Im mostly posting this to remind me where it is. This social aspect of gaming is a fascinating, double-edged sword. Clearly social features generate interest in a product, an additional level of engagement for players, and a new ‘mechanic’ for what can otherwise be a somewhat lonely pastime, but at the same time the nature of remote interaction breeds behaviour that is beyond the norm.

For as many users as there are who find it easier to open up online in a way they cant in real life, there are those who instead use the anonymity and infinity of network communications to pour out the anger, spite, and hatred they must bottle up in face-to-face communications. Technology is an outlet for everyone and everything – good and bad. The best hope for social features in-game is to find ways to help mitigate the negative emotions and foster the good ones. In combat, however, this is tricky…

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