Eve Online maker CCP Games has partnered with the University of Iceland to offer a course for studying the “science of friendship and video games.”

The online course is now available on edX.org and is accessible to anyone interested in studying how video games have created a new type of human connection. The course is “Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection,” and it features CCP‘s player-driven spacefaring massively multiplayer online game, Eve Online.

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 and includes the first six weeks free for anyone who would like to register. Unlimited access, including the final quiz and course certificate, is available for $50.

The class 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. It analyzes real player stories from the Eve Online community.


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Participants can enjoy the course at their own pace.

Amarr Titan in CCP's Eve Online.

Above: Amarr Titan in CCP’s Eve Online.

Image Credit: CCP

Tryggvi Hjaltason, a senior strategist for Eve Online at CCP Games, said in a statement that social isolation and loneliness are taking on an epidemic proportion in the industrialized world today, but games as culture shapers and human connecting machines are growing rapidly. He said that CCP found that 73% of its players have made a friend as a result of playing our game. Games provide the reason for doing something together in a shared experience, which is needed for creating a meaningful connection. Hjaltason said that understanding the difference between connection and isolation is important for understanding the potential positive and negative impacts video games can have on our lives.

Ársæll Arnarsson, a professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iceland School of Education, said in a statement that concern has been growing about the harm that games have on gamers’ mental well-being and social skills. In some cases, that maybe true, he said. 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, he said.

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 Arnarsson here.

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