A content analysis of interviews with players of massively multiplayer online role-play games (MMORPGs).

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Taylor, Jacqui ; Taylor, James (2009)

This paper explores the intrapersonal and interpersonal motivations involved in the playing of MMORPGs, and the impacts of gaming on online and offline relationships. Twenty-one participants completed an online synchronous interview in which they discussed their personal experiences of playing MMORPGs. An online survey was then developed to further explore the findings of the interviews and this was completed by 52 participants. A content-analysis of the interview transcripts showed that interpersonal factors (such as social communication and group cohesion) were the strongest motivators for game-playing, supporting previous research [1]. The interview data also showed that there tended to be conflict, rather than integration, between online and offline relationships, however the questionnaire data showed the opposite. This was a small-scale pilot study and a further larger study is planned which will investigate whether Social Identity Theory can be used to explain players’ perceptions of group and personal identity.
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