CCP Games, known for MMO EVE Online, has announced a new online course, created in partnership with the University of Iceland. It is dedicated to the science of friendship and building new forms of human connections in video games.

The course is called “Friendship Machine: Forming a New Type of Human Connection” and is now available on the education platform edX. The first three weeks are free, and the price for the whole program is $50.

According to CCP Games, 73% of EVE Online players made a friend while playing the game. The company realizes the importance of social elements in video games and the need for new forms of meaningful connections. That’s why developers decided to partner with the University of Iceland and share their expertise with other people

“There has been a growing concern over the past years that computer games could have seriously detrimental effects on gamers’ mental well-being and social skills,” professor Ársæll Arnarsson said. “In selected cases, this may be true. But for the vast majority of people involved, studies actually indicate findings that gameplay platforms can effectively function as friendship formation devices.”

The “Friendship Machine” course analyzes real stories from EVE Online players and studies the science behind friendship. The list of topics also includes the development of video games as a form of entertainment, their positive and negative impact on human connection, and the risk of loneliness and social isolation.

EVE Online is a popular MMO, which has over 300K monthly paid active users. It is known for its strong community and the ability to generate tons of random stories that people like to discuss online.

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