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Ever made a friend online through a video game, a gaming messageboard, or a service like Twitch or YouTube? Those relationships can be great, and I certainly have a lot of “internet friends” that I’ve never met in person. People have even met boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives through video games –most often massively multiplayer online games. But sometimes parents and other professional pearl clutchers worry that you can spend too much time with online friends and that your life is the poorer for it.
In this episode, I talk with Dr. Rachel Kowert (editor of the upcoming book, Video Games and Well-Being) about friendships and other relationships formed in online games. Can these kinds of friendships substitute for offline relationships? Are they better or worse in some ways?
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