8: War Stories

May 30th, 2018 · 44 mins 32 secs

About this Episode

It takes more than simply hanging out to build community. It takes shared goals, and these days, it could be argued, violent video games are providing that better than so-called “social” apps are. Neither Drew nor Jon would have thought they’d turn to a battle royale shooter game for hanging out with people online, but then PUBG Mobile entered their lives (no Fortnite, thank you very much). It’s the true successor to the chat rooms of yore, before “social media.” Jon rustled up a squad of his finest warriors from the high school video game days; they’re internet friends to Drew, but to Jon this game is becoming his main way of keeping up with these old, now-distant friends. They discuss the aesthetics and social dynamics of PUBG’s antecedents: SOCOM, Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Second Life, and Pokémon Go. We’re back to a style of hanging out and playing that prevailed before smartphones, and the company making the software isn’t even doing it on purpose.

Want to be internet friends? Write to Drew and Jon or find us on Micro.blog at @InternetFriends.