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Interaction, hold the communication

So in order to do anything but my work in the past few days, I've been playing a bit of Yahoo Go. Now Go is a great old board game that I am pretty bad at, and it seems to me that much of the fun of Go, or really any other old game that has been made into a computer app, depends on being able to see your opponent, and you know being able to interact with them. This doesn't happen with the online version. Sure there's a chat option, but nobody uses it as far as I can tell. It seems like people prefer their opponents disembodied.

In native computer games, there has been a move for years to increase interaction. In the old days of online gaming, things were pretty much impersonal in a "see opponent, shoot opponent" way, but that gave way to team-based games, in more recent years voice-capability, and intensely social "world" games such as WOW. In other words, there's been an attempt to bring the people behind the avatars into the game.

However, when I played a few games of Go, it more or less involved initiating the game, waiting for an opponent, and then just playing, just two disembodied people communicating entirely through the game, through the medium. These digitized versions of classic games seem pretty popular, I mean look at online poker, but it seems like people are simply looking for opponents so they have an opportunity to manipulate the medium (and possibly win your money). The actual identities of the people involved seem to be irrelevant.