Virtual Friendships


Although gaming can have negative effects on real life relationships with family and friends, some researchers believe that online gaming spaces can be socially accomodating environments for socially inhibited individuals. This includes the social inept, socially anxious, and those who are just shy. Just like online chatrooms, online video games are social environments where friendships often flourish. This could be because individuals confide in one another to reach goals within a game together and trust each other for online advice. Online games provide a shared, playful activity. This helps facilitate the development and maintenance of social relationships.

Relationships, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence all require strong metacognitive skills. What does this have to do with video games? A lot: 70 percent of gamers play their games with other people. Contrary to the popular image of the gamer as an awkward, socially inept loner, players are actually engaged with one another. Think back to that educational community that emerged in every 1980s pizza parlor around the Ms. Pacman machine. Gamers play cooperatively. They play competitively. They share tips and tricks. They work together. The teach each other how to get better at the game.

Social And Emotional Benefits Of Video Games: Metacognition and Relationships

Personally I think video game relationships can be beneficial as long as they don’t replace real life relationships. My ex boyfriend use to play a lot of online video games that required him to join online “teams”. With the help of todays technology like the headsets where you can talk to your other teammates it makes easy to make friends over the internet. I can also see it being beneficial or rewarding to be able to work towards a goal with people you do not know and feel a bond towards them when the goal is reached together. I think it becomes a problem when someone would rather talk to their online friends than spend time with their real life friends and family. Sometimes people maintain their real life friendships together through online gaming, which I don’t see an issue with. The only small problem I see with that could be pointless anger towards a real life friend for not winning a game or completing a goal in a game together. As generations go on and technology continues to advance I do hope that future generations will not lose sight on the importance of real life friendships and continue to enjoy life that is not revolved around technology like video games or tablets and phones.


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