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Platforms for mediated sociability and online social capital: the role of Facebook and massively multiplayer online games

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Given the popularity of new media platforms such as social network sites and video games and their increasingly central role in the social life of teens and young adults, we seek to examine their impact of social capital, particularly regarding the establishment of new types of social ties. This study examines whether the use of Facebook and playing of video games promote bridging and bonding social capital among Singaporean youths. The aim is to go beyond simple measures of intensity and frequency of use and examine more specific uses of these platforms and their contribution to online social capital. The results largely support the findings from previous studies, showing a positive relationship between intensity of Facebook use and online social capital. The findings also suggest that while general frequency of gaming was not related to online social capital, civic gaming experiences, associated with playing of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), were related to online bridging while MMO playing was directly associated with online bonding social capital.
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Keywords: civic gaming; social capital; social network sites; video games

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information,Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Publication date: 01 October 2011

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