Assistant professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign extensively discuss how we're meeting each other more often in game worlds. They say the interaction gives a useful sense of community and may even be replacing physical third places. The writers argue that while the online communities aren't the same as those in-person, they shouldn't be dismissed as unimportant.
We've always enjoyed the multiplayer aspects of gaming and playing games with friends, even if just passing off the controller. With frequent press about games and MMOs as the latest scapegoat, we like seeing articles like this taking a deeper look into into how these worlds are constructive.