A Qualitative Analysis of Online Gaming:
- Publisher: IGI Global
The popularity of Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) has risen dramatically over the last decade. Some gamers spend many hours a day in these virtual environments interacting with others gamers, completing quests, and forming social groups. The present study set out to explore the experiences and feelings of online gamers. The study comprised 71 interviews with online gamers (52 males and 19 females) from 11 different countries. Many themes emerged from the analyses of the interview transcripts including (i) relationship with social networking, (ii) social interaction, (iii) the community, (iv) learning real-life skills, (v) reinforcement schedules and operant conditioning, (vi) game design and content, (vii) escaping from real life, (viii) playing longer than intended, and (ix) gamers’ obligations towards others in online worlds. These findings specifically showed the social networking capabilities of online gaming, the community aspects and the psychological mechanisms within MMORPGs that can lead to excessive online gaming. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to previous qualitative and quantitative research in the area.
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