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Online gaming meets social networking tools

Associated Press - Matt Slagle, 12/12/2007:

Jo Ann Hicks doesn't identify with gamers, but she spends hours online every day playing "Kaneva."

The 41-year-old homemaker likes the shopping-and-partying game -- where she operates a virtual nightclub and hosts parties -- because it helps her interact with people, rather than providing an escape from them like many video games.

Social and gaming networks, once considered polar opposites, are cross-pollinating as online interactions replace prime-time TV and other, more traditional, media experiences. Games like "Kaneva" are attracting players that games like "Super Mario Brothers" never did.

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