Dear Jason Tanz,
After reading your article, “The Curse of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Video Game Hit”, I must say I have to disagree with your opinions. I believe people gain nothing from the entertainment of online gaming. It puts them in a community where they think people care about them but in my opinion it is more important to build relationships in the real world. In your article you use an example of a user from a Cow Clicking game. He states, “I’d rather talk to my Cow Clicker friends than to people I went to school with for 12 years.” What is this person gaining from being secluded in a world with virtual friendships and no one on the outside world? It is sometimes hard to build relationships in real life, but I believe people are using online gaming for more then it is worth. While it can be great for entertainment, I believe that is as far as its use should go.
Dmitri Williams, in “From Tree House to Barracks: The Social Life of Guilds in World of Warcraft” talks about the increase in social capital of online gaming and uses World of War Craft as his example. He believes that using a MMO like this increases social capital because of both interaction with other users and also being able to think on certain quests throughout the game. While I can agree that this may increase ones social capital in the online world, I believe it does not carry over into their real lives. The interaction in the real world is much different because of a face-to-face setting. It is hard to correlate the skills gained in online gaming with the ones needed to succeed in a real life community.