CCP Games has announced Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection, an online course featuring its player-driven spacefaring MMO, EVE Online. Created in partnership with the University of Iceland, the course explores “The Friendship Machine,” or the science behind how people forge meaningful relationships and how video games have created a new type of human connection. The course is now available on edX.org and includes the first three weeks free for anyone who would like to register. Unlimited access, including the final quiz and course certificate, is available for $50 USD / €40.91 EURO / £35.19 GPB.
Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection dives into the science behind friendship, how video games are developing as a form of entertainment, and the positive and negative impacts of video games on human connection. It also provides compelling insights into the friendships and connections that players forge through video games, the risk of loneliness and social isolation in society, and more through analyzing real player stories from the EVE Online community.
Participants can enjoy Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection at their own pace. All course materials are available immediately upon registration.
“Social isolation and loneliness seem to be taking on an epidemic proportion in the industrialized world today. At the same time video games as culture shapers and human connecting machines are growing rapidly in scale,” Tryggvi Hjaltason, Senior Strategist for EVE Online at CCP Games, said. “At CCP we found that 73% of our players have made a friend as a result of playing our game. We have come to understand that how you design a video game in terms of its social elements matters a lot and the variables that it takes to build a meaningful human connection need to be accounted for. Increasingly video games are a source of meaningful connection but also social isolation, understanding the difference is key for understanding the potential positive and negative impacts video games can have on our lives.”
“There has been a growing concern over the past years that computer games could have seriously detrimental effects on gamers’ mental well-being and social skills,” Ársæll Arnarsson, a professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iceland School of Education, said. “In selected cases, this may be true. But for the vast majority of people involved, studies actually indicate findings that gameplay platforms can effectively function as friendship formation devices. The communication and information technology can create an alternative space for disconnected individuals to meet, transcending geographical and socioeconomic barriers.”
“We’re delighted to work with the University of Iceland and CCP to offer this new course to our global network of over 38 million edX learners,” said Anant Agarwal, edX founder and CEO. “Online learning creates an incredible opportunity to forge connections and foster collaboration between learners located all over the world and this new course is a fantastic example of that benefit in action.”
An opening ceremony will be held at CCP Games in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 26. Interested participants can virtually attend the ceremony and hear from course instructors Terry Hjaltason and Ársæll Arnarsson at the following link: https://livestream.com/hi/vinattuvelin.
For more information about the course, please visit http://edx.org/course/friendship-machine-forming-a-new-type-of-human-connections
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