Chatting and Gaming into the Future
Nowadays, games are pretty much essential to our way of life, and as technology advances and makes things easier and more streamlined; it’s doing the same for gaming. This means that games are being integrated with another essential area of modern life in a whole new way. That area, of course, is social media.
Gaming, Gamers, Gamer, Chatbot, Bots, Online Gaming, Mobile Gaming
We’ve always know the potential that games have – they can educate children on moral and cognitive subjects and highlight social issues like the Darfur Crisis, or rape culture. As Virtual and Augmented Reality expands, the possibilities for interactive education and combined activities are growing even more. So it seems pretty logical, actually, that one of the next steps would be to integrate other apps into your social apps. After all, who wants to have to navigate away from your conversation while you’re ordering an Uber? Now you don’t have to.
Gaming Communities on Social Media Platforms
As most of us are aware, it has been possible to chat online during games for some time now. You’ve probably also seen the social games that are on Facebook and other platforms; you can play games, share your scores and invite others to play too. A whole community can be fostered, even more so than we’ve seen in our favourite multiplayer games, making this a true use of social media. A lot of gamers post guidelines, reviews and even recordings of successful sessions on platforms like YouTube, PocketNow, Super Bunnyhop and generation 16.
Even online and mobile gambling sites are getting involved; Paddy Power has made it possible to place bets from within Facebook, and the company expects a lot of its fellow bookies to follow suit. Products in the physical world can also benefit from social gamification, as more and more brands have realised. Interacting with anything will increase enthusiasm; just ask anyone who has spent hours playing games like World of Warcraft. So fostering that community in something like the Nike+ Campaign, where users uploaded exercise results online in a healthy spirit of competition, is a no-brainer. Pretzel Hunt, launched by M&M, went viral and promoted the brand in a huge way. By far the biggest innovation when it comes to social platforms and gaming, however, is chatbots.
Chatbots Changing the Face of Gaming
Put very simply, a chatbot is a programme that is designed to simulate authentic human interaction on a chat interface. These bots are an exciting branch of Artificial Intelligence, and like the rest of AI they are here to stay. Though once considered a little gimmicky, it is pretty safe to say that Artificial Intelligence is now recognised by anyone with any sense as a core part of the future.
Think of chatbots as existing on 2 levels: those that function only according to a set collection of rules, and those that use machine learning and have a kind of artificial brain. Both have specific purposes, and both are important. The technology in both is incredibly complex, although obviously even more so in the more advanced chatbot programmes.
Gaming Applications for Chatbots
Essentially, the 2 categories of chatbots fulfil routine and more complex functions. Rule-based bots can only respond to specific prompts, so if you don’t say the correct thing they don’t work. They’re pre-programmed and can’t deviate from their script. A chatbot like this might pop up and ask you a question that you have to answer in one of a few specific ways, and then suggest new games to you based on what you answer.
More advanced chatbots may respond when you type something very general like “strategy suggestions” into the chat window. You don’t need to be specific when you speak to it, and it will remember conversations and learn from them. If you tell the chatbot that you don’t like one of its strategy suggestions, it will refrain from making similar suggestions in the future.
Chatbots could, in theory, appear to help you or make game recommendations on social interfaces like WhatsApp or Facebook, or on the chats that are possible within the games themselves. The lines are blurring and the way we play and communicate is becoming increasingly seamless. You may soon be talking to chatbots more than you talk to regular people, and you may not recognise the difference!
Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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