Lonely Virtual World

Posted: 26.08.07 in Blogging

I’ve just come across an interesting article by Margaret Robinson for the BBC called State of Play: Winning friends. In essence it’s a challenge to the stereotype of the lonely gamer in a dark room; whilst also acknowledging that half the point of computer games is to provide an escape from reality.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that I am a gamer: I’m a subscribed player of World Of Warcraft and I am a fan of the Pro Evolution Soccer series. I have to agree with Robinson with her two main points.

First, it is a little anti-social. But then so is reading, watching the television, doing the gardening. It’s not about cutting yourself off from the real world as such: it’s more about making an escape to another world, where you have more control or you can live out fantasies you wouldn’t dare try with your own life. I can’t say I would go around killing enemy players in real life, and the opportunity to do that in a controlled manner with no harm to anyone is quite satisfying.

Secondly, it is the social aspect of World Of Warcraft that is the most appealing aspect of the game. I am instantly linked to many other players all around Europe; working together in teams to achieve satisfying goals. And as in real life, if you behave like a child you will be treated as one. You learn quickly to create social groups to advance in the game quicker, and to treat others as you would like to be treated. These are important social lessons.

And I don’t pee in a bottle either.

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