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Posts with tag nick-yee

Nick Yee's new book delves into the psychology of MMO players

Researcher Nick Yee, who has often enlightened us on the subject of MMO player psychology, hasn't been on our radar much since the Daedalus Project went into hibernation (no, not druid-inflicted) back in 2009. Since then, he's done some interesting research with PARC's PlayOn Group, but without hearing much from him in 2013, we had wondered if he'd found a new favorite research subject and had left us behind. But now we can cut out the /weeping, because Yee has released a new book called The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us--And How They Don't. Here's what it's all about:

Using player surveys, psychological experiments, and in-game data, Yee breaks down misconceptions about who plays fantasy games and the extent to which the online and offline worlds operate separately. With a wealth of entertaining and provocative examples, he explains what virtual worlds are about and why they matter, not only for entertainment but also for business and education. He uses gaming as a lens through which to examine the pressing question of what it means to be human in a digital world. His thought-provoking book is an invitation to think more deeply about virtual worlds and what they reveal to us about ourselves.

If you've enjoyed reading Yee's previous work, we think you'll enjoy this, too. You can pick up a hardcopy on Amazon now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

The Classifieds: Surveys for great science

The Classifieds brings you weekly news from around the WoW community, including our famous Random Acts of Uberness shout-outs to players who make your WoW sessions memorable.

This is survey week on WoW Insider. We have a quick player wealth survey below, and then Nick Yee needs your help behind the cut. What's the point of having a multimillion-player community if it can't be exploited for science?

This is what Xsinthis of Shadowmoon (US-A) had to say:

I'm looking for more people to complete my World of Warcraft Wealth Survey. Using this quick, painless 4 question survey I hope to answer questions about wealth in the World of Warcraft. The survey can be found here: http://www.xsinthis.net/survey Everyone is encourage to take the survey, data is needed from all walks of digital life, from the copperless lvl 50, to the players who need guild banks to hold all their gold, the more data collected the more accurate the results will be!

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Filed under: The Classifieds

15 Minutes of Fame: Jane McGonigal on why gamers will change the world


From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.
The average young person today in a country with a strong gamer culture will have spent 10,000 hours playing online games, by the age of 21. For children in the United States 10,080 hours is the exact amount of time you will spend in school from fifth grade to high school graduation if you have perfect attendance. -- Jane McGonigal
Games designer Jane McGonigal wants games to change the world -- and she has good reason to think it's not only possible but in fact quite probable. McGonigal's games harness the power of productivity -- yeah, that same stuff you're pouring all over your push for endgame gear, the energy that's spilling over the sides of your personal quest to score more than 100 companion pets -- to bring gamers together to foster global social change.

Whoa, lofty words ... But listen to McGonigal's 20-minute TED Talk, above, and you'll find yourself nodding along. Harnessing the immensely motivated and collaborative population of gamers makes a lot of sense. McGonigal has a new book, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Makes Us Better and How They Can Change the World, that colors in the entire picture (highly recommended reading -- thought-provoking without being heavy in the least).

WoW Insider colors along with McGonigal this month with an exclusive, two-part interview. This week, we talk about how and why gaming will change the world. (We do recommend that you watch McGonigal's TED Talk above first for maximum context.) Next week, we'll narrow the focus to World of Warcraft and pick McGonigal's brain for practical advice for making playing WoW the positive, life-enhancing activity it has the potential to be.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The WoW Factor: How much do you know about the players behind the avatars?

How much do you think you know about your fellow WoW gamers? WoW Insider brings you this exclusive quiz designed by MMORPG researcher Nick Yee, based on actual U.S. data from the PARC PlayOn 2.0 study linking player survey data with their armory data.

Think you know what players are really like? Come find out what your WoW Factor is. (Answers and conclusions following the quiz.)

1. The average age of WoW players is:

a. 18
b. 24
c. 30
d. 36

2. Which of these groups of players is most likely to be gender-bending?

a. younger women (<30)
b. older women (>30)
c. younger men (<30)
d. older men (> 30)

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

15 Minutes of Fame: Researcher Nick Yee digs into the numbers, people behind WoW

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

If you're into research about the World of Warcraft and the world of MMORPGs, the name Nick Yee will be instantly recognizable. A research scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Yee is well known in WoW circles for his work on The Daedalus Project, an online survey of MMORPG players that's yielded profiles of gamers and the gaming life that are ripe for the picking.

Despite a powerhouse academic background, Yee's no ivory tower recluse. He's an active WoW player who relishes the happy intersection of game time as background for work time. And while his Daedalus Project has been "in hibernation" for some time now, Yee's been working on a new study for PARC. We'll chat with Yee about his work after the break -- plus test your knowledge of your fellow WoW players in a special quiz he's prepared especially for WoW Insider readers spotlighting findings from his new MMORPG research.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Defining Playstyles: Beyond casual vs. hardcore

In a recent Totem Talk post, I made a loot list for enhancement shamans that have access to ICC but are not progression raiders, because they are either alts or they are -- drum roll, please -- casual. That's right: I used the c-word without context. Casual. There, I said it again without context. Excuse me while I duck from the rotten vegetables being thrown in my direction.

The use of that c-word in relation to an Icecrown Citadel loot list sparked a very interesting comment thread. Most comments were well thought-out, added value and furthered the discussion. Some were, to borrow Adam Savage's favorite term, vitriolic, because of my heinous misuse of the term "casual." I said it again without context. I'm just casually throwing around "casuals" here.

Given the reaction that post received, I started doing some research into what exactly "casual" and "hardcore" actually mean. What I found was not surprising at all: They mean completely different things to absolutely everyone. The MMO population of players, across all games, is estimated at over 61 million people. There are as many variations on play time and playstyle as there are players in the game. Do you really think we can divide this many people simply into two groups of just casuals and hardcores?

I think it's time we move beyond the polarizing definitions of casual and hardcore and come up with some definitions of our own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Gnome Rogue with Pink Mohawk wants your data

Nick Yee from the Daedalus Project is now looking for data for a new project he's working on with the Palo Alto Research Center. Now, PARC is a pretty big name in computing, and Nick Yee is justly known for his long running work on the Daedalus Project, so the idea that a group with PARC's resources is studying WoW and other MMO's using someone as knowledgeable as Mr. Yee is very interesting all told. The idea of trying to 'predict who people are just from the way they behave in a virtual world ' and my own personal curiosity for whether nor not they'll run into a certain Mr. Gabriel's GIFT (warning, there is a swearword behind that link) has me decidedly curious.

The full text of the press release will be behind the cut for those interested.

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Filed under: News items

Daedalus Project updated


Nick Yee's excellent MMORPG survey and data site, the Daedalus Project, has been updated with new survey results on the following topics:
  • Guild demographics: What influences players to choose certain guilds, how attached they become, the likelihood of their knowing guildies in real life, and how long they stay. What I find fascinating here is the graph displayed above -- 26% of surveyed players have been with their guild 2 years or more. Alex Ziebart mentioned the other day that his guild has been together so long across multiple games that guild chat's gone from talk of teenage dates to coaching expectant parents through morning sickness. I get the feeling that this is only going to become more common in long-haul games like Second Life and WoW.
  • Character creation: How players choose characters, the elements of character selection they consider most important, and whether classes and races tend to be researched extensively before they're picked, or chosen based on impulse. Character class seems to matter to the most people; starting area the least.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, News items, Classes

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW from the Ivory Tower

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (AT) wowinsider (DOT) com.

Academic types will find a way to analyze just about every aspect of life – life in Azeroth included. Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader, published in May by The MIT Press, explores what it calls "the cultural and social implications of the proliferation of ever more complex digital game worlds." Whew.

Props to the authors of this anthology for not only playing the game they're pontificating about – they actually created their own guild, where they play with other Digital Culture contributors. 15 Minutes of Fame talked with Jessica Langer, author of a chapter on the ways in which narratives of colonialism and otherness functioned in different ways throughout the game, about what she plays, what she writes, and how it all comes together in the World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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