Keeping in Touch - A Space to Work on Something Together
For many, the MMO provides a space to keep in touch with a friend or family member who lives somewhere else. The MMO space is distinctively different from email, IM or the phone because you can't collaborate and do things together in those mediums. What the MMO provides is a space to not only spend time together but to work on something in common.
I've played online with a few friends I've known in real life on many separate occasions, mostly in high school, when some fellow students and I would get together online after school. Most recently, I've been getting together in a MMORPG with a very close friend of mine who moved recently. It gives us an opportunity to still 'see' each other and be able to do things together, unlike just chatting (either on the phone or online) where we can't interact on the same level. Being able to 'see' one another and then go hunting or hang around town feels much closer to getting together in real life than talking on the phone or e-mailing one another does. [Realm Online, M, 23]
Ryan is a grad student in legal philosophy from Toronto. For him, playing an MMO with a good friend reminds him of them terrorizing IRC chat rooms together when they were young.
the playing experience was a lot more fun. my friend and i live far apart, so the ability to contribute to a 'project' together was a great way to reinforce our relationship. working together was easy and the play experience more fun because we both know what the other likes, finds amusing, etc. what did happen was that our real life relationship was strengthened somewhat because we had a shared experience. notably, the same used to happen to us when we were younger and would 'terrorize' IRC chat rooms. [Vendetta, M, 26]
I play MMO's with my fiancée. I'm a graduate student on the west coast, and he lives on the east coast. It's a way for us to do things together. In game, we were much the same as out of the game. I think it helped the relationship, because it was more 'personal' contact than through phone calls, email, or some sort of instant messaging program. [DAoC, F, 29]
Tags: boundary play (17) , play is social (27) , playing with friends/partner/family (6) , transfer offline (9)
To speed up load-times on multi-page articles, comments are now only loaded on the last page of an article.