Gaming clans have been around for a little while now. Whether it's things like Warcraft or EVE and even down to games like Call of duty or Battlefield. People have always liked to form alliances and spend their in game time generally playing with the same other real life people. Even a few of decades ago, clans and guilds were forming and now a large percentage of gamers are enjoying the benefits that come from Clan membership.
Apart from our regular Cod / Battlefield / Project Cars / Forza clan members, we started up an Elite Dangerous clan not so long ago, the Pixel Bandits Security Force. Essentially a like minded group of people protecting new players from griefers and offering escort wings around dangerous systems. Little did we know that a month along we would not only have 120 active members in the clan, but I received the surprise of my a couple of nights ago when I scanned an NPC vessel to see that we had now been included as Canon in the game. Our hard work had paid off, and the Pixel Bandits Security Force were canon in the Elite Universe.
It's still quite a buzz, to know that the creation of a small family team in South Wales now reaches worldwide (and galaxy wide!) but being included in game is something out of this world. It's not just a small clan tag, such as in CoD next to your player, there are NPC ships going about their business for PBSF, we can gain or lose political standing not only in our system but we can spread to neighbouring systems as well. We'll keep you informed of how this goes on our facebook and twitter (links at the end).
So what's the lure of joining a clan? Well for a start we need to remember that gaming is not this anti-social behemoth that a lot of non-gamers think it is. Just because we're not outside in the fresh air doesn't mean that we are filthy shut-ins who never talk to other humans, quite the opposite actually. With multiplayer online gaming taking leaps with every generation we've now got to the stage where if I want to socialize with people in the Americas, or France, or Australia, all I have to do is turn on my console.
This social aspect of online gaming is really the big draw for those looking for a clan. Knowing that you'll be playing with the same people on a regular basis, and getting to know not only their play styles but them as a person, outside of gaming, is a big thing. On top of that, the fact that most clans have a specific mission statement will let you know not only that you'll be seeing the same people, but also that you'll all be playing towards the same goals, instead of each running around like a headless chocobo and never getting anything done.
The big reasons simply boil down to being a part of something. In a similar fashion to sports supporter's groups, or even something as simple as a book club, there's a sense of inclusion. Sure it would be fun to read that book anyway, but being a part of the group will no doubt enhance your experience in myriad different ways. With gaming it can, as we've seen above, go so far that the thing you are a part of can be included in the game, and for a lot of gamers, seeing their group represented in game is a BIG thing.
I guess we just want to feel like we belong, and that's ok