MMO as Social Media?

I got to thinking last night as the Osama bin Laden news broke about the social component of MMO’s.  My wife had texted me to let me know to turn on the TV (how 21st century!).  On seeing the news, and fingers already poised over the keyboard, I typed the news into the chat box and sent it to both teams in World of  Tanks.   The battle that followed unfolded slowly (and a little sloppy to be honest) as we chatted about the news and its consequences.  This included a conversation I conducted half in Spanish for a player from South America (I learned last weekend that I am fluent in Spanish.  Apparently those 4.5 years of classes stuck in my brain better than I thought they did.  Who knew?), who didn’t believe it because their media outlets were not saying anything yet.

I thought that might have been weird or stand alone, but it was not.  Match after match, we chatted about the breaking news.  We relayed information to those who did not have TV’s on, and opined on retaliation, whether or not this would change things, if this meant the end of troop deployment for the US, etc.

I bring this up because there has been a lot of coverage of Twitter and how it reached, at its peak, over 5,000 messages a second over this news.  Yet no one will measure the number of messages sent and chatted over in WoW, WoT, EQ2, Rift, Maple Story, FFIV, EVE…

Do MMO’s count as social media?  Isn’t that part of the draw of the games and their perpetual worlds?  Just something to ponder in the days ahead I suppose.

In other news, I continue to be busier than ever in real life, and spend most of my time actually in game.  I hope that this slackens as summer approaches.  Add that to the lack of real news to blog about, with the big guns still mostly under wraps or “subject to change,” and its been a nice  quiet break.  But don’t think I’m going anywhere.  Believe me, if this blog shuts down, I will tell you about it!

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One thought on “MMO as Social Media?

  1. I certainly think it’s as much social media as Twitter or Facebook. Heck there are some that treat MMOs simply as chatrooms with graphics.

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