Social Gamers? No way!

This article:  

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15114 

seems to point out what a lot of us at Kill Ten Rats have known for years, but it’s an interesting read. It would seem psychologists are finally realizing that these MMO games are social activities and, in some cases, can cause a person to become better at social interactions.  This is not to say that it holds true for every gamer.  Certainly there are plenty of MMO players who it seems will never learn how to behave around others. What I find most interesting are the romantic facts.   The study found that 1 in 10 MMO players develop physical relationships with those they have met in the game world.  I’d be interested in seeing how that compares to the success rate on matchmaking websites.

12 thoughts on “Social Gamers? No way!”

  1. 1 in 10 surprised me, and I’m not sure if I believe it or not. Of course, no non-gamer going to believe that study if they saw that Southpark episode about WoW. >.

  2. 1 in 10 seems very, very high. My guess is that it is 1 in 10 of survey respondents who may or may not be lying…

    I certainly know of many people that develop deeper emotional attachments to people they meet in a virtual world. Many people that I consider good friends were met online and a good percentage I have never met and probably never will.

    Its interesting when you make a connection with someone, and then find out later that they are the antithesis of your real world friends, and you begin to realize just how many good friends you have probablly not met in your life because thier impression of you or yours of them, caused you to not reach out…

    Its easier to befriend the elf wizard then it is the person of a different race/ religeon/ economic/ social circumstance as yourself…

  3. Very true. It also helps to have something in common to talk about; the game is basically an extremely effective icebreaker.

  4. I’m not entirely surprised. I’ve met a lot of my in-game friends in ‘real life’ over the years. Most particularly, my husband started out as a hunting partner in EQ — and I know several other married couples who met in EQ.

  5. It wouldn’t surprise me if the success rate for physical relationships was comparable, if not better, than matchmaking sites. Because the game itself would be something both of you are passionate about, and hence a solid common ground to further the relationship. On the other than, matchmaking services often have to piece together people who might not share event remotely similar interests.

    And it’s not just MMOs. I met up and still continue hanging out and keeping in contact with some of the guys that I played FPS games with in the past, such as UT, RtCW or Tribes 2.

  6. 1 in 10 seems high to me too (even though I’m a member of that group!) Curious if you have a link to the source survey?

    I do think games can help with some social skills… and it is a little frustrating how the mainstream is slow to catch on to this. In all fairness, though, I find real-life social interaction is even -more- helpful :-)

  7. Making 1 in 10 more realistic: that is ever, so if you once hooked up after a player meet, you count. She also counts, so the two of you cover 18 other people. If there are two couples at a full 40-man raid, that is 1 in 10. Also, you may know one person who has hooked up with half a guild; congratulations, you have covered your entire server.

  8. Good point on the “one couple covers two people.” That obvious fact escaped me and does indeed make “1 in 10” more realistic.

  9. Maybe the 1 in 10 includes stalking? “but she really likes me, we HAD a relationship, I swear!” I have heard a few stories like that.

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