Today’s Fundamental Friday may not relate to the online gamers under 25. They are a new generation who may not feel indebted to these particular interactions. These users share all of their activities and have found ways to sidestep much of these perceived entanglements. Our next research article involves a more in-depth view of interpersonal relationships when playing online games.
After numerous hours of research along with the insurmountable evidence that even the most mundane tasks of our daily lives can be gamified, I decided to dip my toes into online gaming. Zynga’s Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends were my entry points. At first, I was nervous to initiate a facebook friend to play a game. What if there were rules of contacting certain people in your past for playing games? A few years ago, I had tried to play Words with Friends and felt I had let my friend down as I would forget it was my turn, forfeiting the game. I did not want to create any mis-understandings with a simple past time or research assignment.
After two months and possibly the same game with people, Words with Friends can be a diminishing return as the game is quite drawn out depending on your playing style and time. Yet, this is a very popular game for most Facebook users. A smaller and less popular game, Scramble With Friends, is similar to the board game, Boggle, and lasts only 2 minutes. There is also Chess with Friends as well.
The things I learned after 2 months of playing games online:
1. People feel badly if they need to take a break from playing games. Some apologized, others ignored, and some just continued to play every few days to pacify.
2. Playing with strangers can enhance the gaming experience because no person is offended if one wants to opt out or has a busy week, forgetting to play. With Strangers, there are low expectations for a return game.
3. It feels good to achieve something quickly. My scores improved by hundreds of points in just a few weeks. The voice would say, “Good Job”, and “AMAZING”. That is something you just do not hear every day when you run a business. It does come in a form of payments, repeat business or referrals though. However, we all need to hear positive re-enforcement and immediate gratification for small tasks. It worked when we were children! Aren’t we big kids sometimes as well?
4. What if someone has better scores than you? Does that make them a better person? Values and judgements may be made upon a simple game analysis. However, if someone makes that kind of judgement about you, don’t worry, it is their problem, not yours. Play away.
5. Some say, how do you have time for this? I used to have the same reasoning. Yet, these games can take less than 2 minutes of your day.
It is actually quite fun and can enhance your mind, if you choose your games wisely. Think of it as an exercise. Instead of worrying when your friend will arrive at the restaurant, play a quick online game. Some may say you are not taking in your environment and missing out on life. My response is to make sure you smell the roses, but play a few games to stretch your mind with educational games. Why be a grown-up all the time? Take a few minutes out a day. Who cares if someone is better than you. If that is an issue, then play with a random opponent to sidestep the interpersonal issues that come with playing with one you went to grade school or college. Heck, they probably have so many responsibilities on their plate that they can only play every once in a while too!
Be understanding when playing with others as you would in school and tap on.