Do Games Enhance Sociability?
Now that the semester has started and a new round of EDTEC 670 is underway, it's time to rev up this blog again. What better place to start than this Reuter's article summarizing a recently published study. The key quote:
"'By providing spaces for social interaction and relationships beyond the workplace and home, MMOs have the capacity to function as one form of a new 'third space' for informal sociability,' Steinkuehler and Williams write.
While such sociability won't offer 'deep emotional support,' they add, it has the benefit of exposing players to a wide range of viewpoints and a more diverse social environment."
The researchers based their findings on a two year study of players of Asheron's Call. Without having read the original article yet, I have to wonder about the extent to which the social talk among players had anything to do with the world outside the game. If one becomes a social maven in a simulated world, to what extent do the skills developed generalize to face-to-face interactions?