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5-21-2009 @ 8:40PM
Interesting stuff. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and did some undergraduate research in the use of nonverbal behavior in online environments, but a few years before WoW came out. As far as the ability to extrapolate these findings outside of WoW...I'm torn. On the one hand, I see in myself the same tendencies in the game that I exhibit out of game. I hate being a leader. I hate grouping with strangers. I don't frequently PUG and I often solo or stick to grouping with people I know very well. I get nervous in group settings where there's a chance that my failure can bring down the entire group. But that's just me. I have other friends in game who are extremely reserved out of the game but are almost completely the opposite in the game, and by analyzing their in-game behavior you'd think they were entirely different people. I think it would be a very fun, albeit very difficult and time consuming, thing to do research on.
5-22-2009 @ 8:09AM
There's a lot to study in WoW, I think, in regards to psychology (group dynamics, as covered in the blog, how a different people might present themselves in the game, how similarly you do or do not play to the way you actually live real life, etc) as well as sociology and economy since it's (mostly) an enclosed system. I actualy play quite a lot like you do. :)One thing that makes mmo's a bit different from other social environments is the age range. It's possible for people of all ages to work together or be on a community sports team but I think the range is a bit larger in something like WoW, which can change group dynamics and other social interaction a bit. An 11 year old may have completely different goals, ways to reach those goals and how they interact, from people who've had more experience with such things. Granted I've met some very mature kids in the game. But when you think about it, how many other places might you see people who are 12 to people in their 50s (or even older) working together temporarily to accomplish their goals?And I guess a lot could be done to categorize people in all sorts of ways. In your example, it would be HOW people like to group (if at all). Also, how independent people are - not just group vs. soloing but how much they DEPEND on others to do things for them? There seem to be people who are loathe to do ANYTHING for themselves, and others who are not only capable of doing so but also helping to mentor others or aiding them in accomplishing certain things. And then there are the ethics . . . or in too many cases, lack thereof. In that, I guess it's not much different from other aspects of life.Sorry . . went off the topic a bit, but since I"ve been playing a lot of these things have been on my mind (as in "someone should study . . . .") so it's interesting to see that people DO actually study these things.
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