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Massives As Your Third Home

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the maybe-two-and-a-half dept.

146

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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146 comments

True for Me (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145312)

Masive 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".
I know this is going to sound pretty cheesy and merely anecdotal but I submit to you my experience that MMOs can function third home. I moved half way across the US two years ago. It was the only time I've ever moved in my life and the only time I've been completely out of place knowing no one. Now, at the time, I only played Star Wars Galaxies and had a large house near Coronet that many people visited frequently to buy stuff from me. I was in a tightly knit guild of 10 people with a guild hall that we spent a lot of time decorating.

When I first moved, I spent a lot of time in game talking to my old friends and generally just hanging out in game. I spent a lot of time in the house on Corellia. You might argue that it was detrimental to me meeting new people in my new surroundings and naturally adjusting but, honestly, I would have spent the time reading books if I hadn't had an SWG account. I guess that's why it was like pulling teeth when the CU hit and all my friends stopped playing. Oh well, at least I had enough time to meet new people while still having fun with old friends.

Re:True for Me (3, Funny)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145337)

and had a large house near Coronet that many people visited frequently to buy stuff from me
Drug dealer?

Drugs indeed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145358)

Drug dealer?
Actually, yes I was. I was a Master Doctor with +20 to medicine experimentation clothing. I didn't make cootie packs (combat meds) but I made some pretty bitching buffs and heal packs.

eldavojohn (OT)

Re:Drugs indeed! (2, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145690)

I think the author got the 'places' mixed up?

1st place - Bar

2nd place - What's her names house, the one you met at the bar.

3rd place - Home (You gotta get a change of clothes periodically...

4th place - Oh yeah, work...gotta do that to pay for the 1st three

Re:Drugs indeed! (1)

Cheeze (12756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146798)

"NERD!"

      -Homer (Simpson)

Re:True for Me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145529)

That certainly explains why your posts (and the political views you've posted about) seem to have an air of intolerance and inexperience--you haven't particularly seen or experienced a whole lot of the world.

I Don't Think That's Very Fair (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145614)

That certainly explains why your posts (and the political views you've posted about) seem to have an air of intolerance and inexperience--you haven't particularly seen or experienced a whole lot of the world.
Well, that's a very large assumption and a slap in the face.

I try to be as open minded as possible (see sig). I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere Minnesota and have severely lacked the funds to ever travel anywhere -- though I like to think that the books I've read from libraries have made up for this as much as possible. I used to listen to MPR all the time and now that's one of the biggest things I miss but I can stream it at home. We had six in Minnesota with tons of local shows. There is one out here.

I moved to Virginia for work -- there was none for developers in Minnesota at the time. One of the reasons I have had a pretty hard time meeting new people is because it seems a lot of people out here are intollerant of new ideas. There's been more than a few people here that have found out I'm from Minnesota and said, "Oh, so you're from a blue state..." Not everyone is like that out here but the wind sure blows a different way.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145765)

Virginia isn't particularly known for its tolerance.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145942)

In the area where the OP likely lives, it is more tolerant thn you think. I used to live three blocks from the Pentagon and bought a prized hookah from a shop in the same area. Either a fresh wind is blowing through Arlington, or the brass doesn't poke their head into every shop in Crystal City :)

Now as for the rest of the state...

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

everett (154868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146475)

I take offense to that, it's only the middley westernly parts of the state that are intolerant (says the man represented by Jo Ann Davis)

Maybe you're right :-(

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146567)

Heh I'm in PA now in Philly - this Commonwealth is just as intolerant once you get away from the cities.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (3, Insightful)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146148)

That's why I almost never read/respond to AC comments. I Keep them at a -3 so that most of them are invisible unless modded very high. With the new comment system, they don't stay as filtered, but it's easier to see when an AC has something good to say from time to time.

Just want to let you know that I'm there with you. I'm from the same "blue" state, though my views tend to be conservative, and I am a Christian. But I have friends that are both Christian conservatives and embrace-everything bleeding liberals. All I can say is that if someone shouts in your face about not being open minded, but won't listen to you, forget 'em. I run into it all the time... people who think they'd do me a service by telling me my faith is a sham but won't even take the time to listen to why I believe it. Most of the time they haven't actually read a Bible passage, in essence these particular people don't even know what they're talking about or refusing to believe. Shake the dust off your feet and let them wallow in whatever their problems are. I'll listen to you if you're willing to listen to me. I'll even let you go first. My bleeding liberal friends have had this to say about me. "For a Republican and a Christian, he's pretty open-minded."

I don't want to start a religion flame war, but it's the best example I can give. AC's aren't typically worth responding to. And neither are people who don't care to listen.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146610)

If it maks ya feel any better, I am a bleeding liberal who is always happy to hear anyone's religious views. Just because it is what they believe and helps them get through life, so it at least deserves my outward respect. (Even if it is kooky shit, like my sister with the crystals...)

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146674)

I couldn't ask for anything more than that.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146967)

I'm with you. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, if it helps you get through the day then good for you. The problem is that people from both sides (liberal and conservative) want to push their views on everyone else. True libertarians seem to be the closest to my way of thinking, but some of their ideas can go too far into letting anyone do anything that doesn't directly hurt anyone else.

I think it's important to remember that at the end of the day none of us are all the different from anyone else. We are trying to do what's best for us (and hopefully others), and using whatever tools or knowledge we have to do it.

Re:I Don't Think That's Very Fair (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146684)

Well, that's a very large assumption and a slap in the face.
I would call that more the limp-wristed air-swat of an anonymous coward. You should be flattered. He cares enough to remember your name, but is too afraid of you to use his own.

Didnt Sony do this first? (1)

TechnoBunny (991156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145331)

Im sure I remember the PS2 being advertised as 'The Third Place', way back when it first came out, with exatly the same reasoning behind the nomenclature.....

Yeah. Confusing Ad. (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145391)

They did, and I always found that pretty confusing. For quite some time I thought they wanted to claim third place in the console race - behind the Xbox and the Cube. Weirdos.

Over here in Europe, most people aren't familiar with the concept of "the third place" and probably didn't get the slogan.

Re:Didnt Sony do this first? (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16147046)

Yes and no. The PS2 was advertised as "The Third Place" in Europe; however, it was meant to be between reality and fantasy. So a physical way for you to interact with fantasy but was not truely either. The article is talking about the third home being where you spend your time: home, work, MMO. However, this doesn't quite work out since the majority of of the people in the MMOs are sitting in the dark of their first homes which are owned by their mom's. But whatever.

Pub? (2, Funny)

pryonic (938155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145334)

My first, second and third place is the pub, nuff said.

Re:Pub? (5, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145367)

"Good friends, gather 'round and I'll tell you a tale;
It's a story well-known to all lovers of ale;
For the old English pub, once a man's second home,
Has been decked out, by brewers, in plastic and chrome.

Oh, what has become of the old Rose and Crown,
The Ship, the King's Arms, and the World Upside-Down?
For oak, brass and leather and a pint of the best
Fade away like the sun as it sinks in the west.

The old oaken bar where the pumps filled your glass
Gives way to formica and tanks full of gas;
And the landlord behind, once a man of good cheer. . .

Has been replaced by some child who will just mumble the price as he hands you your . . .latte."

With apologies to Ian Robb.

Howard Shultz brought us nothing but another corporate chain. The "third" place predates the "first."

KFG

Re:Pub? (1)

shimavak (925762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145848)

I appreciate your poetry modification, but I have just one question for you:

Do you mean predate as in PREdate or as in predATE. In other words, do you mean that the third place came before the first? Or you do mean that the third place actively hunts the first?

Both translations make grammatical and syntactic sense; however, from your 'tone' for lack of a better word, I don't imagine that you would indicate the third place to truly have come before the first place.

In which case, it begs the question of which third place predates the first place? I could make a fairly good case for MMORPG --which I happen to enjoy, mind you -- for they could cause great strife in the home. I cannot quite see how the loss of the Pub to the ubiquitous coffee house could bring about the fall of one's first place.

A little clarification is all I ask.

Re:Pub? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145979)

I don't imagine that you would indicate the third place to truly have come before the first place.

And yet it's what I indicate. We are tribal animals and the group home came before the private home. In fact, the private home was invented as a way to get away from the bloody group home for awhile.

There were also the various "secret" societies. The hunter's society, the warrior's society, the mother's society , etc. All of these forms of group home away from predate the private family home.

The model for the "synthetic cave" is the Great Hall/Longhouse, not the "house."

I cannot quite see how the loss of the Pub to the ubiquitous coffee house could bring about the fall of one's first place.

Actually, I'm a coffeehouse dweller myself and have little use for pubs (or beer) other than what they pay me to be there.

But Starbuck's is no more a coffeehouse than Applebee's is a pub.

KFG

Re:Pub? (2)

shimavak (925762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146091)

Ah! That is precisly the clarification I was seeking! It is the unfortunate nature of the medium that I could not know with any certainty which meaning you had intended for predate.

As an interesting point and a fun curiousity of English: predate predates predate by a little more than 400 years! The hunted meaning comes from c. 1460 via latin: prædationem. The latinesque contraction did not appear until 1864.

Re:Pub? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146136)

. . . predate predates predate. . .

Thank you. I love that sort of shit.

KFG

Re:Pub? (2)

goodenoughnickname (874664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146811)

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name."

Revolutionary... (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145343)

Its been said before, but i'll say it again...replace any instance of "Massives" or MMORPGs etc in any of these stories with "The Internet" and it still fits the same. Hell, even the C64's Quantum-Link service pretty much fit every description there, except perhaps the fact that social networking isnt as gain related as in a game.

aeb

Re:Revolutionary... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145431)

yup.

I was planning on writting a cute little piece about playing MMONotepad (IRC for those who don't get it), and how a couple Channels were my "third place" for a very long time. Specialy I am thinking of a time when I was moving around a bunch, and going through some RL problems that having that 3rd place, that was NOT linked to the rest of my life in any way REALLY helped.

Who wrote this, Captain Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145344)

I'm not sure what the point of this is, as it seems to be just stating the obvious. Something designed for people to interact serves as a social interaction point? Now where is that "duh" tag ...

Math (4, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145349)

So if Second Life is your Third Home, does that work out to 2/3s of a homelife?

Re:Math (1)

Greenisus (262784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146082)

And what if you're playing Half Life??

Work...second? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145354)

Are you sure? I always let it slip that "I'm going home" when I'm headed to work.

3D and leveling up not important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145362)

Its strange, even in the 2D world of subspace:continuum (http://getcontinuum.com). It seems just a "real" as the real world. Even though you play from the 3rd person. In most zones no leveling up is done at all. It is just skill that separates the players which makes it feel more like real life than many other games I think. It rewards ability not time spend leveling up.

Its the interaction with people that make the game. Alot of people say the game is like IRC but with a spaceship game.

I guess my point is you dont "need" a 3d enviroment or leveling up to make something feel real.

Re:3D and leveling up not important (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145386)

"Leveler: An individual's rank and status in society are not significant. As in the culture of early video game arcades, "It didn't matter what you drove to the arcade. If you sucked at Asteroids, you just sucked." Players on online games use a separate avatar unrelated to their real life person, and social status is rarely invoked."

In this case, "Leveler" has NOTHING to do with leveling up. RTFA.

Re:3D and leveling up not important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145809)

however WoW is not based on skill. Its based soley on the amount of time & money you spend playing.

"Playful" overall mood (3, Insightful)

EssTiDee (784920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145368)

FTFA:
The Mood is Playful: The general mood of a third place is playful and witty. Players in online games crack jokes during heated battles, perform goofy actions with their avatars, and mock each others' appearances. Rarely are players overly serious about game matters.

Yeah -- that's really been my experience with online multiplayer games -- rarely are players overly serious about game matters. Seems to me the long-time players that the article claims are the real core of the community tend to be some of the *most* serious players i've ever encountered.

Re:"Playful" overall mood (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145390)

I hope to god this doesnt get modded funny when its so incredibly insightful.

Re:"Playful" overall mood (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146384)

Ever heard the "Cloud Song" recording? Rarely serious? Please if you haven't heard it - look it up.

Re:"Playful" overall mood (1)

ahodgson (74077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146416)

Yeah -- that's really been my experience with online multiplayer games -- rarely are players overly serious about game matters. Seems to me the long-time players that the article claims are the real core of the community tend to be some of the *most* serious players i've ever encountered.

That hasn't been my experience. Sure, they expect you not to be an idiot and to be able to play your character well, but in matters that don't result in raid wipes they do joke around a lot most of the time.

My Bicycle and Kayak (0, Troll)

GogglesPisano (199483) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145379)

I spend more than enough time staring at a computer screen while I'm working - it's the last place I want to be during the few precious hours a week that are truly "mine".

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (5, Funny)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145458)

How do you fit your pretentiousness in the kayak?

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145589)

Because instead of sitting on an increasingly larger ass playing video games during his time off, he actually goes outside and does physical activity.

You'd be amazed at how easy it is to fit into a kayak when you're not 400lbs and growing due to a complete lack of physical activity outside of moving between computers and going to the store to pick up for Cheetos.

There can only be two types of people that spend their recreational time playing MMORPGs: the malnurished, and the morbidly obese.

Try doing something that involves physical activity for once. It's not pretentious. It's a fun and actually normal activity as opposed to slowly killing yourself over increasing some useless number another few points.

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (2, Insightful)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146249)

Truly you are an inspiration to us all sir,

Not only do you do physical activity but you manage to do it with your head firmly up your own ass

Also based on the fact you have decided to post your comment on a website specifically for geeks shows that despite your physical prowess, you are not particularly bright.

I guess people who read books recreationally are the same? Or avid chess players?

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16146462)

i guess i'm on the wrong site too then.

geeks don't do outdoor activity? wtf is that? the best programmers I know are the one's who stay healthy.

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (1)

ahodgson (74077) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146464)

There can only be two types of people that spend their recreational time playing MMORPGs: the malnurished, and the morbidly obese.

Try doing something that involves physical activity for once. It's not pretentious. It's a fun and actually normal activity as opposed to slowly killing yourself over increasing some useless number another few points.


Paddling a kayak or chasing a hockey puck around a sheet of ice accomplish exactly as much in the end as playing an MMORPG. ie, absolutely nothing.

You can get an adequate amount of physical activity in 30-60 minutes per day, and still spend several hours a day playing MMORPG's. If that's what you like doing, why not? Why berate someone because their definition of fun is different than yours?

Most people spend their time drooling in front of reality TV shows; personally, I think MMORPG's are considerably better entertainment, but if you want to bicycle around or watch TV, be my guest. Just get off your high horse and recognize that other peoples' choices are just as valid.

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (1)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146586)

Try doing something that involves physical activity for once. It's not pretentious. It's a fun and actually normal activity as opposed to slowly killing yourself over increasing some useless number another few points.

Physical activity is not pretentious. Just your attitude on stereotyping ppl that play mmos. Oh, and GP's attitude as well - that is if you are not the same person trying to dodge the monsoon of karma coming your way. Good call posting as AC.

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145699)

Easy. . . it's a two seater.

Re:My Bicycle and Kayak (1)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146405)


I'm gunna need two seats.....for the twins.

Its somewhat out of hand (4, Insightful)

tont0r (868535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145396)

So you have your 'home' time. Then you have your work time (for real world people, this is 40+ hours a week). And then you want to toss in a '3rd place' time? How much time do you have left?

I mean, sure its great when you are 16 and your 'home time' will consist of playing sports with some kids down the street or watching tv (or video games in this case), your 'work time' is at max 15-20 hours a week, then you have all the time in the world to play an mmo. No need to worry about cleaning or making dinner. Mom has that covered.

But if you arent 16, you work 40+ hours a week, have to come home and make dinner (or go run to the store first to buy it),clean, relax for a bit, toss in a significant other or a child or two, and your mmo time is nearing zero.

We have enough busy things in this world to toss in a 'Third world'.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145480)

Can't your relaxation time be time spent in your third home?

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145482)

I completely hear you there! For starters, I think this "3rd. place" concept is flawed when applied to massively multiplayer online games, because you're generally still playing them in the "1st. place" - your house or apartment!

The reason places like the "corner bar" (a la "Cheers") are popular with some people is just as much the fact that it gets them out of the house (and someplace *other* than work) as it is the "social interaction" factor.

It's really about doing something that breaks up your routine, while letting you interact with some new people (and a few friends too).

From what I've seen of MMORPG's - users often become addicted to them and swear up and down that they've met this whole new world of friends on there. But those "friends" tend to disappear fast if they quit paying their monthly bill and find other interests. (It's a little like the drug user junkie who considers his dealer his good friend.)

Furthermore, MMORPGs *encourage* routine. You form these clans or guilds, and then they get pushy about you getting online every day at certain times so the group can organize for a battle or raid. You start playing just because you "need some more gold" to buy some object in the game ... not necessarily because you really feel like playing for the pure fun of it. And all the while, you're trading off hours of your "real, physical life" for a virtual one. An awful lot of parents are ignoring their own children in order to play their MMORPGs - whereas if they really left the house to "go out", they'd at least be compelled to pay for a sitter to entertain and teach their kid a little bit while they're away.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (3, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145606)

I think you are right, up to a point. A lot of the thinking about "thrid spaces" that goes on with new media is in some ways reflective of the "Bowling Alone" theory as espouced in the book of the same name. In that book, the author says that we (particualrly Americans) used to be much more active in the public sphere with civic groups and, as the title suggests, bowling leagues.
So a lot of this is attempting to counter that saying that while people may not physically leave the house, they still do have social lives that do not involve work.
So while it is true that one may not leave the house while playing a mmorpg, but one does interact with other people and get some sence of escape from work and home.
I'm not sure why this article appeared on slashdot, particularly. The idea of muds and moos as third spaces is nearly as old as muds and moos themselves. Go to scholar.google and search for "new media" and "third space" and tons of articles turn up.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145705)


Hi.

I'm 25, I work 40 hours a week. I'm married and have a 2 year old.

My day consists of: drag self out of bed, do best to wake up (not a morning person - I don't mind my job, I just mind waking up). Go to work. Leave work, pick kid up from daycare. Come home, put on Sesame Street eps from the Tivo, make dinner (I love to cook). Wife comes home around 6-7pm, we eat dinner. Kid gets a bath at around 7:45ish, goes to bed at 8:30.

After 8:30, I have until about 11:30 or 12:00 until I crawl in bed, so I have about 3 hours of time that's mine. Sometimes, I choose to spend it with the wife, sometimes I watch some TV, sometimes I do a chore or two (change cat litter, take out trash, whatever). But a lot of that time, I spend playing eve-online. And a lot of times, my wife spends a good bit of it playing WoW. I guess we do it to escape for a while. I really don't see anything wrong with it, though. Every once in a while, I'll sit down with Eve for a long play session, but that's usually on weekends. The wife doesn't raid, she likes essentially all the early quests you do by yourself and with a small party, so usually she creates a character, and in a couple of months levels it up to lvl 30 or 40, then gets bored and creates a new character, from a new class/race.

It is possible to play an MMO and not have it suck 18 hours of your day. As long as it doesn't take over your life, it can be therapeutic. Take care of your real-world duties, and after that, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism.

~Wx

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

Supercrunch (797557) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145783)

I pretty much run the same schedule, and I agree completely. I have grade-school age kids, and I usually play MMOs for 1.5 to 2 hours per night, always after the kids have gone to bed. There are a MMOs that fit this "casual play" style pretty well. I got hooked on Disney's Toontown Online (yes, go ahead and laugh) when my 6 year old started playing it. Tons of parents play that one, and even the big boss battles take only about 40 minutes to complete. Now I play "Shot Online", a Korean-based golf MMO. Allows me to have some "me time" and some social interaction without having to make a big time commitment. I've also tried Wow and City of Heroes, and they are especially fun at the lower levels.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16146588)

Your problem in the morning isn't that you mind getting up, its that you aren't getting enough sleep at night. You didn't mention what time you wake but I'm guessing it isn't 8:00am which is what it should be if you go to bed at midnight. Try getting enough sleep at night and you won't mind getting up in the morning anymore but you will probably only have around an hour of free time for a '3rd place'.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

HoboMaster (639861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16147078)

Not necessarily true... Some of us just don't do well at mornings. I get 8-9 hours of sleep a night generally, and I'm still terrible at getting up in the morning.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145716)

You've chosen to have a family, deal with it. You can't have time for everything in the world. If you want to have time for MMOs, stay single and get a job that doesn't have excessively long hours. Don't blame MMOs for your own choices in life.

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (2, Funny)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145870)

WorkTime - HomeTime ~= ThirdWorldTime

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146409)

"We have enough busy things in this world"

Who's we? Got a mouse in your pocket?

Re:Its somewhat out of hand (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146640)

"Lack" of freetime doesn't seem to keep people from watching TV. I suppose if don't watch much/any then you would probably have several hours a week to spend on MMORPGs. It's just a choice of how you entertain yourself during your freetime since most people don't work/do necessities for every waking hour of every day.

"social gains"? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145414)

I'm pretty sure that if you spend enough time to earn in-game rewards, you're not gaining "socially"... but if you are, online gaming sure has come a long way since I last played!

Re:"social gains"? (1)

DarkGamer (462552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145873)

The problem is that people that do not understand these games do not equate sitting in a room alone to socaializing, be it a chat room, an mmo, an online forum, or whatever. Many think face-time is the only way to communicate with others.

I play World of Warcraft, and our guild just had a get-together. It was a raging party with a bonfire and lots of fun and booze. We even have *girls* that play. I assure you these games can be very sociable. They just are not a substitute for real life.

Home Office (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145419)

The study I have set up at home is a fantastic hermit-cave for me, and while I'm there I'm able to work, study, play, socialise and all those other things. The only things I don't get in there are:

1. Face-to-face contact
2. Exercise
I think the internet in general has such a high impact on and penetration into those "1st & 2nd places" (at least, for the sort of people likely to be reading this post) that the distinctions are becoming a lot more blurred. Hell, working-from-home or at least taking-it-home-with-you is becoming so commonplace in our industry that I'm surprised people are even discussing it, and then there's the fact that some people love their work so much that it becomes as much "play" or "home" or even relaxed social contact.

On another note: something I find I do altogether too often in social situations (pubs, parties etc) is put on a "mask", a persona that makes me less vulnerable. In MMORPGs the implicit existence of a mask often means that people can be more "themselves" than they would otherwise. Maybe that's why it's such a good place for some people to relax and interact. Could be that it's doing wonders for the social skills of some people...

Re:Home Office (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145510)

2. Exercise

I've got bicycle rollers in my cave (which is actually made of stone). It's also just large enough for Tai Chi.

I've been known to hook up a take off drive to my rollers for a certain amount of power independence as well. God bless LEDs.

KFG

Re:Home Office (1)

anaphora (680342) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145581)

Trust me, relaxing on MMORPGs aren't doing anything for the social skills of any people.

Re:Home Office (2, Insightful)

JadeAuto (935739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145709)

On another note: something I find I do altogether too often in social situations (pubs, parties etc) is put on a "mask", a persona that makes me less vulnerable. In MMORPGs the implicit existence of a mask often means that people can be more "themselves" than they would otherwise. Maybe that's why it's such a good place for some people to relax and interact. Could be that it's doing wonders for the social skills of some people...

People when in public, must, by needs of society, be... well, inhibited by consience. When playing under the guise of an avatar, character, toon, whatever the 'mask' is, you naturally feel that you can show the true personality that lies at the center of your personality. You don't have to hold back in voicing your opinion online, because there is little to no threat of injury or consequence, whereas in the real world you don't always voice your opinion because you don't want to offend anyone.

I've played MMO's for 6+ years now... while I can't always say that the experiences have been totally 100% positive, I consider my time spent in the various games i've played to have helped me to figure out who I am and what my personality is. And it's helped me to focus on what aspects of my life and personality I'd like to improve on. You can learn alot about yourself (and others) when playing an online game, or being a part of any online community. I've sure found enhancements to my social skills from playing MMO's. It does indeed do wonders.

Re:Home Office (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145791)

On another note: something I find I do altogether too often in social situations (pubs, parties etc) is put on a "mask", a persona that makes me less vulnerable. In MMORPGs the implicit existence of a mask often means that people can be more "themselves" than they would otherwise. Maybe that's why it's such a good place for some people to relax and interact. Could be that it's doing wonders for the social skills of some people...

That's funny. In actual social situations I'm usually very outgoing and friendly to everyone. Put me in an MMO and I'd rather just be left alone. Perhaps it's just b/c I deal with people all day long and when I finally get some downtime the last thing I want to do is deal with more people (especially if those people are l337 d00ds).

Re:Home Office (1)

envelope (317893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145905)

I have a home office from which I work full-time. So my "first place" and my "second place" are the same. I don't have a "third place" since I am not a gamer nor a barfly.

Should I just ask my mom to bring me down a glass of lemonade and a sandwich?

Starbucks "introduced" third places? (5, Informative)

ThatGuyGreg (544880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145422)

Are you high? Ask your parents about soda shops, bowling alleys, drive-ins, etc. Then, go read Bowling Alone [amazon.com] by Robert Putnam - it's a great look at what he calls the collapse of the American community, because of a lack of these "third places". Good read.

Re:Starbucks "introduced" third places? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145452)

Come to think of it, gentlemen's clubs and social salons were such "third places" and they existed back in the umpteenth century (18th or earlier)

Re:Starbucks "introduced" third places? (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145556)

Are you high?

No, he's just a young example of how far the American community has fallen.

KFG

Re:Starbucks "introduced" third places? (1)

RPGonAS400 (956583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145751)

At my 25 year high school reunion a few years back, a classmate came up to me as I was leaving. He said the most memorable thing of the entire weekend. When we were little there were baseball games all summer at the "8th hole" of the golf course where kids from a rough range of 8 to 16 would gather and all play together. My classmate said that his kids never ever play outside with the neighbors. We make ours play outside with the neighbors and they are all better for it.

Re:Starbucks "introduced" third places? (2, Funny)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146427)

You let your children OUTSIDE!? There's CHILD MOLESTERS out there!

ehh... (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145429)

aren't you in your home (for most people) when you're in an mmo? is it possible for the third to be a kind of subset of the first?

Great, Good Places (3, Informative)

pkalkul (450979) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145446)

The source of the theory of "third places" is Roy Oldenberg's book The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, which has been around for quite some time. Sherry Turkle, in her Life on the Screen, also references Oldenberg. Credit where credit is due. Here is a nice summary [pps.org] of Oldenberg's work.

get a real life losers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145449)

How about a girlfriend, family, healthy exercise ....

Re:get a real life losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145662)

Ah, Slashdot. Where suggesting that living a normal life, as humans have lived for tens of thousands of years, is trolling.

Although the order is wrong. It needs to be family, exercise, and then girlfriend.

Family first, to get used to the concept of talking to other people.

Then exercise, because no girl is going to date a 200lb lard-ass.

Finally, once exercise and family have been resolved, then a girlfriend becomes possible.

wasnt it Ray Oldenburg? (1)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145456)

Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks introduced third places as somewhere besides home or work where people can socialize and feel comfortable.

Eh? i have heard of thrid places before but never this howard schultz guy. i think the concept of third places it attributed to ray oldenburg. [wikipedia.org] though the practice has been around a lot longer. video game related link [ttu.edu]

What's wrong with ... (1)

RahoulB (178873) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145478)

pubs?

Re:What's wrong with ... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145574)

Some people don't like to drink, or be surrounded with people who don't know when to stop drinking.

home (1)

calumniate (777615) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145509)

is anywhere you hang. yeah!

No Guinness.... (1)

imadork (226897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145522)

How can it be yout third home if there's no Guinness there?

Re:No Guinness.... (1)

sdhankin (213671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146730)

I don't know about you, but I often have a Guinness sitting next to the keyboard when I go to my own particular "third place". We are talking about civilized discourse here. Guinness is essential.

graphical MUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16145544)

What will it take people to stop using the meaningless term "massive" multiplayer online game? Online games aren't by definition massive. "Graphical MUD" is a far more appropriate term.

So a third home in a sense... (1)

hrrY (954980) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145600)

Is a masquerade? A 3rd home in the context of TFA is then in fact, a virtual activity that removes people from reality as we know it to be. So wouldn't this concept be another facet of escapism? Surely the MMOer's will be rife with malcontent if this is how their activity is viewed, casual or otherwise.

My own mind (1)

thorkyl (739500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145618)

is my third home...

What people want to hear vs. reality (0)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145623)

There is nothing in WoW that even closely relates to Cheers. It is more like a microcosm of real life, right down to the fact that you have materialism is the dominating force in keeping people's noses to the grindstone. Regarding the author's specific points, I'd say the neutral ground argument is a bit weak, because players *are* obligated to play if they want to stop being called a "n00b" or other memes that spread like wildfire (I believe that 'nub' is all the rage as of late.) The leveler argument is totally incorrect: imagine if someone mentioned they were gay on public chat in WoW. I doubt they would be warmly received. In WoW, conversation is decidedly NOT the main activity, but something that grows out of the fact that WoW requires enormous amounts of time.

(Much of my disappointment with WoW is actually that of Internet. The anonymous nature makes it to easy to be unaccountable for what you say. Absent of real-world status, people feel like they need to invent their own even more inane class systems and base them off of incredibly superficial things, such as post count or how low your UID is, all because their little minds need a hierarchy.)

Re:What people want to hear vs. reality (2, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145913)

There is nothing in WoW that even closely relates to Cheers. It is more like a microcosm of real life, right down to the fact that you have materialism is the dominating force in keeping people's noses to the grindstone.
There are other MMORPGs than just WoW.

I played Ultima Online for a good while (hence my nick). I'd say that UO itself isn't a 3rd place, but it has lots of 3rd places in it. Some in the form of a virtual version of a real 3rd place such as a bar; in other cases it might be a guildhouse where you'd drop in, meet some friends and then set off on an outing together.

The "neutral ground" aspect definitely holds; there were plenty of MMORPG players just hanging out or poking around a bit, even in WoW. A lot depends on where in the game world you go... just as in real life. If you go to a gym and just park your beer belly at the juice bar and order snacks and booze, expect to be called some real life equivalent of "noob". Conversation may not be the main activity in WoW, but in some areas in UO (And various other games) it most definitely was.
The leveler argument is totally incorrect: imagine if someone mentioned they were gay on public chat in WoW. I doubt they would be warmly received.
Same holds true for a real life bar. The "leveler" aspect does not mean a total absence of status and mores; it means that those in the 3rd place are (mostly) separate from those the outside world. The point is that a priori acceptance in the 3rd place does not depend on the status in the outside world. Gays, rich folk, religious nuts, they are all equally welcome in most bars... but the regulars might turn a cold shoulder if you openly come out of the closet, brag about your wealth all the time, or start to proselytise.

Massives? (1)

ThomsonsPier (988872) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145631)

'nuff respec'.

I don't feel at home at work. I feel at work at work.

Is it just me? (1)

aliendisaster (1001260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145637)

Is it just me or are they trying to put way to much thought into games? I'm a WoW addict but its not my "third place". It's just a game.

Home Depot (5, Funny)

dpbrown (596946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145847)

My third place is Home Depot because my first place needs work and my second place doesn't pay me enough to convince someone else to make my first place their second place.

Bud and Lou (1)

N. P. Coward (953833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145860)

There seems to be some confusion. Let's review the basics (for the youngsters):

Who's on first.

What's on second.

and

I don't know.... THIRD BASE!

The changing social architecture (1)

ragingsamster (798408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16145885)

Only a few years ago the MMORPG crowd was looked on as very eccentric, outside the social norm etc. With the advent of stricter laws regarding personal behavior,( DUI laws in particular) instead of going to the neighborhood bar more people are heading online to meet up with friends. The MMORPG is now becoming more and more acceptable and visible in society. Consider that the average MMO will cost the user around $15.00/month and provides a recreational/relaxation avenue that is comparitively risk free and far less expensive, it is no wonder that the number of MMO players is expansive. So for the cost of a good double scotch at a nice bar you can have a virtual world to recreate in, or just hang out in for a month. Stop on the way home from work and grab a bottle - you will be money ahead - not having to deal with violating laws or endangering others, and hang out with like mided people. I do beleive this movement will continue to grow.

Third Spaces and Democracy... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16146009)

The third space used to be called 'the commons' or 'public space' and its disappearance in modern democratic societies is perhaps the greatest tragedy of our times. The idea that Starbucks claims it 'invented' third space is ironically an indicator of how far we've fallen from having sufficient free common public spaces.

Third spaces have long been cited as being the very foundation of democratic society. The mall or Starbucks however are Not public space - they are private - and this can be easily seen if one try's to stage a public demonstration in one of them.

The first time I heard the term third space in reference to coffee houses, beauty salons, et. al. was in a little book called 'The Very Thing Your Heart Craves', published by a small press in the 70's(?). The author again notes the significant role these spaces play in free speech and in the social/community life of society.

This third home is a waste of time. (2, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146089)

This is inevitably going to come off as flamebait to some, but I think it has to be said...

If people but as much effort into constructive pursuits as they put into these games they couldn't help but be very successful. And I don't think there's a real middle ground where you can truly do well and continue to maintain what is essentially a second career within these games.

This is coming from someone who's played a few MMOs... I never invested even a fraction of the time some have put into these games but I still think it was too much time wasted. I certainly wont be making the mistake again.

Re:This third home is a waste of time. (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146768)

Except that in an MMO your "second career", as you say, can be picked up and left alone at will. besides, being successful IRL can bring with it more headaches and annoyances than extra benefits.

Prior art for $500 ... anyone? (1)

harryk (17509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146381)

Someone else made a nice comment, and to the point, Starbucks is by no stretch of any imagination inventor of anything other than a brand name. A third place has been part of our lives for quite some time. Think outside sports, recreational activities (not family vacations), anything that you do routinely away from home or work. For me, it was life at the firedepartment, or talking in IRC, or rugby, or skating, or any number of things I did away from home or work. Social status (real) was achieved through personal growth. I learn, or I help, and therefor my 'status' improves.

I swear ... some people get away with writing the most god awful shite, and get it passed off as revolutionary! ... /rant

harryk

Not Mr.Schultz... This is Ron Shea!!! (2, Insightful)

barfy (256323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146541)

Both are from the Pacific NW. But "A Third Place" is the mantra of Mr Ron Shea not Howard Schultz. He is the owner developer of Crossroads mall, Lake Forest Mall, and importantly Third Place Books and he is the current owner of the Honey Bear Bakery (which lead seattle in the slice of cake and a coffee movement), which no longer exists in its original location.

Third Place describes the environment that he has tried to create at the Malls and the Third Place Books in the old PCC in Seattle. They have large central courts that are utilized by the general puplic, gaming communities (he likes chess it would appear), community theater and concerts. Along with a variety of food.

His idea is creating the "Third Place" that you go to hang out. After work and home.

He has been moderately successful, but not as univerally accepted as you may think. I think he is right that there exists the concept of third places, but alot of them exist spontaneously, (like Cheers) and only up to a size where everyone knows your name. And they aren't as successful larger than that. But the concept is successful enough, and they are very pleasent places to visit.

Then where's Norm? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16146808)

All I can think of this analogy is of the alcoholic who always goes to the bar (Norm being a prime example). All he does all day is drink, if he works, he drinks after work, he's addicted and he knows nothing else. Unless it happens in that bar, Norm really doesn't know much about it.

Unfortunately MMORPGs are no different we have the "hermit" who all he does is play the game til he dies, he's stuck in his "home", he constantly thinks about it, to be away from it too long is painful.

Just because we try to make it sound comfortable, doesn't mean it's a perfect good. MMORPGs are as harmful to our society as alcohol. This doesn't mean we should ban them both or stop having them, but we shouldn't just allow people to indulge til they kill themselves. At least with alcohol in a bar you'd have a bartender who's should be willing to cut you off.

There's a big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16146926)

between having a face-to-face conversation with other, live human beings in a street corner cafe about philosophy or international politics, versus watching an animated orc on a computer screen with a word balloon over his head that says "55 NE rogue ganking outside BB".

Don't get me wrong -- I play MMORPGs myself and they can be a lot of fun in moderation. But they're a damned poor substitute for the kind of "third places" we used to have, and that they still do in many other societies.
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