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Are Video Games Social?

716 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Sai_Jao
Hi all!

I'm writing a paper about how video games (specifically PS2, XBox and Game Cube) have become more interactive and thus more of a social phenomenon than in previous generations of gaming. Any thoughts and/or insights about this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Interactive != social. All video games are interactive, i.e. the player is always interacting directly with the game. This is obviously different from passive noninteractive entertainment like TV and movies.

Some games are social, meaning that you are interacting with other people in a shared artificial world. Degrees of socialization vary, obviously.

* MMORPGs let you share the world with thousands of people, none of whom you will (probably) ever actually meet in the "real world".
* Games like Madden or Mario Kart let you play with a grand total of four people, but you are all sitting on the couch in the same "real world" room. (Not counting XBox Live, I suppose.)
* "Pick up games" are hard to quantify as social or not. I'm talking about games like Unreal Tournament, or quick joins of Warcraft or Starcraft. Sure you are playing against other real people, but you're not really socializing. You are for the most part interacting with the computer interface, the oppponent might as well be a really smart bot. But some people tend to form communities around this stuff, and that is most definitely a social function that is at least spawned by these games.

And obviously, there are plenty of single-player games that are not social at all. Unless you want to count the online communities that form around these games, also.
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That depends. I tend to think online games are a trend that lead to overall, less social gamers. However, I am all for calling up friends, having them all bring their boxes to one house, and setting up a quick LAN, buying the booze, then blowing each others brains over the walls for the next 20 hours.

Lans have no ping, and there is a much greater level of satisfaction and over all fun when the people you are fragging (or are fragging you) are people you know. Being able to shout your taunts at said person is much more enjoyable than typing in 'stoopid n00b, i PWNED j00!

Yes, games can be social. People should work to make lan parties more frequent. Me? I have one every 2 weeks.
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yea look @ the giant online gaming social community, and get 3 friends round for a game of mario kart and te fun really kiks off
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