Positive Aspects of Online Gaming

Play a lot…but not too much

Without a set definition for video game addiction, it is hard to know where to draw the line when considering if one might be an addict. For some, 20 or more hours of gameplay a week may be the status quo, while in the eyes of others anyone who plays 20 hours a week would pass as an online game addict. While people may disagree over the definition, research has shown that 21 hours of gameplay per week or less can in fact improve social relationships.


Community Building

A community is a group of people with a shared interest or goal. With this as a definition for community, it follows that online gaming presents the potential to create vast online communities, especially in the case of MMORPGs where there can be millions of users for a game who all are looking to accomplish the same end. These communities enable friendship building and a social avenue that many feel they may not have in real life.


Instilling Leadership Qualities

Everyone community large or small needs some form of leadership. In and online game that involves cooperation, this creates a situation where someone needs to take the lead of their clan or group. Games such as World of War craft require increasingly larger groups of players to complete quests as they become more difficult, sometimes requiring group of 40 people. Successfully organizing and operating with that many ‘team mates’ would be impossible without some sort of developed leadership.


Constructing Rules to Live By

Communities develop sets of standards or expectations of behavior from their members, and members must adhere to these social boundaries to thrive. The development of games enforcing the positive values that we hold in the real world can influence its players to more actively portray these values.


Helping Return to Society

Thousands of soldiers who experience combat develop varying levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For many of these soldiers malls (highly social areas) can trigger PTSD not only making it hard for them to interact socially with others. The Pentagon has developed a game much like Second Life which places soldiers experiencing PTSD into a virtual marketplace where they can earn points when interacting positively with others. The research has shown improvement for the soldiers participating.

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