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Where Do Parents Go When They Have Gaming Questions? Social Media

In her role as Director of Content, Patricia Diaz ensures that the ModSquad content and tone are consistent across all platforms. When Patricia isn’t obsessively checking grammar, she flexes her pastry chef skills in the kitchen by baking cakes and other sweets.

At this point in my life, I know what I’m good at and what activities I enjoy doing. I like to read, bake, and spend time on the Tennessee River. Not so long ago, I would have never listed “gaming” under activities I’d willingly participate in, but social media and my seven-year-old son Jonah opened my eyes to a whole world I was missing out on and ultimately made me see the error of my ways.

The day came when he asked me to play with him. Me? Play Minecraft? I didn’t know how to play and learning how to play seemed overwhelming. Jonah got the appeal and the “rules” almost instantly. I knew there was going to be a steeper learning curve for me.

So I did what anyone in my shoes would do: I turned to social media for help. I knew there was merit to the game and loved that it was teaching my son new skills, but I needed to learn those skills, too! I’ve been a tenured social media, community, and content marketing professional for over a decade. I made a living in social media marketing well before that was a viable career, and certainly before there was a forum for every interest under the sun. I started searching for groups on Facebook and Reddit that could help a non-gamer like myself get up to speed quickly.

There are thousands of groups on two platforms that cover nearly every aspect of the game. There are “Moms of Minecraft” groups, there are “Minecraft for 25+” forums. I chose a few, sat back, and watched my feeds fill up with game screenshots, questions from fellow newbies, and conversation starters from goodhearted moderators who run these groups because of their love of the game. The helpful and non-judgmental tone most of these groups had was fascinating. Every single one that I joined was filled with people who loved the game and loved helping others learn to love it, too.

This is what social community is all about: people coming together that share a common interest. This was the best part of social media that’s often overlooked for more sensationalized stories like the U.S. election cycle, but having a community of strangers momentarily make the world a smaller place was just what I needed, especially after the last year. It was such a delightful break as it allowed me to connect on a human level without having to worry about metrics or advertising spend. Joining social communities with no other goal in mind other than learning a new game, skill, and meeting new people is what social media is supposed to be about.

This level of community and collaboration — between brands and fans, between gaming companies and players, and between strangers — was previously impossible to do online or through social media. Back in my day (I can’t believe I just said that unironically), if we didn’t know how to play Super Mario we either conferred with the kid next door, or we figured it out on our own. There was no global society we could join that would help us through it. There was no live streaming on Twitch or tutorials on YouTube to refer to. We now have the (gaming) world at our fingertips.

I’m awesome at Minecraft, by the way. I even created a Twitch account.

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Talk Back

Gina
Posted on July 8, 2021

So much of this resonates with me! I participated in the gaming for awhile but my 18 yr old has far surpassed my skill (and frankly, interest) with the FPS games he plays now. 🙂

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