Social Groups are Segregation

It keeps the group tight, but also keeps others out.

News at 11 – MMOs are not like the real world.

Except they are. Sort of.

Sweeping generalizations have their place, and can be used to effect at times. This was not one of them. The problem lies in just how frequently the statement is wrong. This statement about a genre of game that grew from the attempt to realize virtual worlds, started off way off base. Some MMOs are games, and some are worlds, but even in the MMO that is “just” a game, they share a lot of similarities with the real world. Particularly in regards to the social groups that arise in them that Tobold seems to want to force together, as he attested in a contrary post to a couple of pro-segregation bloggings.

The biggest problem that I have with Tobold’s assertions, is that any social group, in any setting, has imposed a form of segregation on the world around them. A group of friends who get together and watch movies and talk about them afterward won’t create a welcoming environment for someone who wants to turn their hobby into a book club. A team of people who play softball aren’t going to welcome someone coming in and trying to play baseball instead. There’s the entire gamut of examples that could apply to this from extreme to subtle, and the result would be a collection of person’s who only include those with similar goals and drives. A devout Baptist won’t attend a Latin mass. Segregation doesn’t need to be a dirty word that indicates a separation based on inapplicable reasons. It’s a reality of something that we all do in our own social lives, and it makes sense that the social behaviors would extend to our gaming activities as well.

Read more of this post