Online Games as Communities

In connection with a course in Social Media, I’m carrying out a project about online games as communities, specifically Star Wars Galaxies and Star Wars the Old Republic. I’d like to invite comments here on this subject.

One of the most interesting critical reviews of the New Game Enhancements in SWG was that while Sony Online Entertainment thought they were tweaking a game, which was their’s to change, to the users the game was a community, and that by changing its basic rules, SOE committed a massive betrayal. Since much of the player base left the game, and ultimately SOE had to pull the plug, this view seems to have been borne out.

I see community in online games in two arenas, within the game itself, and in online forums where players communicate with and help each other. In-game, I thought I saw a lot more interaction in SWG than in SWTOR. The player interface in the former seemed to make conversations between players eassier, as well as grouping. Before the NGE especially, players would congregrate in cantinas and at shuttles, where they could interact easily. I don’t see that same element in SWTOR. I’d very much like to see comments from those who have played both games.

I play solo, so I have little experience in guilds, which would seem to be the best places for players to hang out together. So I look forward to comments from guild members in both games about their activities.

The forums in SWTOR seem about the same as those in SWG, with plenty of interaction between players. But maybe you have another opinion. Please comment! (Comments may be used in my project presentation, and posted online.)

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