Dear Steinkhueler and Williams,
After reading your article about MMO I thought it would change my opinion about "third places" and online gaming as a sense of interactive behavior amongst people, but it did not. I do understand that online communinties, MMO being one, allows people to "connect" and "interact" with one another, but what happened to the traditional ways of having fun and meeting people? Call me old fashion if you want, but today's society and generation rely so much on technology to "connect" and "communicate" with one another and they're so encompassed with using devices to live, that if there was a huge black-out world-wide I do not think people would even remember how to eat or even use the bathroom on their own. Yes I know my statement may be a little on the extreme side, but the point I'm trying to make is this; just as ridiculous as I sound about people forgetting how to do things they did before a machine could help them or assist them the same goes for people relying solely on machines, devices and technology to live their life.
For example you brought up MMOs and people interacting with one another, but how can you fully interact and be active without actually being active? Tricky question, right? Of course it is because that can't possibly happen. To be active means to be energetic, engaging or ready to engage in PHYSICAL pursuit. Maybe instead of using the word interact and suggesting to active behavior when it comes to virtual worlds, "third places" and what ever other fancy way you want to say the computer, how about calling these actions the antonyms of interact and active because that's what they are.
Am I arguing that video games aren't fun? Absolutely not. I like to prance around magical lands and save princesses just like any other being who yearns to be a hero, but how about we stop reading some much into things that are just what they are; a video is a game consisting of videos. You don't see me saying me saying my impulsive shopping habits aren't me being irresponsible, it's me being creative and channeling my inner child. As the old saying goes "If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig".