Friday, March 9, 2012

MMORPGs: a new way to socialize?

Dear Constance Steinkudhler & Dmitri Williams,

                From your article: "Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as "Third Places," I came to an understanding that multiplayer online games are more than just a game, but a place for a social hangout, without the physical properties. The concept that really pops out at me is when you stated that MMOs are "known for their peculiar combination of designed 'escapist fantasy' and emergent 'social realism.'" (Steinkudhler&Williams 2006). The whole point to a game is to have the players fantasize a dream world that is completely different from their own. From this I can see that MMOs are a lot more informative and educational with the fact that it still has some sort of "social realism." From my observation, I can only theoretically say that both of you supports the use of online socialization. The reason being that you stated that more than half of American leisure time is spend in front of the television, and "only three-quarters of an hour per day is spent socializing in or outside of the home"(Steinkudhler&Williams 2006). It really makes a point that most people usually stays home, having no interactions with others. By being on a MMO game, they are allowed to socialize with people at the comfort of their own home. Games like World of Warcraft speaks for themselves since millions of people are on it every day, interacting with others with or without them realizing it. It really creates a sense of community when people make playing MMOs into a habit, a routine where they spend more time talking to real people instead of just staring at a screen like watching the television. From Nancy Baym's chapter "Communities and networks," it solidifies the use of games when she stated that people's "combination of interactivity and reach allow people to come together around shared interests, transcending local communities in ways that may be personally empowering but potentially polarizing" (Baym p97). I guess it depends on each person and his or her view on how MMORPGs affect themselves. 

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