Are online gaming communities the clubs of new members or will the next generation of online gamers lack any social skills that cannot recognize a three-dimensional object even if it falls on their head? Looking at some of today’s online games, it shows that despite all the grim prophecies, virtual games create a new, larger, and wider form of communities in the world based on human interaction.
One of the oldest and most common claims against online gaming addressed its antisocial nature. Internet opponents viewed online games as the enemy of the community, leading people to prefer the solitary act of playing Internet games to participating in more traditional types of social activities, such as playing sports games, visiting the clubhouse. local bingo, etc.
However, the growth and development of online games made this claim a bit irrelevant. Roughly ten years of broadband Internet access prove the opposite: online gaming is a social activity by nature. From classic card, board, puzzle and sports games to massive multiplayer online games (Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc.), online games are nothing more than isolated and / or antisocial.
Let’s take online backgammon for example. Backgammon, the ancient board game, was traditionally played in backgammon clubs as a one-on-one game or a tournament. The rules of backgammon used to be spread in the old viral marketing, word of mouth.
But what would a backgammon player in a small town do that doesn’t have backgammon clubs nearby? Online games solved this dilemma. The largest online backgammon rooms are home to hundreds of thousands of players who can play backgammon games with each other, chat with each other, discuss game tactics and strategies, share information, gossip, and do whatever community members do when to get together.
Another game that demonstrates the importance of the social aspect in today’s online games is Second Life. The relatively new game has become a phenomenon. Although UFA defined as a game, Second Life had shed all the traditional characteristics of a game: it has no rules, no strategy, no competition, and no real goal.
Instead, Second Life players – excuse me, residents – can keep busy with various social activities, like buying and selling things, throwing parties or being guests, displaying art objects or visiting art exhibits, and engaging in other community behaviors lifetime. At the same time, they can make new friends and / or enemies and experience the full range of human emotions with each other.
These were just two extreme examples: the classic board game goes virtual and the embodiment of the visions of cyberpunk authors. However, online gaming communities are much richer. Online gaming communities can be based on a shared interest in a certain game or on the abstract idea of interaction. Either way, the basic need in human communication did not go beyond the world with 3D web technologies.