Socializing + gaming: Trend

For once, 30- and 40-somethings may be leading a trend: the blending of social networking and online games. Some analysts call MySpace and Facebook "massively multiplayer games in disguise," the Daily Globe reports. The article's about sites like that are "less about skill levels and escapism and more about joining friends and strangers in virtual spaces where chatting, comparing fashions, going dancing — and, yes, slaying monsters — are all options." The Daily Globe describes the experience of "a 41-year-old homemaker" who spends "hours online every day playing Kaneva," a "shopping-and-partying game – where she operates a virtual nightclub and hosts parties – because it helps her interact with people, not provide escape from them as traditional games often do." Both sides see financial gain from this trend, with social sites adding gaming features and game sites adding social ones.

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