Socializing: Play in Disguise
Play as an activity is executed by an individual or several people for entertainment, socialization, or both. A rationale of play is to make the individual who is performing the activity derive some fun. There are diverse types of play including mental play as well as physical play. However, play does not only entail pleasure and entertainment, it also concerns realizing a sense of accomplishment. I realized this when I begun to engage in mental games (Turkle 158). While several players express a desire to accomplish in the game, there appears to be two dissimilar threads of where fulfillment lies. There is a group of players who derive fulfillment from the constant progress presented by the mechanisms of the game, while some players are mainly motivated by the desire to attain a goal, characteristically the end-game (Selnow 148).
Part of the motivation for participating in online games is for the most part, to experience a sense of accomplishment. As I play the online games, I perceive my attention as a flashlight. This means that, where I place my attention is the light, and my intention is where the light is pointing. As soon as I place ample effort and time into an in-game assignment, I get satisfied in a manner that is quantifiable and significant. I also attain a new item when I conclude a complex quest and acquire experience, money, or points. I may as well gain an advanced level of expertise in a skill, or achieve disrepute in the online game community. The actual world is different from that. In the actual world, there are a small number of quantitative rewards for one’s efforts in merely trying to live. In the actual world, one must run errands, clean their house, go shopping at the grocery store, pay the taxes, and perform the laundry, among numerous things. However, there is no satisfaction or forward progression in such things. These are merely daily chores. There would be sparkly reward, new skill, or new item waiting for me following completion of the 5th stack of laundry in one week.
Socializing in massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPGs) denotes dissimilar things to different individuals. For some individuals, the excitement lies in being capable of login on to a world whereby there will always be somebody to have a chat. Making new acquaintances and having friends whom I can chat with is essential to me. At the time when I was in the World of Warcraft (WoW) beta, I did not play much since of my acquaintances were not in it. When I played, I was at all times looking for somebody to chat. In effect, the only thing that I lacked in the release of World of Warcraft is that a lot of my guildies from EverQuest (EQ) did not make the shift. We still keep up a correspondence by means of the message boards, and individuals who leave the guild have requested me to be re-quilded in my guild prior to quitting the game.
I socialize with people, most of the time. I usually talk to numerous people at a time, and usually feel somewhat uncomfortable in quiet groups. My list of acquaintances grows frequently. When I used to play EverQuest 1, I was able to acquire a list of 100 acquaintances. I most likely play generally to meet people and acquire new friends. It is fun having acquaintances from all parts of the globe. Befriending people and getting to know them well, hopefully builds lasting friendships even in the event that one of us ends up quitting the game.
As I socialize in play, I enjoy helping other people. Altruism is extremely interrelated with forming relationships and socializing. Conceivably this is because assisting someone else is the simplest way to meet somebody new in the competition and commence a conversation. I am at all times ready to give assistance to new players when I may have the time, with any skill that I may have. Time and again I keep a quantity of my previous equipment so that I may assist a new player, and I do not accept cash for it in return. Occasionally I would ask for resources that they may easily collect, but more often than not I simply ask that when they would outgrow the gear so that they may also assist another new player. From time to time, I see individuals whom I have assisted several levels later, and a lot of them remember me. This gives me the requisite sense of accomplishment.
Several years back when I had trouble socializing I got a chance to perform an interview with somebody who was exceptionally experienced in the social feature of social interactions. Patrick put it in a manner that astonished me in that I could not believe I did not realize it before. Patrick said that one ought to think their concentration as a flashlight. According to Patrick, one’s attention is the light, and their intention is where they are pointing the light.
In my younger years, I was extremely reserved and quiet. Through games like these, I have been able to learn how to converse to people as well as how to interact. More outstandingly, these games have also assisted me in learning leadership skills. I have grown up playing several games whereby social interaction featured as a major constituent. At 15 years, I was an awkward and shy person, unable to converse around people whom I did not know well. Today, I am able to interact and socialize freely and I have no trouble holding conversations with new people. I may still experience s a measure of shyness, but I have learnt to conceal it in a better manner. Making new acquaintances has always been an endeavor that I esteemed doing, but as a result of my trouble being at ease with socialization, it was a task that I could not accomplish effortlessly. Gaming has assisted me learn what it takes to make friends, and some of my closest friends are people whom I have met in-game.
According to a study conducted by Syracuse University, it was found that the people who play MMORPG reported an increasingly greater sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from the game. Among the amazing benefits found was the increase in the acquiring new friends in comparison with the games that involve single-player groups. The degree of cohesion that regularly develops among MMORPG players was also found to be significant. In effect, there are numerous real-life relationships and romances that have blossomed owing to online socializations and interactions in gameplay (DePaola 79).
Several studies reveal high and moderate game playing groupings to be rated positively in regard to psychosocial health assessments than non-gamers. This indicates less perilous behavior and higher levels of self-esteem. Several studies have as well failed to demonstrate a strong and reliable link between gaming and injurious variables. A number of preliminary studies have postulated that engaging in online games has the predisposition to increase social skills and sociability. Other studies have ascertained a strong and reliable link between introversion, self esteem, social skills, and social anxiety. According to a construct developed from social intelligence, social skillfulness denotes a group of skills utilized in decoding, regulating and sending verbal and non-verbal information with the intention of facilitating adaptive and positive social interactions. A number of other studies exhibit that social skills have broadly predicted essential indicators of psychosocial health, for instance, the size of social and interpersonal support networks, personal adjustment, self esteem, as well as psychopathology (Gershuny 28).
Bearing in mind the social character of online gaming, as well as, the unique character of online communication, it is rational to theorize that the time spent while playing online games may enrich a number of, or each and every one, of the requisite social skills. However, there are some studies that have revealed some personality characteristics indicative of trouble in maintaining relationships as well as low self-esteem. This may necessitate the need for extra research in regard to the effect of online gaming on socialization. This is because, as an individual, online play has assisted me in socialization.
Gershuny, W. Changing Times: Leisure and Work In a Post-industrial Society, New York: Oxford U.P. 2011. Print.
DePaola, E. “Self-Esteem and Social Skills.” Personality & Individual Difference 11.8(2008): 79. Print.
Selnow, T. “Playing Videogames: The Electronic Ally”. Communication Journal 34. 2(2010).148.Print.
Turkle, P. “Constructions & Reconstructions of the Self in Virtual Reality”. Mind, Activity & Culture 1.3(2011). 158. Print.
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