Most teens play online games with friends as part of out-of-person relationships. Often they meet at a friend’s house or through an Internet service provider. However, many teens also play online with people that they do not necessarily know well, such as strangers or people who are not close friends. And once again, even the youngest boys (ages fifteen to 17) are now more inclined (60%) than girls of any age to say that they play against or play with other people who are not close friends. So it seems that the social aspect of the Internet is a very important feature for teens to pursue. Resource
Teens who say that they like to play online games by themselves or with random people who they don’t really know well tend to be lonely and isolated. The Internet provides a safe place to play online games and hang out with friends without having to face anyone. Online playing games with strangers is somewhat of a taboo for most teens. So when the opportunity arises, many shy teens go out on their own and play alone or with random friends.
Another reason why many teens go to Internet sites like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Facebook etc. to play online games is to find new friends. Many teenagers have found their best friends and through them, find new loves. They meet people whom they have shared interests with in person and also find new friends through the Internet.