"That kind of social validation is incredibly powerful for people who don't have it in their real lives," he says. Anecdotally, Yee says that validation can sometimes lead to greater confidence in the real world, but it's tough to say whether online gaming will be a positive or negative force in someone's life.
"There's a lot of stories about people who have fallen in love online and have ended up getting married, but the flipside is also true," he says. "You've got MMO widows who feel gaming broke their relationship up. That's what's so fascinating about MMORPGs. It's really got the good and the bad."
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