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Game on

Updated on: 19 April,2021 08:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Gayathri Chandran |

Three gamers share how a social networking platform kept their friendships and passion for gaming alive during a worldwide pandemic

Game on

From playing games to watching movies, Discord provides a sense of community. Pic/Wikimedia Commons

While the pandemic had us confined to our homes since last year, tools like Discord came to the rescue. A social networking platform, where users can create servers and private channels to play games with friends, Discord became increasingly popular in the past year, especially among gamers. In a time of isolation it provided a sense of community, albeit for a few hours a day; gamers could enjoy the time they spent with their friends, or meet new people through different channels or groups. Three gamers give us the lowdown on how it offered respite and engagement.

It was my escape route

Games helped me through a lot, especially mentally. Although I am a video game artiste by profession, I am not the best gamer. A few friends helped me figure it out, and we’d get together and play games. I drop a text to friends who I find are online on Discord so that we can connect and play games. Throughout the lockdown, I wanted an escape to enter into a new world that wasn’t connected to my real life at the time. It also worked out because it expanded my creativity as an artiste. 
BD Dahlia, 22, Bhubaneswar

I felt I wasn’t entirely alone

I’ve been playing video games a lot more these days. I’m a huge fan of the Dragon Age series, The Witcher and Red Dead Redemption. I downloaded Discord last year during the pandemic because my cousin suggested it. So, I started playing with him and also got introduced to his friends who used it. I had never thought of downloading any of these platforms earlier, but then the lockdown happened. Discord really helped. Engaging with people through the voice channels — it felt like there was some kind of a group activity after a long time. Doing this for a few hours a day made me forget about a lot of my worries. At times, I would hop onto the server, take out my books, and study with a friend. It felt like someone was there, and I was not entirely alone. These games have also kept me invested in storylines and made me reconnect with a lot of aspects of gaming after a long time. 
Anna Gresillon, 22, Paris

I met like-minded people
I was on Discord mainly to connect with friends during games, but I think people use it for everything these days. I created a movie-watching group. I like watching movies with others and discussing them during the screening, so I’d post the group link to my channel on Instagram. This group grew into a big one where I met a lot of like-minded people. Even when games like Among Us became popular, my friends and I had channels to play it together. We got obsessed with a game called Stardew Valley, to a point where a friend and I threw a themed party around it for a friend.
Dee M, 25, Bengaluru

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