I read an research piece in the journal of Computers & Education, and I wanted to write an article about it, because it struck me as interesting. Throughout my time playing online games, I’ve always thought that strangers I meet online would act different over the internet than they would in real life, and I doubt I’m the only one that holds this sentiment.
That’s why this article by Michele Dickey struck me as especially interesting. The article detailed the findings of an experiment that involve getting an entire university class to play World of Warcraft (a popular, online role-playing game) in their free time after class. Dickey then noted how their online interaction effected the dynamic of relationships within the classroom as they played the game together more and more.
Funnily enough, Dickey notes that some of the shy, introverted characters in the class room had completely switched their role. Because they were somewhat mentoring other players on how to play the game in the online world, this attitude crossed over into the class room. Shy kids were becoming the mentors, they were much more expressive and many of the students were collaborating on the scale that they had not been before the video games was implemented into the classroom.
Speaking from experience, I think that this observation is more than just a one off. There are a fair few close friends of mine that I started to play online games with and the dynamic of our relationship has changed entirely, and always for the better.
Do you have any experience with the way in which online games has impacted real world relationships? Comment below and let me know!