Saturday, August 7, 2010

Social Media, Gaming, and "Friends"

Social Media has been a huge part of the society over the last couple of years.  MySpace and Facebook being some of the bigger names.  I know there are dozens others.  Along with these sites came a phenomenon known as social gaming.  For those of you on Facebook, games such as Farmville, MafiaWars, VampireWars, etc. are clogging up news feeds on a daily basis.

"Hello, my name Rubicon and I have a problem."  Yes I do.  I have been a social gamer for well over a year now.  Damn those crappy, boring, non-interactive, silly ass games that are so fucking addictive I could...  Well, you get my point.  I have managed to discard several of them but I have to admit that I am still somewhat addicted to MafiaWars for whatever reason.  Maybe because they actually try and refresh the game frequently.  Although refreshing boring, crappy, non-interactive games still leads to more boring crappiness.  Yet, I just can't stop myself.

This has led to a phenomenon of collecting "friends" in order to meet certain in game requirements for advancement.  Your "crew" or whatever the appropriate term is for that game, must grow in order to advance.  That led to friending people that you really didn't know.  I guess that is the social aspect of it.  Some friends took it pretty far and friended literally hundreds of people to advance their characters.  Others, such as myself, did friend a handful of people I didn't know, but were friends (the real ones) of friends.  Yes, I am making very subtle and differentiated excuses here.

There are also other "friends."  Two significant groups of these friends comprise mostly of people you are simply acquainted with through mutual friends and activities and people that you were friends/acquaintances with many years ago, such as high school classmates.

The acquainted friends makes for a very interesting dynamic.  Perhaps out of a sense of obligation we friend these people and continue to do so.  I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  Social media allows you to get to know these people a lot better and who knows, you may find a real true friend through their updates and other activities that you have in common.  And then there is the other side of that coin.  At what point does one decide to not be friends with an "acquainted friend?"  Recent events have certainly led me to evaluate my reasons for having some people as Facebook friends.

As to the recent event, I was recently "blocked" by one of these friends.  I don't know the real reason why I was blocked.  I can certainly make educated guesses as to why, but in all honestly, I don't really care.  The question becomes, why remain friends with someone if you are going to completely block them from your content?  One obvious reason is that they can continue to see what you do and what you post.  I don't know if that is the case, but it was enough for me to say, "screw it," and defriend the person once and for all.

I also fail to understand the phenomenon of keeping a friend that is openly hostile to you, whether deserving or not.  I mean, why bother?  Does it somehow make one feel better to get a hostile comment or response from someone?  I have to admit some rather subtle attempts to get defriended in the past, but those attempts failed.

Although the person is now defriended, they were still a member of my "Mafia."  Who cares?  Right?  So what sense of justice is there in outright attacking and then placing a bounty on my character?  Just how guanophrenic must one be to get any real sense of pleasure from such a petty act?  Please, oh, please, tell me what I have done to wrong you so!?!

'Cuz I'd really like to do more of it.

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