The rise of online chat rooms has, in recent years, seen an explosion in the number of intelligent chat bots that can offer a range of services. They are an example of conversational design that offers a human-like interaction through computer text. Discord bots can do many things to create an enhanced human experience, including collecting analytics and moderation. What the bots show is the vast array of conversational desires sought by users. Their existence in itself proves the ease with which technology can help and offer an experience. Discord has a proliferation of different bots that range from aiding users in moderating chats to offering integrated games.
Example bots on Discord
Nightbot for instance has since migrated from once being the most popular Twitch chat bot to offer the same service on Discord servers. It works as a silent and non-human auto-moderator that can work alongside the human moderators to promote the interests of the server owner. For instance it can enforce a human-set blacklist of words to keep a chat unoffensive, or it can suppress the spamming of words, symbols or emotes. The advantage of this is you do not need a human moderator present at all times. The chat commands that Nightbot offers mean that a real human does not have to type out the same information a hundred times every single time a similar question is asked or a link is desired. Users simply have to input certain commands and Nightbot will present the desired information.
A variety of music bots have been created for Discord, such as Rhythm and Astolfo. These are in fact one of the most popular categories. These bots play chosen or randomised music through the voice channels. This has a number of uses. Some users use it to pick music so that they themselves do not need to constantly be picking music and enables them to get on with gaming or such. Indeed, it can be used as a versatile internet radio that simply needs to be invited to your Discord server. Some allow users to engage by requesting songs or music from the likes of YouTube and means all those present can share in listening to the same song. This clearly has its advantages when speaking online to friends. Trying to coordinate listening to the same song would not be easy without something of this capacity, especially on mobile apps which Discord is available on.
Given that Discord is designed for gamers, some bots integrate stats into their design. The Wings bot can be used to compared your in-game stats with your friends from games such as Fortnite, Overwatch and Osu! This makes it extremely convenient to compare stats with friends and create that competitive atmosphere so sought after by gamers.
Fun with Discord bots
Bots can bring a whole new dynamic to Discord servers.
The Wings bot is not restricted to fuelling competition with others as it features many entertainment commands. It can host Yo Mamma jokes and roast your friends, or even show random FML stories.
Some Discord bots offer an in-built gaming experience right into the chat you are having with friends. Pokécord is a Discord bot that brings Pokémon to the chat room. Described as a ‘text adventure’, the bot builds on the popular Nintendo game, enabling through text commands users to catch, battle and collect Pokémon. No longer do you have to crack out your vintage gameboy to duel with your friends: the free experience is offered through your keyboard. The intelligent bot keeps track of all users XP and credits which can be spent within the in-chat-in-game shop. The bot even sends images of the battles as they are fought. At the moment Pokécord is the top rated Discord bot on the largest bot hosting site. The high desire for gaming bots is of little surprise given that Discord is a gaming chat service. Pokécord is a mix of a nostalgia piece (with the physical playing of the Pokémon card game) with the ease of technology enhancing this experience, such as allowing users to find Pokémon within the Discord server.
If anyone has been on the internet long enough they will recall the Akinator internet game, based on the famous Twenty Questions game, in which a genie attempts to guess a character you have thought of. Chat bots have allowed this internet game of old a new resurgence of life. The Discord bot Aki brings this into a competitive sphere, hosting points and leaderboards for players.
It wouldn’t be the internet if there wasn’t a strange selection of bots at hand.
Meme culture was founded on the internet and so it is no surprise that Discord bots concerned with this have made their way onto the scene. Meme bots generate images and sounds. The latest (or even ancient great) memes can be at hand at the simple click of a button. They can be surprising and come whenever. The Nugget Bot is able to retrieve ‘cute images of cats and dogs’, whilst the RickBot builds on the meme that started it all - Rick Astley.
The Easter Bunny bot allows you to talk to everyone’s favourite Easter character. Discord Waffles sends waffles to your server in a claimed ‘one minute or less’.
What should be noted is that many of these bots are integrated to perform many of these tasks. They are rarely restricted to performing only one purpose. In fact the bots can perform endless tasks. They are though a reflection of the users and what purpose they want the Discord bots to serve. It is this conversational design that sees the bots typify internet culture with much done for ease of use as well as the typical fun and weirdness that comes with it. It is the bots which have enabled Discord to go beyond a simple chat service.