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OPLIN 4Cast #705: The summer of Discord

Posted in 4cast, and gaming

My teenage son has been using the chat/voice app Discord for some time, in order to communicate with his gaming buddies and even some of his non-gaming friends. In fact, it is now his communication channel of choice for at least one or two friends who aren’t gamers at all. Considering that Discord’s roots are firmly in the gaming realm, this says a great deal about how far it has come. And, this week, the news proves it: Discord is firmly planting itself elsewhere.

  • Discord is rebranding to shift away from gaming [Engadget] “In a blog post published on Tuesday, the company announced it’s changing its focus to make its software into a place where anyone can find a community, create their own chat sever and talk to their friends, whether they’re into gaming or not.”
  • Discord Was Once The Alt-Right’s Favorite Chat App. Now It’s Gone Mainstream And Scored A New $3.5 Billion Valuation [Forbes] “It’s a bit discordant to think about Discord being used by Santibanez and other Black Lives Matter activists. The ironically named communication app started its life attracting far, far different crowds. It was founded in 2015 to make it easier for gamers to talk while playing video games and gained notoriety as a home for the Alt-Right two years later when white supremacists used it to orchestrate that summer’s Charlottesville protests. Caught largely unaware, Discord only worked to expel the racist groups after the protests ended with 34 people injured and a woman dead, mowed down by a car. “
  • Discord launches ‘Your Place to Talk’ initiative with new website & more [Shack News] “As a result of the expanding audience using Discord for a variety of gatherings and interests, Discord is aiming to become a more reliable service to everyday users, gamer or not.”
  • How Libraries Can Use Discord and Twitch [American Libraries] “Libraries that use Discord for programming most often use it for games and gaming-related programs as well as to host book clubs or roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. “

From the Ohio Web Library:

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