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FOX Reports on MMO Social Dangers

Posted Dec 10, 2007 by Keith Cross

FOX Reports on MMO Social Dangers

FOX News offers up a heaping helping of anecdotal evidence to remind us all why we should be afraid of our friends while playing games online.

Massively multiplayer online games — or MMOGs, as they're called — can foster more vulnerability than there might be on other virtual meeting spaces such as dating and social networking sites, where participants are inclined to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior from the start.

"When you're in a social situation like that — playing a game, having fun — you're comfortable with the people you're playing with," said cyber-stalking victim Jayne Hitchcock, president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA). "People are just not very careful. They lose all sense of reality and themselves."

Such conditions can lead participants to be more trusting of each other and less cautious. Players tend to be focused not on meeting each other, finding a love connection or promoting themselves, but on getting through the game, working as a team and concocting strategies to win. The pressure to make a good impression and project a certain persona is off.

Read more here.