August 19th, 2006

Study: Online Games Make You More, Not Less, Social

We've all heard people sneer at multiplayer online games, making comments like: "They're not real friends..." and "Virtual friendships only cause depression."

But is that really true? Is the enjoyment of massively multiplayer online games (MMO's) such as World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 really that much of a delusional, self-destructive endeavor?

Maybe not, so cheer up and keep grinding for those epic items in WoW.

A study conducted jointly by the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois defies conventional wisdom about the nature and quality of virtual friendships. As GameDaily BIZ reports, the academic research suggests that MMO's can promote sociability and expose players to new worldviews.

It's certainly true that WoW guilds, for example, can become highly organized social structures. Cooperation and communication - often using voice communication apps such as Ventrilo - are keys to success in high-level raids and instances.
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Louisiana Pol Wants Game Industry Biz AND Game Legislation

Tricky bunch, politicians...

In an article posted at St. Tammany.com, Louisiana State Rep. Steve Scalise (R) discusses his desire to attract video game developers to the Katrina-ravaged state.

"Content production in video is similar to film." Scalise said. "It is a market sector that the state has not tapped into that could generate millions of dollars in revenue. It is mobile, driven by creative talent, is a big growth industry that provides a large number of high paying jobs - it is the kind of business we want to bring to Louisiana."

Scalise told St. Tammany that he and others had reached out to the game industry nearly two years ago, but Katrina "knocked everything back to square one."
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