11 May, 2008
This week, let’s think a bit about socialization in online games. Specifically, how can the design encourage people to make friends with others?
Some thoughts after the jump.
The social fabric is one of the most important aspects of an MMO. It’s common knowledge that people who have connections to the social fabric are much less likely to leave the game. Now that MMOs have been around for a while, we’ve seen that people often bring their little pockets of socialization with them, often from another game. So, the primary challenge isn’t to introduce new players to new friends, but to get players to expand their network a bit to build more connections within the game.
So, the challenge is to describe how you would do that via a game’s design. Or, describe what you think is a good alternative goal for reinforcing the social fabric in a game, if it’s even possible.
What do you think?