Been thinking about this in particular because I was invited to the beta of the multiplayer game Sky: Light Awaits, which is the newest game Thatgamecompany is working on. Spoilers for a few basic mechanics of the game. A large part of the game is collecting emotes that your avatar can then act out. And while the game does give the option for chatting with other players, it’s only in select spots or at a high cost of building friendship with a specific player. So the emotes become a main way of interacting with and getting messages across to other players. It’s fun to see how certain gestures will allow a long range of expressions to get across, with non-verbal waves and a player sitting down meaning I can’t continue with you or a cheerful chirp and an outstretched hand meaning I can help you get through this section. This is practically an intended effect of the game though, with the developing language coming from an intentionally emotive mechanic. So I’ve also been interested in how people will get across messages in games in unintended ways.
Communication within Overwatch when coms aren’t in play has been really creative in my experience. I typically stay off coms unless I’m playing with friends because as somebody who mains healers and has a feminine voice, I just don’t frequently feel comfortable with the process because of the comments I’ve gotten in the past. And it’s led to some interesting ways to communicate. I remember back in my Mercy main days (RIP, I just can’t get used to her new play style), there would be a Genji spamming “need healing” while flying off four ways to Sunday when I’m focusing on our tank trying to play the objective. So when we were back in spawn and he’d still be spamming it, I’d look straight at him and then boost somebody else just to get across the “I’m Done With Your BS” attitude.
Any other games that really allow for this level of creative expression? Any games you weren’t expecting to be able to communicate in but found really fun ways to?