CasinoMoments makes an interesting distinction between gaming in the physical presence of others and gaming online. The major difference, of course, is the type of interaction: the environment.
There’s a certain “feel’ to gaming events where everyone is in the same physical location. There’s a vibe that everyone can feel. But with online gaming a lot of the physical stuff is missing. I’m sure tht much of the physical stuff will eventually be simulated online, but people will be able to choose whether or not they want, for example, to receive sound, smell, visuals etc. But when you’re there, all sitting around the table, there’s no getting away from the environment.
Think of the difference between playing a game of Halo 2 with your friends sitting in the same room, and playing online with people you barely know, can’t see, have never met in person. I’ll take a game of Halo 2 or Warcraft sitting in the same room as my friends over an online game with anonymous gamers any day.
The point of all this is just to say that the environment in which a game takes place plays a huge role in the dynamics of the game and the overall enjoyment of the game, so make sure to pick your gaming environment wisely!