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Study Shows that MMOGs Promote Sociability

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-out-there-and-kill-someone dept.

Education 60

chrisb33 writes "After studying several MMOs, University of Illinois researchers have concluded that the games 'promote sociability and new worldviews.' The study found that the games did not foster social isolation, but actually encouraged meetings between players of differing backgrounds, supplying the 'social horizon-broadening...sorely lacking in American society.' While they caution that, in extreme cases, fixation on internet gaming could diminish offline relationships, the tone of the press release with regard to gaming is remarkably upbeat compared to that of most recent news about gaming."

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Umm, ya, sure (2, Funny)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929639)

Saying that MMOGs Promote Sociability is like saying that playing Counter Strike all day long improves your skills of teamwork, makes you react better, and will let you easily survive if someone attacks you. Gah, we can prove anything, can't we?
Unless of course, "sociability" is meeting in strange places and buying strange items of a strange game from strange people.

Re:Umm, ya, sure (2, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929707)

Saying that MMOGs Promote Sociability is like saying that playing Counter Strike all day long improves your skills of teamwork, makes you react better, and will let you easily survive if someone attacks you. Gah

To be fair, Jack Thompson's military friend (that Sgt military guy... can't remember his name) said that playing Doom will turn you into a lethal killing machine just like the marines. *snickers*

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930167)

Which, of course, is why the military has abandoned traditional basic training in favor of massive LAN parties!

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930803)

To be fair, Jack Thompson's military friend (that Sgt military guy... can't remember his name) said that playing Doom will turn you into a lethal killing machine just like the marines. *snickers*

Actually, Jack took that quote WAY out of context (that is unless we are talking about two different Marine drill instructors). I can't remeber the Sgt.'s name either, but he didn't say it turned you into a killing machine. He said that he could see a noticable difference in target to target movement between those who played FPSs and those who didn't.

He then went on to explain that one of the most difficult aspects of combat to teach is to not stop moving. Killing a person is a traumatic experience, and the usual human response after you shoot someone is to stop dead in your tracks and stare. That will get you killed real quick. The Sgt then went on to say that the new recruits who played a lot of FPS were adept at target to target movement. They didn't stop between targets, they stopped when the danger had passed.

It didn't make the recruits a better shot with a real gun.

It didn't make the recruits any more desensitized to violence. He noticed that the recruits would go through the emotions AFTER a combat action was resolved, not during it.

The final comment regarding this behavior was that it ultimately left more time to train the soldiers other aspects of combat, effectively making them better fighters. Jack dumbed it down to the barest bones.

Doom = Universal Soldier.

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929727)

[...]encouraged meetings between players of differing backgrounds, supplying the 'social horizon-broadening...sorely lacking in American societyI disagree with you. After all, where else can an elf ranger fall in love with a mining dwarf? What better real life skills could you ask for?

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

intrico (100334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929816)

Video games DO help you react better, I.E. hand-eye coordination. This can be applied to many careers. Although the teamwork and attack skills would not apply, since quality teamwork skills usually come with participation in complex projects, and surviving attacks involves a greater degree of mobility that extends beyond the hands.

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#15934064)

hand-eye coordination

Porn is good for that too.

-Eric

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

eurleif (613257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929963)

[...]is like saying that playing Counter Strike all day long improves your skills of teamwork, makes you react better[...]
It doesn't?

Re:Umm, ya, sure (0)

punkr0x (945364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930291)

O RLY?

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930312)

Well to be fair fast paced video games do improve hand eye coordination .And teamwork too ( if played competitively) .whether it is better than playing old fashioned sports though is arguable (as sports usually build general athleticism as well ,which video games do not).

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933065)

It would improve fighting skills if the fighting skills in real life involved managing a complex hand controller to move video images around. What gets trained is muscle memory. Soldiers who interact directly with other soldiers need the fitness and training that soldiers get, not game players.

On the other hand, target acquisition and management would be improved.

On the gripping hand, an uber gamester would be the ideal weapons management person in an attack aircraft; the nerd behind the pilot.

Re:Umm, ya, sure (2, Interesting)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930652)

They said it promoted broadening social horizons. The internet is filled with diverse people from all over the world with all sorts of opinions, but it's even more potent in MMOs, where you can spend hours every week playing with the same friends, who have personalized avatars and such. It's a deeper contact than in your typical forum or chatroom. And while the internet can be great for shut-ins that like to lock out the rest of the world, let's be honest here for a minute, reality can be even more insular.

Look at high school -- a group of confused adolescents form a weird little shared reality that reinforces homogeneity as normalcy, raising a predictable counterculture that conforms to all the stereotypes you'd expect. Or living out in the country, where asshole parents can raise their kids to say things like, "I don't hate black people, I mean I'd save one if they were dying, but man are they dirty sons of bitches," and the kid doesn't really have any black friends to defeat the stereotype. And this is largely possible because our little social circles don't tend to include an incredible amount of diversity, either by choice or chance. Teh Internets and MMOs help defeat that somewhat.

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933902)

Sure, playing MMOGs can help you meet all kinds of strange people, as long as they are male.

-stormin

Re:Umm, ya, sure (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#15934783)

Sure, playing MMOGs can help you meet all kinds of strange people, as long as they are male.

Actually, no, not so much. It depends pretty heavily on what game you play and how you conduct yourself in the game ("ROFL there are no women on teh internets" is a great self-fulfilling statement, for example), but you run into a surprising amount of people of all types. My last guild had maybe a 60/40 split of real life guys and girls, with a fairly even distribution of people from ages 20 to 50 of both genders, including ex-military, tech people, students, engineers, a physician, an artist or two, etc. As always, people can lie on the internet, but there was very little motivation, as no one was exactly impressing anyone else.

And anyway, this doesn't so much change anything, as anyone living anywhere is likely to run into women pretty often :P

Well, the German administration sees it that way (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933269)

The reason the sale of Counter-Strike wasn't forbidden in Germany was, that a Sociologist and an Officer of the BKA (=FBI of Germany) convinced the rating-board that CS boosts teamwork and social-skills. So yes, you can assert that that playing Counter Strike all day long improves your skills of teamwork.

Re:Well, the German administration sees it that wa (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933670)

I thought that was because the BPjM got convinced that CS does not make killing humans your goal and that you can win a round without shooting anyone.

Re:Well, the German administration sees it that wa (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933814)

That was part of the argument, yes. The decision said that CS IS a violent game which is harmful in some ways, but it could theoretically be played without violence and the use of communication outweights the harm.

I'll agree with this to a point... (1)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929666)

...it looks like the study points out that you can gain good social skills and "social bridging" with online games. I play MMOGs and I can agree with this idea. However, I don't see this article comparing MMOG social interaction to 'normal' social interaction in developing teens. Are the social skills I learn playing WoW better or worse than the skills I could learn playing football, getting a group of guys together to play D&D, or hell, shopping at the local mall?

Re:I'll agree with this to a point... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929708)

If they want to point out that it reduces isolation of certain groups that would otherwise feel 'cut off' from the rest of the world, I could give them that.

I don't think MMO's are designed to replace 'normal' interaction by any means, so no, you're not getting the 'same' skills. You might, however, be getting skills more useful to you (Anecdotal evidence suggests that more adept players notice they type faster than normal, which is a useful skill in general).

Re:I'll agree with this to a point... (2, Interesting)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929812)

There is plenty of normal interaction of MMOG guilds. One of my best friends, I met online in EQ. I've been playing various MMOGs with a group of about 40 or so people for many years now, we get toghether regulary every year for a weekend in some random city. Ironically, lot of "normal" human interaction happens, couples broke up because of infidelity! There is plenty of drama and good times you can have with people playing the same MMOG.

MMOGs help break down age barriers also, you might no socialize with a 50+ year old person (dumb stereotypes like: old man!) but thanks to MMOGs you get to know this person and you realize he is not too different from you, just older.

And if you decide to do some serious gaming like leading guilds, pvp raids, pve raids, you can improve a lot your leadership skills and teamwork. Ability to listen to other people's ideas and opinions vs your.

Re:I'll agree with this to a point... (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929887)

Haven't spent alot of time interacting in mmogs, have you? In the 14 years or so of playing mmogs (first muds, mushes, and moos, then Evercrack, and others), I have met and interacted with people from across the globe. People I never would have met otherwise, and through them, I learned something about their country and culture. I haven't had that experience playing Half-Life on-line, but then I just wanna frag something.

Some MMOGers actually interact rather than just greif. :)

Re:I'll agree with this to a point... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929990)

If you have to ask, I'm primarily a Gaian (though I play some in YPP, and became fast friends with this interesting married couple... but not signed on in a while)

Not all MMO's are in 3d worlds with lots of hierarchical character classes.

Too Vague. (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929677)

Couldn't this be said for any social networking tool, from Blogger to MySpace?

I mean, yes, MMO's encourage TEAMWORK among all those diverse peoples more often than not, but even so...

WTS good stuff for a fair price - PST (4, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929694)

I must say my negotiating skills have improved vastly since I started playing Guild Wars. I just don't feel as shy to express my opinion of a fair deal. When I started playing the game I was too intraverted to assert myself to even sell any of my hard earned lewt, but as I learned the game and the economy I drew strength knowing I had some background on how things worked. It's really improved my life and I look forward to putting my new skills to the test when my salary is renegotiated at work in a couple of weeks!

Re:WTS good stuff for a fair price - PST (1)

tourvil (103765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930378)

It's really improved my life and I look forward to putting my new skills to the test when my salary is renegotiated at work in a couple of weeks!

Let me give you one piece of advice: don't call your boss a nub if he doesn't give you a good raise!

Re:WTS good stuff for a fair price - PST (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15930388)

Yeah, because people negotiate soooo skillfully in MMORPGs...

Boss: I'll give you a raise of 5%, that's a bit higher than the national average.

spyro: wtf? u n00b u kno i shuld get mor than that wit my l337 skillz!!!11

bystander1: LOL! wut a noob wanting more than 5% in this economy
bystander2: rofl
bystander3: hi
bystander4: just look on salary.com you tard
spyro: stfu fuktards

Boss: What the...? Well, ok, how about 6%?

spyro: fu u looser! 12% ftw!

Boss: Huh? I really can't understand you very well. So we're agreed on 6%?

spyro: OMG!!11 WTF!!

spyro: *logs off*

Boss: *blink*...*blink*....

Sociability indeed.

Re:WTS good stuff for a fair price - PST (2)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931626)

Don't forget map reading skills.

When you start running (I do it for fun and for my guild mates), you really start to look at maps and plan mentally where you're going to go. This applies to "real world" maps as well. Instead of "oh did I miss my turn?" it becomes "left left, follow the coast, third turn, fourth turn" and even sign posts don't seem to be very important because your memory has got so good at remembering paths.

10 minute later.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15929737)

and there are no posts. Apparently this article doesn't promote sociability..

"..But honey it isn't a raid.. its a multicultural exchange of ideas!"

Re:10 minute later.. (1)

Orne (144925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931101)

Maybe everyone else is playing an MMORPG?

A Pleasant Surprise (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929782)

Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise. I know that personally this year I've had more social interaction with people I've met in games or on internet forums than ever before. I can't help but wonder though, when governments that want to more tightly control the contacts their citizens have are going to crack down on MMOGs in a big way. Granted, games are games, but in my experience, people chat about a lot more than the game online between raids and other events.

In related news (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929829)

Sun promotes heat.

A-bomb promotes casualties.

Is there something that studies don't get about Mass Multiplayer Online RPGs?

So talking about what you want to get is social? (3, Insightful)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929955)

Seriously who has been on any MMORPG and can honestly said they were "socialable?" I'm not talking about talking to people, I'm talking about talking to people about stuff that doesn't directly relate to the game.

Every time I was in a guild in any game all I heard was guild issue, guild fights and random crap. There was no real socialization there was discussions on crap like "when are we taking on Moltan core" "are we going to power level me today?" "who can help me with this?" It's true there's some social events on the game, but for the most part, I don't count dancing in a line, talking about the dancing in a line, and then taking pictures of dancing in a line as "social events".

That's not to say it's bad. It does foster problem solving, and speaking up about problems, asking for help. All of these are good things. But at the same time it doesn't actually feel social. The only socializing I really got done on World of warcraft was Pms to my ACTUAL friends, who if I wasn't on an MMORPG I'd be talking to on IM.

P.S. Experiences include Everquest, SWG, Guild Wars, as well as others.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930216)

It's true there's some social events on the game, but for the most part, I don't count dancing in a line, talking about the dancing in a line, and then taking pictures of dancing in a line as "social events".

It's true there's some social events in my dorm, but for the most part, I don't count dancing in a line, talking about the dancing in a line, and then taking pictures of dancing in a line as "social events".

The basic disconnect here is the event that happen outside of a game or any sort of constructed reality are given more weight as they obviously "really" happened. The disconnect simply happens because this is how we were taught to interact with and understand the world. Those who grow up in a world where virtual worlds are much more ingrained would view the above dancing in a line as a social event, because, well, it "really" happened. Most of the so-called real social world is just as tedious, constructed and flimsy as anything that happens in a virtual reality.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (2, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930588)

My point is there's a difference between giving us something to talk about or actually creating a social environment.

Let's take this in a different situation. If there was no game play would the same socializing be found? The answer is no because most of the socializing on the game is about the game play. In this case the MMOG is the subject of socialization, and it gives a good medium for it.

Let's go one step further. Imagine that there's a really amazing advance in science and we suddenly have VR. Now when you enter VR you'll go to a room, you'll have the ability to create what ever you want in the room, and do what ever you want. After the first three years after we all have spent the required amount of secretions we actually start exploring the physics and find it to be interesting and anyone can use it and play it and explore it. However the game is not social. At the same time the game itself creates millions of chat rooms, and discussion groups. Are we to call it social because of that?

And if you don't see the difference, let's look at something that promotes socialization. Assume the same VR system is around, except there's a second room you can go in, it's a room where you can sit around a table and talk to people from all over the world. To help socialize it allows you to show websites, pictures, videos, music, and so on.(assume not copying of files is allowed) In this situation the system is promoting socialization as you can now effectively talk and share stuff you're seeing.

The point I'm trying to make is that MMOG arn't "social" in that you talk about what ever happens. MMOGs are subjects of socialization, and provide a easy to utilize system to talk about that subject in themselves? They don't "create" socialization, they don't promote it, they just give a sufficiently large, and varied topic for people to talk about.

I'd like to say one thing though. My point is to say that MMOGs arn't promoting socialization, I've clearly said they could be used for socialization but at the core of them they are just giving us the topic to socialize about, and a simple way to socialize. That's not to say no one socializes on it, but for the most part the socializing isn't the same value nor is it quite the same as offline conversations.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930830)

I think you are giving too much credence to real socialization.

The bulk of office socialization is about the "work" or a sports event or last night's tv show. In fact it is in most office guideline books you are asked to steer away from subjects that could be deemed controversial. What happens at the bulk of parties? Gossip spreading? Talking about the guy so high he is licking the floor in the kitchen? Or the girl so drunk she is rapidly shedding her clothing? Most all social interactions in life are in fact meta.

What makes those situations any more valid than the meta-talk about a game, that happens within the game?

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15934833)

I didn't say Office socialization is the model of effeciency. When I talk about socialization I normally am talking about two or more people eating a meal at a local area restaurant, price point between 10 and 20 dollars, the group having diverse intrests, and there being no game on anywhere in the place.

That is the base of my idea of "effective socialization" where any topic comes up and is discussed. Even at my office we talk about a variety of topics even though we're a game company. We have had long discussions on multiple topics, not just games (though we like games because we are gamers, though we talk about games outside our company).

At the same time another model of "socialization" I don't find to help conversation is the sports game. It's fine if you actually talk but I've seen stuff where guys will avoid talking and just watching. That's not to say every two people watching a sports game doesn't talk but it doesn't enhance the discussion, and in fact detracts. Not that it's a bad thing but it's not a well working model.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930567)

Every time I was in a guild in any game all I heard was guild issue, guild fights and random crap. There was no real socialization there was discussions on crap like "when are we taking on Moltan core" "are we going to power level me today?" "who can help me with this?" It's true there's some social events on the game, but for the most part, I don't count dancing in a line, talking about the dancing in a line, and then taking pictures of dancing in a line as "social events".

If you're in a guild full of PL and loot whores.. then yeah, there's going to be no social atmosphere. I still play with people I met in DAOC 4 years ago (we all bounced around for a bit before settling in World Of Warcraft), because we found common ground outside of the desire to get phatter lewts.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931677)

I would say discussion of the game was the least frequent topic amongst people I play with. The guilds and player associations I form with people tend to be oriented around being social while playing the game, rather than teaming up to play the game better. Oh, sure, we'd occasionally discuss something game related - it was, obviously, a mutually interesting hobby - but for the most part we would have discussions about real-world issues.

It's kind of funny in that, in the real world, many of the people I knew would restrict themselves to conversation solely about the environment in which we'd met - work, LUG/MUG, book group - and would shy away from any discussion of outside interests out of fear of conflict.

So, in my experience, yes - I tend to have more interesting interactions with a more diverse group of people in non-meatspace. Of course, I go out of my way to guild up with people who are chatty/outgoing like I am, and tend to just ignore people who're entirely focused on the game.

My games include SWG, City of Heroes/Villains, World of Warcraft, and more MUDs than you can shake a stick at.

Re:So talking about what you want to get is social (1)

permawired (906877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15934056)

Actually the guild I work with in WoW is extremely social. I would have to say that we spend 60-70% of our time talking about anything from personal issued to world events. We've also all gotten together for a large party, and about 25 people showed up! So yes I would say that in a number of situations these games do promote being social. I would also like to note the the previous guild I was in I had many conversations with other players that had nothing to do with the game. So I don't think that my experience is an isolated one. Anyone else have a similar experience?

~Permawired aka Greysig on Thunderlord server

This is true (1)

JGuru42 (140509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15929972)

All I hear around my college is stuff about World of Warcraft as the students talk to each other.

Too bad people still can't understand half the words they are saying....

Games Easing Social Interaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15937181)

This is completely true for my children (yes, I've had sex. no, you may not ask me about it)

They have grown up in the Gameboy/Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh era. We have been on vacation in other states, and they will just walk up to anyone holding a Gameboy (of whatever variety) or a deck of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and start talking to them about the game. I've seen it happen all the time. Kids today have a built-in icebreaker, due to the prevalence of these things which are small enough to carry with them anywhere they go. Seems like everyone has a Gameboy. Everyone plays Mario or Pokemon or whatever. Instant common ground.

I find it quite interesting, and kind of cool to boot.

"Promote sociability and new worldviews"? (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930047)

The only new worldview MMORPG'ing has provided me is looking up at the 3 level 60 Alliance gankers who just obliterated me for having the audacity to be Horde in a disputed zone.

"Sociability", indeed.

Re:"Promote sociability and new worldviews"? (1)

Dark_MadMax666 (907288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930337)

Well obviously they have better social skils as there were 3 cooperativley obliterating you! Learn to socialize better freak!

Re:"Promote sociability and new worldviews"? (1)

crakbone (860662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931615)

Ever been to Compton?

Re:"Promote sociability and new worldviews"? (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15936571)

Hey, you hear other worldviews all the time! I mean, people in WoW are ALWAYS talking about the Chinese.

Adapting to your social surroundings. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15930141)

MMORPG
Many Men Online RolePlaying Girls

Sorry... what? (1)

Lewisham (239493) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930152)

What games were they playing? I mean, Second Life, or Warcraft? Having a lowly Mac, I have reguarly partaken in the latter, where I have been called a "fag", "n**ga" and other wonderful terms.

Is it because they pick their slurs at random that they cross boundaries, rather than singling out a particular minority?

Re:Sorry... what? (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930258)

Maybe they thought you were a member of the GNAA?

That's something they missed. (1)

Maggott (849849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15935325)

This may be horribly presumptuous of me, what with being a honkey, but it seems like n**ga has just lost it's edge.

It's what me and my brothers call each other at home. Even though we're all blindingly white.

I think it's all in the intent. I'm guessing from the context that those who said it to you meant to offend, of course. But it actually illustrates something that the article misses; there's a benefit of not only crossing cultural, geographic and ethnic lines, but lines of age and maturity as well. While not all of the players who bandy the word fag around are 12 year olds, I'm guessing a good percentage of them are. And when this causes them to be shunned by the more mature players, they are that much more likely to learn that it's socially unacceptable. That doesn't mean they'll stop, but it's a lot different to be uncool among your peers (i.e. your own guild or whatnot) than among others.

When your peers are not douchebags, there is pressure to avoid being a douchebag yourself.

Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15930153)

The other day I saw a tractor trailer driving down the street.. Really slow, haha dumbass wasn't using instas. So I freakin' ganked him. Shoulda scanned though, Concord blew up my car and all I got was a few hundred thousand rolls of toilet paper.

Man, anyone know where I can sell this stuff? The toilet paper market in Jita is crap.

I rolled need on it. (1)

chowdy (992689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930426)

World of Warcraft Soulbound Trinket Equip: Increases sociability by 4%.

Blizzard's "sociability" (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930522)

You stole my fucking cloudsong!!!! *whineexclamationoneoneoneonetilde*

Study Shows that MMOGs Promote Sociability (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930644)

The story seems to say this like it's a good thing.

Social Change (1)

BSonline (989394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15930809)

I introduced one of my fairly anti-social friends to WOW. He actually stopped hanging out after about a month, because he had scheduled raids. He missed quite a bit of sleep, and even played the game at work. So, in real life, it was a social drain for him.
In game, he made tons of new friends that he loves hanging out with. There, it was a positive social experience.
No real point, just throwing out an example. For myself, I played in my spare time but never developed the addiction. Now that he's starting to get bored, and raiding less, he's back to hanging out. I think, overall, it was a good experience for him. For me? It sucked, he missed some good parties.

Somebody didn't tell this guy,, (1)

jaebea (588350) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931189)

http://mordots.com/ [mordots.com] Yes, it's old, but still brings a smile to my face. Need sound, and not quite safe for work. :D

Also teaches certain lessons about life (1)

Mortimer82 (746766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931698)

Like the fact that innevitably SOMEONE will try take advantage of a situation. I hear countless stories from WoW players about how they were scammed by other players, I won't go into details, but often these scams involve a deal that appears to be to good to be true, although it is a random deal and often with someone they don't know who is often a level 1.

Now, in real life if someone randomly came up and offered you an unmarked, closed box and said there was a gold bar inside and all they wanted was $100, would you give him the money without being sure?

Also, certain behaviour towards other players is not tolerated, and can result in a temporary or permanent suspension, and even if it's not against the policies, it could result in you being kicked out your guild, or not being able to find any groups willing to have you along.

So there are real people controlling their virtual characters behaviour and there is an actual economy which is the result of real time spent doing things in the virtual world.

To get to my point, people can learn about consequences for their actions or about being naive enough to accept something that is probably too good to be true. The great thing though is that the 14 year old who learnt about scams, or that racist behaviour is not tolerated, found out in an environment where it won't have any serious consequences. In real life they may have lost their job due to their attitude or behaviour and if they were scammed they could have lost their lifetimes savings. Better to learn these lessons in such a way that minimal harm is done.

Warninja FTW! (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15931815)

WWW.warninja.com

MMOs? (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15932023)

Let's see... I've played at least for some time FFXI, the Realm (beta), Earth and Beyond, EVE, Planetside, RO (early beta), City of Heroes, and probably at least one or two other, forgettable MMOs. The only one of these in which I really experienced any social interaction at all was Planetside, where you pretty much had to be in a squad to get anything done. That's not counting the one or two little MUDs I used to tool around in way back when.

The simple reason for this is probably that I don't play MMOs to PvP, or to party at all. Except for FFXI, I simply didn't like the other players and didn't feel any reason to group with them. I know that you're now wondering why a person would play these games without bothering to party. The reason, naturally, was that I thought there was some good _game_ to be had under all those mechanics. Some interesting play experience, I mean. Planetside managed to filled the bill (I loved the atmosphere, really), but then again you were playing with (really against) other players whether you wanted to do so or not. For the more traditional ones... well, I figured out pretty quickly (for each individual game, that is) that they were really not a lot more than exercises in stretching out the length of time between level-ups, and that there really WAS no point in playing if you weren't going to go out of your way to be sociable. Unless you're trying to be the solitary badass "one man clan" who works his way to the top of whatever respect system the players support, wearing your Purple Armor of Dragon Smacking around so that the n00bs wonder who was that tall, dark elf--you just have to accept that the games are there to provide a social medium.

Now, on another note, I could put up with FFXI--party or not--simply because I am a giant Squeenix loser and love everything that they do (hey, I survived the install process TWICE on two different but similarly crappy DSL lines--if that doesn't make me hardcore, nothing does). I got out of that one because I realized that I didn't have the time I needed to sink into the game to keep up with the meager sphere of friends I'd developed in-game--this coming from a guy whose major diversion in life is gaming. (I was also massively disappointed that the game was an MMO shell with a coat of FF-colored paint on it, when I'd more expected to play a Final Fantasy game with a bunch of other players... but that's really another post entirely.)

Heard comments like this before (1)

Alternator (995114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15932203)

My overall experience has been that people can have different personas online vs offline. So while someone may be quite social in the game I haven't really seen that translate to outside of the game, barring perhaps meeting other people from the game and discussing it. And the flipside of the coin is that these games (thinking WoW since that is the one I have had experience with) demand a lot of time from the player which could be otherwise used for socialising with people in the real world, some people can balance this but I would imagine those people were already social before actually playing the game.

They certainly do! (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15933642)

My friends and I are all shining examples of such an effect. After playing MMOs together for years, we finally decided that we'd much rather just hang out in person.. and in public, no less!
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