Steinkuehler on Online Games as Third Places

Where everybody knows your (screen) name: Online games as “third places.” (PDF, Via c.a. steinkuehler – MMOG research) I thoroughly enjoyed this article, but didn’t mine as many quotes as I expected for use in my own paper. However, here are a few gems I found… and as you might have guessed, these quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.

Socially Negotiated

– [ ] “the basic medium of multiplayer games is communication”
(Steinkuehler, in review, p. 11)

Social Change

– [ ] “We find that… MMOGs do indeed function as one novel form of a
new “third place” for informal sociability… participation in
such virtual “third places” affects participants’ social capital
in terms of both broad but week socila networks (bridging ties)
and deep but narrow social networks (bonding ties).”
(Steinkuehler, in review, p. 2-3)
– [ ] “American lifestyles, for all the material acquisition and the
seeking after comforts and pleasures, are plagued by boredom,
loneliness, alienation” (Oldenburg, 1997, p. 13, as cited in
Steinkuehler, in review, p. 4)
– [ ] Characteristics of an MMORPG as “third place”: neutral ground,
leveler, conversation is the main activity, accessibility and
accomodation, the regulars, and have a low profile, the mood is
playful, a home away from home (Steinkuehler, in review, p. 8-17)
– [ ] “as a general rule, MMOGs function best as bridging mechanisms
rather than bonding ones, althrough they do not precule social
ties of the later type.” (Steinkuehler, in review, p. 19)
– [ ] “teenagers mentored adults twice their age and education in how
to lead a clan” (Steinkuehler, in review, p. 20)
– [ ] “for the totally isolated person, MMOGs are a window into new
worlds of people and ideas. But for the person seeking emtional
and substative support they represent a potential pitfal.”
(Steinkuehler, in review, p. 22)


Steinkuehler, C. A. & Williams, D. (in review). Where everybody knows your (screen) name: Online games as “third places.” Manuscript in submission.