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Is online gaming antisocial?

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Game On has posted an interesting theory suggesting that developers are intentionally focusing on single-player, single-console campaigns, while pushing multiplayer gaming into the online arena, in turn, forcing gamers to become antisocial. No more split-screen parties and high fives. But is online gaming really antisocial?

Game On argues that the online experience lacks "the jokes, the stories about our day at work, the break for dinner and the beloved pizza and beer". We would argue that while we might not share these experiences in the same physical space, online (usually in in-game lobbies) we do share these types of moments.

Arcade culture is dead (at least, in the US). Console gaming is in. And as we grow up, move away from home, take on full-time jobs, and raise families, we have fewer opportunities to meet with friends in a physical space and game. Online gaming is a great substitution, allowing me, for example, to play and socialize (virtually) with my childhood friend now living 3,000 miles away. The concept of virtual socialization is so new to the human experience that we are having a difficult time understanding its contribution to fulfilling the desire for togetherness. But, given the success of formats like Xbox Live, it's obvious that gamers are responding positively to virtual socialization.

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