The realm of multiplayer gaming may not fall on the sinister end of the internet (for the most part), but it is not immune to falling victim to sterility and lack of emotional connections. I think it needs to be viewed as an alternative, not as a outright failure. Opening up a venue to meet like minded people is usually a positive step, and given personal circumstances the internet may be the only option available.
Ultimately, computing is a personal experience anyway. It may be more fun to have you buddies over to lan, but you're still all focusing on separate monitors and goals, a level of detachment will always exist in that regard.