What originally started as an app for gamers turned into an application many people around the world can use to connect with each other. I remember back when I played Minecraft a ton, an online friend suggested me Discord. I thought to myself, “Why not?”, and so my group and I moved on from Skype onto the new and improved Discord.
We loved it. Discord was simple to use, it made managing groups a lot easier, and having access to different text and voice chats gave a lot of room to keep things organized. I was able to join servers for different game communities as well. Interested in Minecraft? Join the Minecraft server! Interested in League? Join the League of Legends server!
Discord opened up a lot of opportunities for gamers and even beyond that. Servers could be used to make groups for a specific streamer or YouTuber that you liked. Servers could be used for indie developers to generate a following on their game, as well as getting an audience to gather feedback and provide early access to. Servers could be used to host live events and keep people updated on where, when, and how it’s gonna go down. Servers could be used for dating or more… perverted reasons. Artists, Content Creators, Writers, Gamers, Programmers, Students, Club Members, and so many more could use Discord in their own way.
COVID-19 & IRL
Staying home alone on your phone. You’re bored and can do nothing but groan. Quarantine is lame, who should’ve known?
Discord has risen up in this time of crisis to push itself more than just a gaming platform, starting with something as simple as allowing video cams in voice chats. This feature was added to help schools use Discord as an online classroom essentially. With a bit of work, a single Discord server could work to fit an entire school with different classrooms and chats to talk in.
A few things they’d need to do of course is manage invites to make sure only students and teachers join, manage permissions to keep students in their own voice chat classrooms, and manage kicks and bans for students who clearly can’t keep themselves in control. With anyone experienced enough in Discord, this shouldn’t be difficult at all and while time consuming, could be extremely simple.
Only problem I could see with Discord being more of a personal platform rather than a strictly online gaming platform is, well.
In short, icons and names can be quite problematic. I think Discord should introduce a system for servers to create a unique profile for that server specifically. My online life is weird sometimes as well, and so my names or my icons can be questionable and are the last things I’d want my family to see. If Discord wants to push itself to be more than a gaming platform, then it should have features to help separate your gaming life with your actual life. On the gaming side, I can be known as Farly with cute anime icons, but in the real life side, I could use my face with Myles Wong instead. This would make life a lot easier rather than making two accounts, one for personal stuff and one for gaming.
Discord bots have a lot of potential to push Discord beyond it’s limits as a platform. To start off, there are MANY Discord bots already out there that provide a lot of features, like censoring, reminders, and if you can’t find a feature you like, you could have someone code it for you! Families could use this to send birthday reminders, alert their kids when it’s dinner time, or even create a custom “Math Bot” that gives XP for every answer they get right.
I’ve played with bots that even had custom games. One being known as Pokecord where chatting would summon wild Pokemon that you could catch. There was also one that I can’t recall the name of, but was a text based RPG with equipment, unique areas, monsters, and skills. This was all inside the bot of a social media application! Speaking of Pokecord, I’m pretty sure it shut down a while back.
A problem any social media will face is dealing with the people who want to use it for something less innocent. There will be servers made for racists, made for predators, and made to encourage hatred and bullying. With Discord’s simplicity and accessibility, these people will always show up, and will always be a problem that Discord can never permanently delete.
The only way we can fight against this from our side is awareness. We need to keep people away from this sort of stuff, and make note that they DO exist and WILL exist. As humans, we are not perfect, nor will everyone be a special butterfly. However, as a group we need to try our best to avoid these issues and keep ourselves protected.
While we try our best to stay away, Discord has already taken action to fight against these servers. They’ve started to monitor servers that encourage racism and delete them. They’ve deleted servers that encourage “underage” dating and banned users who tried to abuse them. They’ve tried their best to keep Discord safer for everyone. It will never be perfect, but that’s okay.
It has potential to be an all-purpose service to help people connect with each other despite the distance. It’s accessible to many and can be useful for any group. While it still has a long way to go, it has a lot to show. Discord as an application has a lot of room to grow. Support them today, with Discord Nitro.