is a another very interesting kind of relationship “formation” going
on in MMORPGs. Many MMORPG gamers play
with a romantic partner or a family member. About 16% of male
players and 60% of female players play with a romantic partner, and
about 25% of male players and 40% of female players play with a family
member. Many of these players say that playing together has changed
their real-life relationships in unexpected ways.
who play together often talk
the environment highlighted their individual differences by
accentuating personality differences.
Our styles are totally different. For instance, I will rather
play in a group just for company, even if the exp gain is minimal,
whereas my partner tends to literally AVOID other players.
For other players, the environment doesn’t only highlight individual
differences, but it comes to shape the relationship itself through
interplays of power, dependence, and gender roles.
Parents who play
with their children often talk about how the online world becomes
an important window in the identities and lives of their children
which they seldom have access to in real life. More importantly,
the MMORPG environment allows these players to redefine the boundaries
of their real-life roles in ways that enhance the parent-child relationship.
MMORPGs not only change how new relationships form, but they are
also windows into existing relationships as well potent catalysts
that can restructure those relationships in beneficial ways.