A Social Lifeline of Online Games

November 24th, 2023

Online gaming has become increasingly popular in recent years, offering players the opportunity to connect with others, challenge their skills, and explore virtual worlds. Let’s delve into some key aspects of online gaming.

Social Interaction in Online Games
Contrary to the stereotype that video games are isolating and gamers are antisocial, research has shown that online gaming environments can be highly socially interactive. Studies have found that players often form friendships and connect with others while playing online games .

For example, a study conducted in 2003 found that a quarter of players of the online role-playing game Everquest cited connecting with other players as their favorite part of the game . Another study from 2007 examined players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and concluded that the online game environment facilitated social interaction .

In addition, online gaming communities can provide a lifeline for individuals who may feel isolated or lack other sources of support. Some members of online gaming communities discuss personal and sensitive topics with each other, seeking advice and support on various life matters.

In-Game and In-App Purchases
Online video games often include in-game and in-app purchases. These purchases can range from cosmetic items to additional content or gameplay advantages. It’s important to note that these purchases are separate from traditional gambling activities and do not involve real-world monetary value .

To ensure transparency for consumers, games with in-app purchases are often labeled as such as part of the rating system in countries like the UK and US .

Online Gaming as a Service
A common trend in the online gaming industry is to operate games as a service. This approach involves offering games for free and monetizing them through additional purchasable items, such as loot boxes and battle passes. Unlike purchased retail games, online games may require special servers to function and may not be permanently playable.