Welcome back! This week's For Science!!! is a continuation of a multipart series exploring why MMOs are so addicting. Today we will be exploring the social interactions that inevitibly take place while playing a MMO. Part one can be found rhere.
Everyone likes having a friend or two that they can rely on. Even if you're a recluse hermit, you've probably made up a friend that hangs out in your head or perhaps a mannequin that just sits in a chair. Perhaps you had friends at one point but they went away or you grew apart. Never fear, we have MMOs to help you get back into the caring and sharing part of life. The fun part of making friends or even acquaintances in MMOs is that they don't judge you on your looks, height, weight or personal scent. You are judged mainly on your personality and skill in said MMO. It's a powerful attractant; it allows you to be the person you really are without social stigma attached (that is, if you choose to have the same personality in the living world). You can form deep, lasting relationships with people. You can even pick up a significant other. All this while playing a game , that if you read my first piece on this subject already has you by the throat due to your loot addiction.
I know what you're thinking, 'Mr. Seething, I hate people! They cause nothing but problems and are jerks!'. Yes that is all fine and good, but one of two things are bound to happen as you play your favorite MMO: You will either make friends at some point or you will stop playing. Just about every major MMO has what is known as end-game content. This end-game content normally cannot be done by one's self. It requires 10 people (most popular raid size) and even back when MMO became popularized, it required 40 or more people. That's a lot of people hanging around in one area. You're probably bound to make a connection or two in that crowd.
What is the point of all this? Well, not only are you mixing loot-dopamine into your bloodstream, you're also chilling with your friends. These two factors alone will make you less likely to stop playing for some time. It is even speculated that even though the MMO itself fails to satisfy as it once did, people still play mainly for the social interaction.
That's all for this week's For Science!!! Come back next week as we wrap the MMO section up by tackling the last main draw to keep you playing MMOs: your avatar.