
CAPS lock and other grammatical errors. It is basic Internet etiquette but surprising how many people still ignore this simple rule. Typing in caps is the equivalent of shouting your sentence at someone, so check your caps lock button before you start.
Enjoy yourself. After all, games are supposed to be fun. If you are not enjoying yourself, or encounter some unpleasant online behavior, try another site.
Matt Rawlings is a writer based in the UK with a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies.