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The Social Hub : The Lasting Impact of Voice Chat

Posted May 27, 2013 by Suzie Ford

Voice chat is both bane and boon to players in MMOs these days. It's a great thing for strategy, for getting to know new people, for the fun of talking while playing. It can be a problem, however, as player isolate themselves into small groups. In our latest Social Hub column, we take a look at voice chat from both sides. Read on and then leave your opinions in the comments.

One of these features that could be considered both a positive and a negative when it comes to MMO communities is voice chat. Before voice chat, we were all typing into chat boxes, and probably had several color-coded chat channels,– map chat, global chat, area chat, guild chat—you name it. These options still exist, and chat UI options are even important to modern players (see SWTOR for a recent example). However, when it comes to voice chat, it’s great because you can have instantaneous communication without delay when talking to your group. Modern games just take for granted that you will be using voice chat. Voice chat is both an immeasurable tool that went outside the game initially and created a problem that devs may not have adequately solved just yet. It’s a double-edged sword for its effect on the community, even down in ways we might not always see. 

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: The Lasting Impact of Voice Chat.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom
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