Why Not Online Gaming

I don’t very much enjoy playing games online. To the point where I have a game that is designed to be at least half if not mostly online (Torchlight II) but I prefer to play solo because I don’t enjoy the interaction. However, playing games with friends (mostly board games but also computer games) is one of the most enjoyable things I can think of. And I’m not the only one with that mindset (Wil Wheaton, for example) and some take it to more of an extreme and some to less.

Yesterday I watched this lecture by Jane McGonigal about making games that have meaning, purpose and impact other than escapism. And in the section about testosterone, she quoted a study that explains that biologically. It says that when we win over someone we don’t know, our testosterone spikes and we’re more likely to assert dominance – rub it in their faces. When win over someone we know, our testosterone drops and we’re more likely to be nice and comforting – trying to make them feel better about themselves.

Maybe I caught on that subconsciously but I don’t like that feeling, when I have it but mostly when it’s directed at me. I enjoy the battle of wits, I enjoy the banter, I enjoy collaboration (which is why I always prefer cooperative to competitive) and players online tend to rush things, take a lot personally and mostly not be sportsmanlike and considering. And it’s very hard to talk to them or even get someone you can talk to.

Posted in Gaming, Humanity, Thinking Out Loud by with comments disabled.