The arcade is unique in that it can provide short, intense bouts of personal interaction without so much as a word, as players win, lose, and play together in rapid succession. Spanner takes us to Blackpool's Golden Mile, a place where gamers can buy companionship one game at a time.
There's no direct competition, you don't kill anything, and you have no set goals. But it can get almost anyone, gamer or not, to sit down and play with others, to trade stories, and to show off their work. Pat Miller looks at the social wonder that is Animal Crossing.
"This is a love story of a particular kind. It's a story of love in an online world, and of the ways it can bleed into the real world around it." Mark Wallace tells us the story of Diamond Hope and Unmitigated Gall.
"There's obviously a huge problem in the gaming community, and it's the sort of problem that can only be solved by the judicious application of overwhelming force." Shawn Williams solves all the industry problems in one fell swoop.
It's common knowledge that game developers never play their games, or at least it is among the players of those games. It's also not true. Joe Blancato discusses playing your own game with Brian Green, Lead Designer of Meridian 59.
"Are your avid fans your best fans?" Bruce Nielson looks at how modern games with content creation tools often have the same expectation of support as expensive professional development tools.
"I am a gamer, my brothers are gamers, some of my best friends are gamers, but no matter how much it hurts, I must speak the truth: Gamers are what's wrong with the game industry." Patrick Dugan explains.
Although all games have the potential for problems, opening up a virtual sandbox to the world brings an entirely new level of issues. Pat Miller talks to Linden Lab's Cory Ondrejka on how they handle Second Life.
"You can't tell your story, no matter what it is, without others to listen. What's wrong with having a slightly off-kilt story to share?" Joe Blancato tels us of his past roleplaying experiences.
Like any form of gaming, RPGs have odd conventions that only gamers know. John Walker decided to test these conventions on the streets of Bath, England, and provides some very entertaining results.
"When people are so far immersed in a story, everything the story touches develops meaning." Nova Barlow gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how players react to events, and shares some of the knowledge she gained while creating them.
Though descended from tabletop games, CRPGs borrowed from the settings and mechanics much more successfully than they captured the spirit. Will Hindmarch, a self-professed RPG snob, discusses his feelings on this, and how his experience in World of Warcraft has affected them.
"As I psychoanalyze myself, I'd have to say my first reason for switching gender isn't to become a woman, but to not be myself. I want to take a break from myself - and playing a girl puts me in far more neutral territory." Chris Dahlen explains why he prefers female avatars.
John Tynes laments the loss of roleplaying when the face-to-face roleplaying games were converted to modern CRPGs. Join The Contrarian as he contrasts these worlds, and looks at the players trying to force it back into MMOGs.
"Just who is it I see before me on my screen? Is it him, or is it me? What real difference could it possibly make?" Mark Wallace discusses player-to-avatar relationships.