sleepwellmyfriend writes "What is a third place? The first place is your home, the second place is work. Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks introduced third places as somewhere besides home or work where people can socialize and feel comfortable. Think Cheers. Massive multiplayer online games are third places as defined by their characteristics: neutral ground, leveler (no not that kind), conversation, accessibility, regulars, low profile, playful mood, and "home away from home". Online games also contain social capital, which like financial capital, can be acquired and spent, but for social gains instead of financial gains. In a social relationship sense, bridging provides breadth (diverse information and resources) while bonding provides depth (comfort and advice). In online games, players come from a diverse background so they are usually bridging social capital but bonding can occur for long time players."
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