In my gaming time, I switch back and forth between MMOs and solo games (often adventure or RPGs) quite often. When I’m in the latter, I always feel that something vital is missing — the social component. Those worlds can feel lonely as I fail to see other players or have people available to chat. It often serves as a reminder why I do love MMOs and prefer to dwell in those worlds.
According to a post on Imedia Musings, this element is called ambient sociability: “Ambient sociability is a very casual form of social interaction; it may not create direct bonds, but it does satisfy our craving to feel connected to others. It creates a kind of social expansiveness in our lives — a feeling of inclusion in a social scene, and access to other people if we want it.”
We may sometimes define it as “playing alone together,” but in any case, it can be very comforting and involving to see and hear other players around us. So do you play MMOs for ambient sociability, and if so, what do you get out of it?