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A misconception that people have about those millions of people addicted to playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role playing Games is that they are loners and somewhat misanthropic. On the contrary, its the need to interact with other people and to be part of a community that keeps them coming back. This is a great article on how people become addicted not to the graphics nor to the immersive qualities of the technology, but to the very basic needs of status, companionship and social interaction.
China is facing a rapidly growing online gaming community of kids who grew up without brothers or sisters. Their world and culture is far very different than that of their parents when they were teenagers with far more pressures but also much more opportunities. Game worlds allow players to escape to an alternate reality beyond the usual banality of everyday life. However, without the community and social network of online friends and allies, video games would have little traction in China.
updated by Frank Yu