Current Issue: Vol. 7-1 (03/09/2009)



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DRAVEN: HOSTILE ARSENAL`Crusade GUARDIANS PierceTheVeins Fenris Mastermind Vengeance LEGION ELITE Imperial SUPERIOR Descendants REVENGE AllStars CONQUEROR CONQUEST Renegades Celestial Beings Enrage ... [go]

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Reader Feedback / Ideas

Your feedback, questions or comments on any of the current articles or on the Daedalus Project in general are welcome. Also welcome are ideas for issues to explore in future surveys.


A suggestion...

Consider looking into what drives playes away from MMORPGs.

I have played and left EQ, AC, and DAoC myself. Sometimes, it's not what attacts you to the game, but what is unbearable about it that can be telling.

Posted by: Tim on May 6, 2003 2:16 PM

Something I'd like to see explored....

Do female alts get gifts more than male alts?

Are they treated differently in grouping, in guild, etc.
If the rl gender is known to be female, is a male alt treated differently than their female alt(s)? If rl gender is male is their female alt treated differently?

Personal experience says they are treated differently. Female who plays alts of both sexes. My females get unsolicited, no strings attached gifts frequently, mostly from complete strangers (all but 2 have been male alts). My male alts (when my gender is unknown) have yet to get a similar gift.
In grouping my female is 'protected' and watched over far more than my male. Despite the class of my alt and the classes of the males in the group.
I cannot speak to guildmate treatment because they have known from the first what my gender was. Also the dynamics and roles of each person (and alt) developed over time...wish I'd written in my journal more, sigh.

Thanks for the interesting and thought provoking

Posted by: on May 25, 2003 2:31 PM

I would like to see an in depth look at guild dynamics on all levels. I have been in every type of guild, from the worst PoS on the server, to a small but elite guild of close friends,to the 4th ranked guild on the server. The experiences I've had within these guilds were all very different when it came to motivation, desire to play, drive to suceed, conquer, hate, move to the top, Also, the depth of friendship made in the guilds was quite different.

Leadership roles, Loot reward systems, class roles, raid control, handling bad players, handling bad situations, runnin a constantly updated web page, dkp chart, and message boards, learning how to beat an encounter by failing to it and then teaching the guild how to do the fight correctly with simple text, raid wipes and motivation to continue, and countless other subject areas could be discussed!

Posted by: bumlaak on June 28, 2003 9:12 AM

Does the MMORPG industry favor straight sexual orientation? Some video games code in heterosexual relations(marriages, affairs, gifts), that don't operate in same sex situations.

Also, could it be that many games and/or game masters filter same sex situations but aren't so strict with heterosexual relations.

My questions are about sexual equality in the MMORPG industry.

Does it exist?
You tell me....

Posted by: Christian on September 7, 2003 3:01 PM

I agree with bumlaak, I too am very interesting to read more about what goes on inside of guilds

Posted by: Dyna18 on November 4, 2003 3:50 PM

I would be Very interested to see what percentage of players Play the Role of thier Character (contextualy correct within the Genre/Game World).

I am an avid Roleplayer from the Old Pen/Paper days of RPing (quickly approching the ">35" catagory)... and im am Often shocked at the Anti-Roleplaying stance taken by the people who want to play in the same world, but then name thier characters totaly out of context names (often with Offensive or Real World conotations).

Why would someone playing in the Star Wars Universe want to dress in his eveyday Baggies/"Thug" attire... and run around talking about a TV show or 49rs game?

I have also heard that this stigma of "Geekyness" is limited to the US, where Europeans find RP more common and less "Dorky". Is this True? Can you find out?

Posted by: Syrrith on November 5, 2003 7:18 PM

I think one important aspect of this is examining the relationship between casual and powergamers within MMOs.

More specifically, what % of 'casual' gamers feel compelled to play more than they want to to keep their place in a relative economy. How many if any of them get frustrated and use it as reasons to leave? What % of a playerbase feel drawn to the social factors of MMOs, but feel addiction not only because of the social aspects (good) but a race of competition (mixed values).

What percentage of casual players find their experience demeaned by the fact that they have no opportunity to be frontiersmen finding new things in a game that aren't posted on a fan site.

Posted by: Greg on November 6, 2003 2:16 PM

In regards to greg's post on 11/6/03, I would find those statistics fascinating. My husband and I both play EQ and have gotten really frustrated with the fact that everytime we think we have gotten to where we have gear and such to put us not in the high end, but at least in a place where we can start doing some things that we have always wanted to, the bar moves because a new expansion comes out. Add to that the frustration that we pay for R&D on zones and effects that we will never ever see. I have been really happy with LDON because it seems to have sort of leveled the field a little bit, by virtue of the fact that you do not HAVE to have a huge guild event to get something cool eventually. I wonder how may others feel that way?

Posted by: Grania on November 11, 2003 1:19 AM

As an avid gamer who sees on-line games just beginning to make a noticeable impact on RL activities, lifestyles, and relationships. I would like to know what it would take to pull other gamers like me completely from RL to full time MMORPG.

Myself and others have reaped RL rewards by marketing characters, items, currency on Ebay. But this is only aftermarket out-of-game selling that provides limited income and cannot independently sustain total game immersion.

I would be interested to know what reaction other gamers would have if MMORPGs regularly rewarded top gamers, top guilds, successful raid participants etc... with RL "treasures." Anything from T-shirts, rings, swords, to checks in the mail. Even guidebooks that you would receive in the mail that would provide bonus commands to accomplish in-game tasks or boost character attributes for your character only or even provide free food coupons.

IMHO MMORPGs are just approaching the verge of serious in game markets that can financially support a small percentage of serious gamers.

Like many other serious fantasy gamers I dread the potential commercialization of these games, such that you could win Pepsi coupons for slaying a certain dragon. But if you could achieve various in game icons, items, treasures such that you would be sent cool replicas as trophies or cash as a percentage of loot acquired. I can only imagine the added addiction it would drive...


Translate these ideas of active game developer involvement with real life users across every motivating factor that drives each of you to play.

Imagine what new relational involvement MMORPGs could drive to fully engulf users who play for the comraderie. Game sponsored guild gatherings? Free on-line phone conferencing for in-game players? Personality test/matches for people looking to group with other like minded players?

My question, thought, request is now that you spend 30+ hours a week playing... what would keep you happily in a near total in-game state of immersion? This question may be more directed to the hundreds of people like me who have started looking for MMORPG jobs even with years of grad school, prof certs, and experience under their belt. When can a "game" be self sustaining? What would you need?

Posted by: BigPeaces on November 19, 2003 7:07 PM

I'd like to known more about solo players in mmorpgs. Personal experience has shown me that many players prefer to hunt alone and cooperate with other players in trade or social aspects. However most games try to force group hunting.

Posted by: Jaedle on January 10, 2004 12:41 AM

I think that you really should look into how people react to FFXI. The game is very immersive and there is a high multi-national tension between japanese and NA players. It is definately an interesting thing to look into.

Good Job

BTW: You can do marketing research and make nice cash with inof like this..

Posted by: Chris K on March 17, 2004 2:59 PM

I would like to find out why it's predominately males who play MMPORGs. I have my assumptions and theories but would like to see factual data.

Posted by: Angela on May 5, 2004 1:07 PM

I've been thinking about character development, death and children recently in the context of encouraging constructive in-world behaviours, deeper in-world relationship formation and the development of strong clan/family groups. It seems relevant to your 'Bots/Grind' essay and (obliquely) nurturing although I have in mind a model in which PCs would innevitably die but can earn 'more lives' by raising NPC children to become playable PC accounts, passing on skills and possessions to them in the process.

Part of what I'm aiming for is a means to limit and reshape griefing behaviours by confining their benefit to a single cycle of character development while roleplaying behaviours allow a steadier accumulation of benefits over several generations. I'm not aware of any previous models which take the same approach and would be interested to hear any comments/see what you can make out of the idea if it interests you.

Short thought dump on the subject from a few days ago:

Posted by: Al on July 12, 2004 5:10 AM

I'd also be interested in seeing info about guild dynamics. It seems that guilds are required to obtain coveted items. More info about why guilds are promoted and soloing is almost discouraged

Posted by: Insanity on August 1, 2004 12:36 PM

Personally i'd like to know why we as games seem to fall for the same trap eer time. Ive played several MMORPGs and it seems to be the same old buildup for every new one: The game promises inovative features, everyone gets excited and then when the game is released the same problems flood back: repetitive gaming, griefing and the like.

Posted by: Slash J on August 24, 2004 6:40 AM

could you comment on mood swings? how players are full of energy when they play games and once they have to stop they become lifeless and dull.
or how they are kind/normal in game and once they have to stop, the urge to play transfers into aggressive behaviour or something. it would be really helpful. if its already in here somewhere and i missed it, im sorry. there is just too much stuff and i havent looked through all of it yet.

Posted by: mike on October 3, 2004 1:13 AM

Relevant data here:

It seems to tie with withdrawal and dependence symptoms similar to that of substance addictions. In extreme cases, players become dependent on the game for satisfaction/empowerment, and feel deprived and irritable when they have to leave the environment.


Posted by: Nick Yee on October 3, 2004 12:08 PM

do different games have different effects on the person? for example would EQ have a larger effect on a person's behavior than another game like CoH for example. because most of your statistics are related to EQ players. was just wondering, if it was somewhere in the site and i missed it i apologize.

Posted by: mikes on October 10, 2004 7:37 PM

My roommate is working on her MSW and was commenting on the perceived negative impact of MMORPGs on relationships. Is this primarily anecdotal extrapolation on her part, or IS there a negative effect overall in RL relationships?
I should probably mention that both I and my 2nd roommate play MMORPGs, and the MSW candidate does not (and doesn't understand why we enjoy them so much).

Posted by: Margaret on October 14, 2004 8:02 PM

Impact on relationships in real life? But then how do we compare those with relationships forged in the online world? What do we say about all the people who have made good friends or have dated people they first met online? What about all the romantic partners that play together or children that play with their family?

Posted by: Nick Yee on October 14, 2004 8:33 PM

As someone currently developing a MMORPG, a question that is of interest to me is the demographics of different types of games. For example, my understanding is that Anarchy Online, a sci-fi based game, is very popular in Europe and not so well received in the US. Part of this has to do with an initial launch that was flawed, but even today, with all major technical problems fixed, the split remains evident. Does cultural background draw gamers of certain cultures to certain types of games? To extend, ignoring the moderate success of Star Wars Galaxies, most sci-fi setting games don't do well in the US. Is this because the US gamers are more interested in a standard fantasy setting or simple chance? Additionally, do cultural influences affect technical aspects of a gaming choice (i.e. is a certain culture more likely to populate a primarily turn-based combat structured game like FFXI or a free-for-all mass-attack system like DAoC)?

Posted by: Berkley on October 15, 2004 8:45 PM

I'm wondering what could motivate non-roleplaying gamers to actually role play their characters, and would such motivation be a good or bad side affect to the game? I would also like to know what is the major genre MMORPG players play out side of their MMORPG, ie: is it FPS, RPG, Startegey, or is it just online chat rooms (not really anything to do with gaming, but since MMORPG is a big social program, I'd like to know.)

Posted by: Matt U. on January 12, 2005 9:24 PM

I would like to discuss about Virtual Reality + MMOG design.

Posted by: JRSV on February 27, 2005 3:23 PM

Have 2-boxers (2 accounts, 2 computers) been studied? I started 2-boxing because getting into a group always took too long. By the time I got into one, it would be time to log off. (EQ) For this reason I rarely look to get into groups and am in no hurry to join a guild. I would be interested to see the data on other 2-boxers.

On a side note, I acually knew someone who frequently ran an entier 6 person group by himself.

Posted by: Tsuga on March 4, 2005 9:54 AM

Wonderful information!

A comprehensive glossary accessible from all pages would be nice, especially if you want to expand your audience further into the professional psychology community. (And it seems to me that such expansion is necessary for the treatment of game addiction, if nothing else.)

I found your site through the forums of an online game that's a bit of a spoof of several gaming genres. It's the only thing approaching a MMORPG that I have every played (though I am a former AD&Der). I found most of your material to be relevant, but I wasn't sure exactly what words were represented by the "MM" in MMORPG! I had to go offsite to find out.

Some of your professional peers are probably in the same dilemma or worse--but they may not know where to look to find out.

I also struggled with some of the game name abbreviations until they would crop up in the text (usually in another article entirely, several clicks away). Again, I'm probably not the only one.

Common abbreviations that I did understand, such as RL, will probably also need to be defined for the non-gaming community.

Thanks again for some great information!

Posted by: jc on March 30, 2005 8:28 AM

Just found this site, very Interesting indeed.. So correct me if this has been posted before, please remove it, move it to the right location

I've done some study's back in 1992 about Character- class choise's in matters traditionel RPG's and how people might compensate for different Personalities ...etc. etc..

It would be nice if there where some "in deepth" -analyses, statistics about wich Archtypes was/ is chosen contra the personality who's behind. For instance why he or she choose to play a Wizard, Cleric etc..

My guess is that beside playing MMORPG's overall you can find lots of motivations, dynamics behind persons playing those games. IMHO (now to use some of those "game abrivations") its a very differentiated way to look at the person playing MMORPG's, "atomic - detailed wiev" on the person playing MMORPG contra the whole MMORPG- gameunivers context.

Might this be way out of the "agenda" for this research / site !?

Posted by: H M Bense on March 31, 2005 3:08 AM

how do people behave on maintenence day?

for WoW, I would schedule social events on tuesday to occupy myself till the servers come back up

Posted by: on June 21, 2005 1:27 PM

Here is my suggestion for an issue to explore: Racism and MMORPGs. Perhaps this isn’t widespread, and doesn’t bear discussion – you can decide.

Anyway, it is my experience that not many players can discern my race in online games. I am privy to racist comments. I have experienced racism IRL, so it is no surprise, to me - that it occurs in MMORPGs. However, just like IRL, I do not want judgment based on my race. So I remain "closeted".

Posted by: No one on June 27, 2005 8:53 AM

This is a topic that comes up on the WoW forums. Casual versus hardcore players.

I think WoW has had an influx of casual players. It will be interesting to see the "culture shock" many will experience when they hit level 60.

Many have said WoW turns to EQ at that point and I think many people aren't familiar with EQ and EQ type raiding. (You had an article about High End raiding - ties in to that).

The comments I've read on the forum seem to fall within casual players:
Not having anything to do at 60.
Not having access to the high end content.
Not having the time to access the high end content.
Not having access to the high end loot.
Real casual players saying anyone wanting all this isn't "really casual".
Telling hard core players to get a life.

Hard core players:
Saying the high end loot belong to the people who have time to get it.
Making high end loot available to everyone devalues it.
It doesn't really take that much time to get anything.
Believe casual players want things dumbed down or fed to them or given to them free.

Neither side seems to understand the other.

Posted by: Gimme Loot on June 27, 2005 8:58 AM

In my experience in WOW, in comparison to EQ, the player base is different in that you have alot of first time players, veterans of mmorpgs, and then People from wowIII who are fans of the genre but from "twitch game" communities" or "first person shooters", so they have a different style of play, do not know the protocals that veteran players are already accustom to, from previous game experiences.
I also think the use of ventrillo and other free shareware programs has changed communication and group formation signifigantly.As far as race and culture goes accents, people from other countries or ethnicities is more evident, and you do here people asking about each other's races, but so far I have not seen it become an issue.As a female player I had been accutely aware of being female in the vocal channels, as many of the male players take the knowledge of a female in this mode of communication as a sexual object of some kind.

I am an anthropologist (or will be officially in 4 classes) and I have been writing an ethnography of Everquest and player migration between it and Warcraft, as well as documenting the game experience, and the interactions with guildmates.

Posted by: ashli sisk on June 30, 2005 11:23 AM

To follow up on a comment by Ashli Sisk above, I'd be curious to know how the increasing shift to voice chat in groups and raid effects game dynamics. In all my time as a high-end raider in EQ, we never used a voice chat, but in games like WoW Ventrilo or TeamSpeak is mandatory for most raiding guilds. As Ashli notes, gender becomes a lot more difficult to keep unobtrusive (I've heard guys tripping over their tongues and demanding to know WHO THAT WOMAN WAS when a woman's voice is heard in Ventrilo). I'm sure there are other ways having actual voice contact shifts game dynamics around.

Posted by: Jennifer on August 1, 2005 2:37 AM

In responce to the last few messages, the guild I am in for WoW I would describe as borderline hardcore (we raid, but its not manditory).

I see the gender issue (OMG a girl) and I play 120 hrs a week so I DESERVE the 'phat' loot in the same light.

By this, there is a die hard community out there and they do not fully understand the concerns of serious, but part time gamers.

What I would find interesting is who considers themselves hardcore vs. those who don't and their attidues on
1) Time played vs. rewards
2) Gender of players (As an aside I think in my guild there is little OMG its a girl, but that is my experience).
3) Perception of others 'seriousness'. By this how 'hardcore' you consider those you play with and your guildies (a point of contention soon to blow in my guild I fear).

My $0.02 on the matter.

Posted by: Garcia on August 3, 2005 9:32 PM

What percentage of WoW players come from a video game background and what percentage of player comes from a pen and paper background. also, if the palyer comes from a heavy video game background, what type? first/third person shooter? or RPG? Does this background make the player favor a competetive Min/Max style of playing, or a more casual sort of playing?

Posted by: brett on September 12, 2005 8:38 PM

What motivates the average player's character design and build? Is it a goal to accurately portray how you think your character"s traits would be reflected, or is it simply an exercise Min/Maxing? If it is Min/Maxing does the player follow their own optimization method or use a tried and true build from the advice of successful high level players?

Posted by: brett on September 12, 2005 8:51 PM

I would also like to see things like this explored...

Just found this site, very Interesting indeed.. So correct me if this has been posted before, please remove it, move it to the right location

I've done some study's back in 1992 about Character- class choise's in matters traditionel RPG's and how people might compensate for different Personalities ...etc. etc..

It would be nice if there where some "in deepth" -analyses, statistics about wich Archtypes was/ is chosen contra the personality who's behind. For instance why he or she choose to play a Wizard, Cleric etc..

My guess is that beside playing MMORPG's overall you can find lots of motivations, dynamics behind persons playing those games. IMHO (now to use some of those "game abrivations") its a very differentiated way to look at the person playing MMORPG's, "atomic - detailed wiev" on the person playing MMORPG contra the whole MMORPG- gameunivers context.

Might this be way out of the "agenda" for this research / site !?

I'm not quite sure what the "agenda" is of this sight, but I would like to see this sight occasionally take fewer but more detailed samples of the player base. it would also be nice to see the anomalies as well as the averages amongst players.

Posted by: brett on September 12, 2005 9:11 PM

oh boy... I hope I'm not posting to much. Anyway, I would also be interested if a players actual geographic location effects their choice in race and therefore their ingame starting location. For example... Would a person in a rural geographic area be more likely to opt to play a Night Elf or Tauren due to the more pastoral scenery? Or would the opposite be true?
Likewise, what would an individual from a more urban or suburban locale be more likely to pick as their start location?

Posted by: brett on September 12, 2005 9:36 PM

I would also like to add to the discussion above concerning the effects of mmorpg's on relationships. The first two years of EQ I heard about many relationships breaking up due to the large number of hours focused in game. Since then, tho, I havent heard of any relationships breaking up due to gaming. I have wondered if there was some correlation.

Posted by: energist on September 30, 2005 6:44 PM

First of all, thank you very much for the work and effort you have put into this project. I have been reading it occasionally for about a year with great interest.

Secondly, I would like to suggest you take a look at EVE Online ( It is very different from other MMORPGs, and here's a few reasons why:

1. Single cluster, not sharded. A unique world,

2. Skillpoints train over time, no experience grinding (yes also during offline hours).

This means new players can never 'catch up', but that is not neccessary as the system works on a diminishing returns basis (ie. training 1-2 days benefits 20% whereas an additional 5% gain might take 5 additional days), resulting in a decreased meaning of player age (or level, which do not exist), and increased importance of superior tactics, fittings (the equipment system is more of a 'rock-paper-scissors' type) and numbers,

3. Player-driven economy is very diverse,

4. Politics (that stem from eg. player factions' territorial control and have given birth to eg. the mercenary profession albeit no ingame function for it exists)

5. Risk vs Reward (Severe losses and penalties, which make the assets and tactics of different parties matter, and adds a whole different kind of excitement and enjoyment of the game)

6. No pre-determined path or character creation

Everyone is not a hero who sets on a journey to save the world only for the evil dragon to respawn for the next guy.

What you achieve in EVE is mostly not by what your character sheet says; it only dictates where your limits stand (in terms of flying ships, wielding weaponry, refining and manufacturing efficiency etc.).


I would very much enjoy in-depth analysis of EVE made by you, and if you have questions or would like me to tell more, don't hesitate to contact me!

Posted by: 'Jin Entres' [EVE, M, 21] on October 10, 2005 12:20 PM

Have you considered asking about MMO players who share a computer and/or account with a friend, romantic partner, or family member?

In game, I see frequent situations where someone has to log out to let their brother or partner have their turn in game. I've also met players who regularly log out to let a friend play, because the friend doesn't have a computer at home.

However, rather than playing different games or the same game on different servers, the people sharing often make characters on the same server, and participate in the same guild. They often help each other in a way similar to how a single person would keep alts.

I wonder how many of the 20% of players in one of your latest surveys (who claimed to not play online with anyone they knew IRL) would fall into this category.

Posted by: Lisa Boleyn on October 23, 2005 4:05 PM


I would love to see a study on how MMORPG's effect married couples. I have spoken to many people in WoW who almost seperated because of spouses forming on-line relationships "in character" which turn in to much more "real" realationships over time. Also, most of the people I have spoken to about this informed me they are now still married, and now always inform other players whom they make friends with that they are married in order to prevent the situation from happening again, they also make a point of grouping often with their RL spouses in game and even go so far as to buy a second computer and 2nd account in order to do so.

I would like to see exactly how often this happens, how often it leads to seperation, and how often it leads to a stronger relationship where they can work together on line toward goals where it doesn't matter if they die, they just start over and learn to work with eachother in a kind of healing way.

Posted by: Jen on October 24, 2005 12:54 PM

anyone find that most whiners and beggars in mmos are children under the age of 13? I have done a little research and thus far it is true. Would like to know what others think though.

Posted by: Julie on November 3, 2005 3:22 PM

I am also interested in knowing about Jen's question (above) regarding in-game relationships. Many MMOs are treated by some as a chat room with stuff to do - and many people play them more for the social interaction than for 'the game' itself.

Would be curious to know about online relationships and MMOs.

Posted by: Arie on November 7, 2005 8:13 AM

ehrm, Do we need legislation towards business of MMORPG? For exemple:
Do we need to set up tax to this kind of Industry? And Is there any country or territory hav any kinds of rule that determine rights and obligations of Game Puplisher, Players,etc?

Posted by: HoaiKhong on December 15, 2005 1:25 AM

Julie, while it is more likely to find whiners and beggars among younger players who are naturally less mature, I don't think you will find that generalization to be valid.

A very small percent of MMORPG players are under 13 year-olds (IIRC avg. age being 26 according to Nick's research), and yet there are a lot of whiners and beggars in pretty much all games.

From my personal experience in EVE Online players of all ages can behave (and have) immaturely, including 'whining' and 'begging'.

Of course, younger players naturally tend to be less adept in expressing their critique verbally and it is more likely to be perceived as 'whining' rather than constructive commenting.

In short, while younger players are more likely to 'whine' and 'beg', there is no proof or reason to conclude that most, or even many 'whiners' and 'beggars' are young.

Posted by: 'Jin Entres' [EVE, M, 21] on December 21, 2005 4:34 AM

I think it'd be intresting to know what type of games attract what type of players. For example, if certain games attract certain age groups, or more hardcore players, or more players in a social or geographical area than other games, or has a different makeup of players than the average MMO.

Posted by: catgirl450 on January 6, 2006 3:44 PM

How about investigating some free MMORPGS and free servers for normal MMORPGs. For example there are hundreds of free WoW servers, and many free Lineage II servers.

I think it would be really interesting to find out what are major resons for playing on free servers. For example slower/faster XP gain, newer servers (where there are not highest levels players)...

Posted by: Shinhan on February 11, 2006 4:48 AM

I used to play Runescape, I had a lv85 impure warrior-type character, and I think the general idea for paying members playing on free servers is to try and impress and become the envy of beginner players, who prefer free servers naturally.

It's understandable from one perspective; the idea of becoming a role-model to potential players, giving them advice and insight into the game they're playing, it's when the higher-levelled player abuses their status, for example, the "noob" insult/problem.

Posted by: Andrew on March 22, 2006 4:06 AM

In Final Fantasy XI, the game was originally released in Japan where the player base was all Japanese players for 1-2 years before the North American players started playing.

When the North American players started, they added an auto-tranlate system to change certain words so both cold understand, however the Japanese and North Americans did not get along with each other right away.

There was and still is a tension between NA and JP players even after 2 years of NA's having the game, as far as it going to the point where only JP party and gain experience with other JP characters. Same goes for NA who only party with NA.

Also the JP blame NA for problems in game such as Real Money Trade for gil, the in-game currency, and even accounts, bugs, etc.

As for end game, I have heard of JP only linkshells(guilds basically) competing against all NA linkshells for claims on HNM(21-24 hour spawn of notorious monsters that drop very nice equipment). The tension between them has driven them to even go as far as hating each other, and even (Monster player killing)MPK'ing each other with nearby monsters.

Anyways, I hope this catches your interest.

Posted by: Daniel on March 23, 2006 8:46 AM

In the RL work-place, the use of e-mails and web-related resources is becoming almost universal.

I would suggest that MMOGs are teaching new skills that are applicable to work, such as communication techniques and remote leadership.

Traditional leaders have used the power of their personality, transmitted personally and through deputisation, to motivate their work-force.

Are Guild Leaders being better trained and equipped to use remote management techniques more suited to e-business? And conversely, should new managers spend training time as Guild Leaders? :)

At a recent Eve-online Fan-fest, the Devs said that the "man"-hours logged by players could have built 3 of the thermal station that was being built in Iceland at the time.

The gold-farming sweat-shops suggest that the employees enjoy this work more than comparable jobs.

How can business learn to harness the "play" aspects of on-line games to create more enjoyable work environments.

(I have this vision of an MMOG "front" that is based upon resource-gathering and manufacturing items that, behind the scenes, in the depths of the computer, is translated into the matching and paying of invoices in an accountancy firm, for example).

Just some ideas :)

Posted by: Malarkey on April 17, 2006 3:01 AM

I was wondering why so called role players have such a rigid definition of role playing. In my estimation, once I play as a mage or some such char outside of reality, I am role playing. But, others demand that one has a back story and bunch of other stuff. I tend to think it has elitist overtones, but I could be wrong...

Posted by: Steve on June 13, 2006 4:05 PM

Steve - It's probably for the same reason why only some people are called mathematicians even though most people know how to do math (and why only some people are gamers even though most people have tried video games at some point in their lives).

After all, a broad definition that covers all MMO players renders the term meaningless. It renders "MMO player" the same thing as a "role-player". And to a large extent, MMO developers know this too. This is why there are specific serevrs that are designated for "role-playing". The goal of the series wasn't to set a rigid definition, but to point out that any subculture has its own rules - whether that is mathematician, gamer, or role-player.

Posted by: Nick Yee on June 13, 2006 4:57 PM

Seems to me that your type of playing, Steve, is more about using your character as a "tool" rather than as a person per se. (Which is totally fine!)

Although you're pretending to be something you could not be in real life (e.g., a mage), he's really just a collection of skills and abilities you use to wield power in the game to accomplish your personal objectives.

A roleplayer treats and plays the character as a real person with a life of his/her own, rather than as an assortment of abilities used to meet a goal.

The character's personality, then, determines what the player does (which might involve fighting and might not), rather than the player just using the character as his tool. It's much like an actor, in many ways.

Posted by: Fortunato on June 14, 2006 9:45 AM

I’d be interested in a study looking at the differences between the typical MMORPGs (WoW, SWG, EQ etc), and some of the less typical, smaller online RPGs, such as Neverwinter Nights persistent worlds (I’m a NWN player myself, and have played on some big MMORPGS occasionally, but always find myself drawn back to NWN).

Which are easier to RP on?

Is there a difference in the type and quality of roleplay in the two?

Why do some people prefer huge worlds, and others prefer smaller, more intimate settings?

What are the differences between the type of events that occur?

Is there a difference in demographics between the different types of game?

There’s plenty of other things that could be looked at too, I’m sure.

Posted by: Silverstar on June 19, 2006 2:18 AM

Hmm, maybe a look at non-combat MMOs such as Seed or the revived and soon to enter beta URU Live? (not sure how many and which others are out there)

Posted by: Norah on June 20, 2006 5:09 AM

I find it strange that this site doesn't feature a single topic about PKs. Granted, you wouldn't have encountered us in EQ or DAoC outside of the triple-walled cages the devs euphemistically refer to as "PvP servers", but not a single mention of us whatsoever?

Are we so far beneath notice?

Posted by: Man on August 23, 2006 1:22 AM

Not beneath notice. Just PK is a touchy group if anyone dissagrees with there point of views they generally show there colors. I personally think PVP is a major part all MMORPG's need to have in order to succeed on all levels.

My only gripe is Forced PVP. I like the game for the PVE elements in it but its fully PVP so I dont have a choice, thats not cool. I like the game and it has no PVP whatsoever thats not cool either.

PVP should never be mandatory, As long as PVP is available to the ones who want it with a command code its fine.

The problem comes with implementing this properly. IF you go PVP you can only immediately un-PVP if you have not fought. However if you have fought you have to wait 30 minutes from you last battle before you can Revert to non-PVP. However also is the RPK problem wether you like it or not thats Griefing so just make undoable. If I am fighting this dragon I am unattackable. If i am in 1 on 1 with another player unattackable by anyone else and for however long it takes to fully heal after the battle. This would prune out the punk PVPers. These are the ones who PK when they know they can win. They are also the ones who show there colors when someone talks bad about PVP. The will not fight you if you have a chance of winning. They will not fight someone who is not already damaged or otherwise pre-occupied with someone/thing else. until a develepor figures out how to only get the mature PVPers PVP will be put on the back row.

Anyways when I want a thrill at PVP I play a MMOFPS.

Posted by: James on August 29, 2006 2:51 PM

there's been a few people discussing the addictive qualities of Blizzard games, and that this same quality was implimented and enhanced in World of Warcraft. It's been said that they have psychologists developing ways to keep the gamer on their game for long hours, to deliberately make them work and grind on their games. It seems like extra nicotine to the player.

I'm not sure how one would go about inspecting this, but to see something regarding this would be intresting.

Posted by: Ruya on September 24, 2006 12:07 PM

I'm co-producing a documentary on MMORPGs and have tried to contact Blizzard to ask about this, as many people seem to believe this. They won't respond to my request even for phone contact. I'd really like to know about this!

Posted by: Shavaun on September 24, 2006 1:14 PM

To Shauvan: call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if there have been psychological techniques devised to keep players hooked. If 'SUPERSIZE ME' was anything to go by, McDonalds had added chemicals to their food to create a sort of depedency in the consumer. And I once even read a newspaper article about the makers of a game called POX were influencing popular school kids to influence their peers into buying it.

I wonder. How likely it would be that Blizzard faces class action if it is proven?

Posted by: Ben on October 30, 2006 3:42 AM

Um, time to point out the stunningly obvious: of COURSE all makers of MMORPGs intentionally and specifically use psychological techniques, focus groups, marketing strategies, and other tactics to get you hooked - and keep you paying your dues.

Guess what? So do the makers of every other product. From the cars you buy to the television shows you watch to the clothes you wear, the makers have used the same techniques to get you to come back to their product.

The only potential difference with MMORPGs is that they're particularly good at it - and the results are particularly obvious.

And no - there are no grounds for civil litigation. You can't sue a company for working overtime to make you like their product. If you can find me proof that there's some illicit chemical in the game box, give me a call and I'll represent you; but if the suggestion is that consulting shrinks to get you to play more and longer justifies a tort action - well, you're going to be busy suing one helluva a lot of casino owners, amusement park companies, merchandise manufacturers, television show producers, and junk food makers.

Good luck.

Posted by: JakeKnight on November 1, 2006 3:51 PM

I'd like to see some data on retention rates in EVE Online, compared to other MMORPGs. In particular, I'd like to see data on whether players who have played other MMOs are more or less likely to keep playing EVE - I've seen in argued both ways, and both arguments seem to have some merit. EVE's play structure is differet enough to need study in its own right.

Posted by: Drew Shiel on December 4, 2006 3:38 AM

Body images in mmorpgs might be interesting. I've been playing a female tauren for 2 years and actually liked having a character that does not fit any real human notion of looks...I thought of the tauren are just sort of cute cartoon cows and so were fun and different to play than your generic elves, dwarves and humans or even orcs, which is why I rolled one.

But recently I have been hearing jokes and comments about how come the alliance "gets this" (insert image of female NE doing her greased pole dance emote) while the horde "gets this" (insert female tauren doing clog dance).

Now in the expansion, the horde is getting "sexy" blood elves (and the alliance's new race has fairly cute females but rather ugly males), and although human and elf toons of both genders fit certain sexy stereotypes, it seems like the positive response in the forums of both male and female players to the "hot" (they look cartoonishly anorexic to me) female BEs has been laregely positive and many male players say that they plan on rolling one (at least jokingly). Many female players are happy that at last they can run a "sexy" horde character instead of an "ugly" orc, tauren or undead. As if the pressure to always be "hot" in real life isn't enough!

It never occurred to me that having a "hot" toon was such a big deal but apparantly it is (I mean they are cartoon characters and we are surrounded by non cartoon "hotness" in every other aspect of the media), but it explains why alliance is so much more popular to date I guess.

Some have argued that the "hot" female toons in particular reinforce unrealistic body image notions (i.e. being very skinny with large but evidently self supporting breasts). I have also noticed that all the male humans and BEs models look like they pump iron and take steroids...even if they are priests or mages. neither is exactly a realistic or healthy body image for young adults and adolescents to aspire to.

How does all this fit it to our changing impressions of what is acceptable and normal looking for men and women both? Have the appearance of characters in rpgs changed over the past decade or so as society's notions of attractiveness have altered? Are female toons being portrayed more or less as sex objects now when compared in earlier games. Is the sexiness of male characters more important now than it once was (as more female players come online)? Do these images merely reflect the mainstream culture or do they help reinforce or even define it. Just a few questions related to this issue.

Posted by: Erica on December 5, 2006 12:58 PM

I'd like to see a more current comparison of RMT in general. Acceptance: would you quit if supported RMT was added to your server? servers added to your game? games added to the company that makes your game? perhaps why.

Comparison of curreny exchange rates among the different games. ie: how much do you sell your coin for. Perhaps find a way to include the effort/time involved in aquiring that coin.

The amount you've made selling playing game X.
The amount you've spent buying playing game X.

What was bought or sold? Items, coin, characters, accounts.

I would definately include EverQuest 2- With the station exchange, you might be suprised. Also Entropia Universe.

I'm from EQ2 and there doesn't seem to be a lot of information about supported RMT systems. Haven't seen any information about what players make/spend or what the companies that charge for the service can make.

You used to be able to make enough to live on in EQ2. Though for most people they'd be making less than minimum wage if it was their only source of income.

Posted by: Too unique on December 26, 2006 9:29 PM

I'm interested in people's opinions of DKP or loot distribution systems. What types do they use? What types have they previously used and then moved away from? How does it vary with the size or age of the guild, or how hardcore they perceive their guild to be? How much of their guild's drama is directly related to loot distribution?

Posted by: mkl on January 1, 2007 11:48 PM

As these games become more complex, so do the reasons behind why people play them. Using Everquest 2 as an example you can be an adventurer, a collector, an artisan or even play the in game markets to make virtual money. In practice it's the combination of these elements to differing degrees that make people want to play (including me) and appeals to a progressively wider audience.

What I believe is very hard to define though is the boundary between healthy and unhealthy gameplay. There are frequently references to casual and hardcore players, which can also mean different things to different people.

For example, looking solely at the time element, one person might be of the opinion that they are a hardcore player for spending 8 hours playing every Saturday, whereas another player would consider casual play as 3-4 hours most nights. Other people consider that the attitude towards game completion and doing it the 'right' way is what makes a casual or hardcore player, for example by getting the best treasure or completing all the events.

I would like to see this explored in more detail as it can be a very emotive subject and opinions differ wildly.

Secondly, in the main Daedalus project document there is a very interesting comparison between people's acceptance of football 'addiction' versus the relatively new mystery (with the associated paranoia) of the internet, and specifically MMORPG's. Many new home entertainment forms seems to have to go through this type of process to some degree to become socially acceptable, recent examples in my mind being home video, satellite TV, console games and now the internet. Arguments rage over whether they're damaging to people, de-sensitising people to real life and so on, and then they gradually become accepted as part of society. For the majority of people they either gain something from it or have the choice to opt out with no serious problem.

From my personal experience I was considered a geek 20 years ago at school by some, as I liked both computer games and the original board based RPG's, which over time have evolved into the MMORPG's online. I just put it down to having different interests than the mainstream, but I have talked to many people who have very definite opinions that fantasy/sci-fi is simply a waste of time or a childish pursuit. With this in mind they will then go and pursue more 'mature' interests such as sports, gardening, reading factual books and so on.

I'm not in any way saying that they are wrong to do so, but it does go partway to explaining why society often seems to be a bit uncomfortable with fantasy as a whole. In the context of an MMORPG you are coupling this with the latest technology - another area of modern life where many are uneasy - and by this thinking, anyone (adults particularly) who have a major interest in fantasy gaming is immature, weird or both. As a result they are more inclined to be perceived as having a problem and hence must be addicted. You never seem to see the same element of worry about whether someone has an obsessive interest in gardening or watching the news for example.

Therefore I am also interested in what makes certain pursuits easier for society to accept than others.

Addiction is a phrase that is banded around very easily these days, but with regard to 'actual' addiction to MMORPG's, I can see that there will always be a minority of people who display classic symptoms of addiction such as obsession and withdrawl. Where this begins to adversely affect their life or that of others then it needs to be identified, but if you enjoy doing something it's only natural that it will have some bearing on the rest of your life. Drawing a physical line between these people and the super keen players is a horrendously difficult and subjective task and I suspect it will still be a debate for years to come.

Posted by: Simon on January 4, 2007 8:54 AM

I think Erica's comments about body image are well-worth reading and she raises some good points.

I would just clarify that the focus on "perfect/appealing bods" is not just a social pressure, but a limitation of the development time (I think -- please correct me if I am wrong).

For every new body shape, a new model must be designed that also has to be able to accommodate all the clothing that has been designed for the game -- in order to avoid clipping problems, clothing that doesn't "look right" on the frame in question, etc.

Maintaining different body shapes eats time and money, cutting into profit margin. Thus keeping body shape at a minimum, and designing clothes to fit those few shapes, is an economical one. Since people prefer the "good-looking" shapes, those are the body models that are chosen and that clothes are designed for. An excessive amount of time and money would have to be spent to maintain a variety of shapes (as much as I'd like to see them).

Thus, it's not just a 'bias' issue, but partly a pragmatic one as well.

Posted by: Fortunato on January 10, 2007 1:35 PM

Hello, a little while ago I had an idea pertaining to player interaction and “total emersion” that after going over some discussion of it I want to ask you, the Daedalus Project, if this scenario is plausible.

A while back I viewed a horror movie called ‘Ichi the Killer’ in which the character, whose name is in the title Ichi, is an incredibly disturbed sadist who is solely sexually attracted to extreme instances of violence such as murder. The reason why he is disturbed is because he doesn’t want to be like this but inevitably succumbs to these desires which leave him in a childlike psychosis that allows people to reshape his memories into making him believe he’s getting revenge on those who tormented him in childhood via brutally killing gangsters. I wasn’t a stranger to the existence of sadomasochism (extreme or not) and what this has to do with my question is aimed around something I think you know of called a Player Killer or PK.

Now I know that most people who do it just do it for kicks but is it possible for someone to actually find the act of killing someone else’s character sexual gratifying? Whether or not someone puts oneself into the reality of being their character could a PK do its actions only out of showing erotic love for another character? This question has probably been brought up before and if it has I’m sorry but I don’t see it in the records and hope your being a expert of sorts in this could help me clarify this conundrum.

Posted by: Raid on January 24, 2007 2:48 PM

I would like to see you revisit your ideas about addiction and gaming after reading
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers,
by Robert M. Sapolsky. The chapter on addiction explain how a real biological/physiological biofeedback reward loop is created by rewarding/pleasureable behavior. I think that the level of game play that is required in MMORPG's IS conditioning and so also has the possibility to be truly addictive.

Posted by: on January 24, 2007 7:57 PM

But then the problem is that everything from cookies, to ice-cream, to sleeping (let alone kissing and having sex) are also "truly addictive". And schools, by providing positive reinforcements, are also "truly addictive". Thus, according to your logic, MMOs would at least be on par with schools.

What's frustrating is that arguments against MMOs tend to be conceptually lacking.

Posted by: Nick Yee on January 24, 2007 8:12 PM

Like Erika, I would love to see statistics concerning who roles "hot" or "pretty" characters and who rolls "funny" or "evil-looking" characters. I am also interested in seeing who prefers WoW to Guild Wars, and vice versa, and why.

My hunch is that people rolling hot females are single guys or women who do not think of themselves as being hot. But I could be wrong.

I am 32 year old female who plays WoW and Guild Wars. I do not like playing hot characters, personally. I do not want to solicit attention. Many of my friends also have plain or funny-looking characters on WoW. These people are also in long-term relationships or are content being single.

I tried to get these friends to play Guild Wars with me, but they refused, making fun of the Barbie/Ken look of the characters. (They called GW the "slutty romance novel version of MMO's). I started a thread on a Guild War suggestion forum, suggesting more variety in character creation. This post was slammed. Guild War players want to see as few unpretty, conservative or weird characters in their ideal world as possible. And yet my real life friends won't play without such variety.

It would be interesting to explore people's choices and the reasons for them.

Posted by: April on January 31, 2007 5:38 PM

I run a fairly large guild in World of Warcraft, the officers and myself are very interested in this and are more than willing to let you all into our drama. We've got people from all over the world, different situations, different reasons for playing. I am highly intrigued by this study and am willing to do what I can to contribute to your research.

Posted by: David Auge on February 8, 2007 8:45 PM

First let me say a big well done and thank you for all your hard work and this fantastic website, keep up the good work.
I am currently spending a lot of time playing a Free browser based mmorpg called Pardus
Pardus is a relatively new game that has just come out of open beta, one of the central fetures of this game is that you con only preform a limited number of actions, the actions you preform are limited by "AP's" or action points. your action points regenerate over time and you can only store up to 5000 AP.
My Comment/Question is to what extent does the pardus community differ from other mmorpg's especially as the game is designed to be played on low end pc's and with slow internet connections?

this question thanks to your site has really got me thinking.

Posted by: Robert on February 9, 2007 10:56 AM

I have been reading over your studies for a long time now and they have been very insightful. However, I can't remember ever seeing a comparison on why some people choose one mmorpg over others. Have you ever done any reseach on this?

Posted by: Craig on February 24, 2007 1:57 PM

Loved reading your articles, as the stigma "addiction" has aggravated me, same goes for "geekiness, nerds" etc.

What about a research showing up that this attachment comes due to group pressure, or this sociological phenomenon plays a role in someone dedicating his/her time to a large scale, therefore losing self-awareness and time-management? Be it in a guild, where a certain spec/level/online time is a recquirement - be it in a loose group, where the "sheep" should stay in line; be it searing sneers of "comrades" because someone must be a loser if not at level 60, not in tier xxx, not with epic mount within a certain time scale.

Same group pressure goes for role-playing, where own imagination is "censored".

No, I don't suffer myself from this, as I keep out of guilds, groups, interest circles - but I have observed quite a lot. Gamer behaviour fascinates me: they are a minority, but stigmatise themselves to even smaller minorities.

And if my suspicion is correct - is it an age thingie, cause adolescents need their "peer-group", acknowledgement etc - or do adults fall for this as well? with adults, I mean people over 35 *chuckles*

Posted by: kiya on March 1, 2007 8:48 AM

First off, thanks for the excellent research (and results), my eyes have been opened to things I never considered before. I haven't seen this brought up, so I figure I'll suggest it.

I'd like to see a study on mature content in MMORPGs, and how the public responds (ISRB, politicians, parents, media, etc.). Please note the difference between "mature" and "adult"; there are M and AO games, as well as R and NC-17 movies. Such mature content could be nudity, sexuality, drugs, gore, language, and violence.

The latter 4 topics are somewhat obvious in their implications, but I would like to specifically note the differences between sex, sexuality, and nudity. Sex is undeniably adult content which always results in an AO rating. Games with visible sex content are usually not sold in stores and thus are not seen by the eyes of the general public. Sexuality isn't the same as sex and thus is not adult content; it's found its way into many games that exist on the market for younger audiences, such as WoW with it's NE female dance emotes.

However, what sparks my interest most is the issue of nudity. First off, you should note the distinction between nudity and near nudity. I am referring to full nudity, as in visible genitals. Full nudity, as far as I know, hasn't been associated specifically with AO-rated games. From what I understand, there are many different viewpoints on how appropriate nudity is. Context, of course, is a factor in these viewpoints; there's nudity in real life situations, fiction, pornography, etc... So the context can make the presence of nudity more or less appropriate. The contexts for this study would probably be roleplaying, games, and online environments.

For roleplaying, nudity can be seen as a tool to add realism to the experience. Of course, this depends on the views of society within the roleplaying universe. Just as certain real-life societies view casual nudity as appropriate, a roleplaying universe can too. At points throughout history it's been normal to, besides casually being naked, to be nude while sleeping, bathing, swimming, sporting, battling, and even while simply relaxing. This could technically be introduced to a roleplaying universe. Similarly, there are also situations where nudity is simply not a good idea and not a moral issue; cold weather and hygiene for example.

In regards to gaming, with today's technology it is possible to create realistic graphics, including shape, texture, lighting, motion, and physics. Therefore the nudity could be quite detailed. I suppose I should note physics, as most people only think of breasts when it comes to jiggle factor. There's also camera options, such as zoom, snapshots, and whatnot. In a game there could be advantages and disadvantages to being nude, e.g. increased speed and flexibility, or vulnerability to damage and weather. There is also censorship of nudity in games. I'm sure we're all aware of the black circles, pixelization, blur, and simple removal.

Online environment bring forward additional things to consider. Cyber sex is an issue in even the most basic online roleplaying environments (even chat-based). Nudity would complement cybering rather well, which could increase the number of users who participate in cyber sex. Sex, of course, is adult content. However, there is an ESRB tag that says "Game experience may change during online play", which was probably created due to the possibilities of language and cyber-sex in online environments.

In the end, however, the existence of nudity in a game probably depends on the comfort, maturity, and skill level of the users. Would the average player be comfortable with nudity, possibly abundant in an online environment? Would they be mature enough to treat nudity seriously? Would they be responsible enough to keep the experience at a mature and not adult level?

Some ask why a developer would feel the need or desire to include nudity in a game. I personally feel the availability of nudity in an MMORPG could add a great amount of artistic and realistic detail to an online roleplaying experience, which should add to the effect of escapism. There's also the desire to promote body appreciation. And then there's those that would do it solely to provide eye candy to the audience. Not that plenty of things don't provide eye candy already.

Posted by: Phillip on March 2, 2007 9:53 PM

As with several other people here, I would like to first and foremost congratulate you on an extremely well thought out project. It has indeed been very insightful and interesting to read.
I would like to see a study relating to how in-game roles compare to real life roles. For example, despite the relative anonimity an MMORPG provides. Do people in managerial jobs find themselves as guild leaders? Do younger, less socially mature people find themselves being victimised because of this? In my current guild, the general heirarchy tends to be the older more socially mature players as officers / leaders whereas the younger or less mature players are not. Now, no-one was chosen for officership because of their maturity or age, but purely their ingame attitude and general helpfulness. It's interesting then then as it happens, we have ended up with the older players in officership. I wondered how similar this is to other peoples experiences.

Posted by: Kieron on March 22, 2007 8:14 AM

Another phenomenon I noticed while playing WOW, was the amount of ganking (players initiating an attack that was unfair since they are many levels higher than another(my definition)) was more prevalent among the evil characters (Hordes) vs. Alliance. Though you essentially get no honor for killing characters 10 levels below you. It is an unfair fight and I myself have spared or left a character along who was lower than me. However, a higher character would kill me in 2 hits and then camp my body to kill me 3 more times. What is the age distribution and reason behind doing that. Its war but still

Posted by: Furian on March 23, 2007 10:08 PM

One thing that I notice, as a distinction between MMO game play, specifically Guild Wars. As much as the developers of the game have shunned the "grind," aspect, they've allowed room for it to exist. Also, since it has a strong PvP focus, that is almost entirely independent of the amount of "grind," a player has performed (almost but not entirely the player's skillz/strategic approach), the usual "competetive type" PvP players that usually wouldn't play an MMO (Like First person Shooter/DoTa[Defense of the Ancients WCIII custom map] players) don't tend to stick around or apply themselves as much to the game. this comes from personal experience--having known several friends and acquaintances along these lines, who have tried the game. The thrill of "owning," someone in the game is far more elusive and less satisfying for them it seems and they tend to become less interested after a while. I wonder if this falls partly outside teh realm of pure MMO study and perhaps applies to the broader range of gamers in the above mentioned category. There has to be some overlapping of course.
My own extensive experience in the "competetive," player realm suggests that it is extremely populted by males, and the majority of which range from pubescent (no slight intended) through adolescent, and a fair amount beyond of course (that's me and many others). Also I have noticed that on the FPS servers for Half-Life/CounterStrike, that servers cater to social groups. the most distinctive being "adult" servers. Anyhow, I think it would be interesting to know how many MMo players consdier themselves part of the "competetive," group also. (there has to be a better name I could give this group I am referring to)

Posted by: raefus on March 25, 2007 10:06 AM

Sorry to clutter a second post but i forgot to mention that I posted the previous in response to what i thought was a trend in many of the posts before this one. It is the seemingly "unfair," advantage that many of these types of players seek (from grinding for better items etc.) and the goal seems to be to cause real heartache for people, as per the example given on the post right behind me by Furion. Is there an identity for this demographic--so to speak?

Posted by: raefus on March 25, 2007 10:11 AM

Could you please start posting the number of people who took each survey? I've tried to use this website as a source for various reasons before, but I couldn't use it because you don't say the number of people in your test groups.


Posted by: Me on March 25, 2007 12:20 PM

The number of people for each data point is usually shown in the corresponding graph (top right corner in gray). In the few cases where there are no graphs, like in the open-ended surveys, the number of respondents is usually stated early on in the text.

There are usually between 2k to 3.5k respondents to each survey.

Posted by: Nick Yee on March 25, 2007 1:05 PM

I was reading your paper on the Proteus effect specifically how the subject adjusts their behavior based on an imaginary 3rd person. It would be interesting to see how the camera perspective would influence the outcome. Does a player in 1st person view have a weaker behavioral change than someone playing in 3rd person where they are able to see their avatar? What kind of extrapolations can be made from this about the player? This second half delves more into psychology vs. communication. With an understanding of the Proteus Effect, could a player make a conscience effort to adjust their appearance based on the desired outcome? How far into RL does the Proteus Effect apply? It seems to be a reasonable assertion that a RL identity would be applicable as well if only to a lesser degree.

Posted by: Jon on March 25, 2007 6:09 PM

I just finished your article on guild leaders, which I found to ring true. Especially in the comments. One thing that did strike me as unique was the number of female guild leaders. Women in MMOs have always been a minority which made me notice the high number that posted comments. It would seem that a much higher % of women gamers are more inclined to being a leader. Just the same, it could be women guild leaders are more inclined to read your site. I think it would be an interesting study to see the personality traits which tend a person to play online games (If there are any even) in contrast to leadership skills across the standard demographic spread. Gender, age, maybe even profession. I think it would also be insightful to see how this correlates to the plays motivations for gaming. Again, perhaps this is delving into the psychology side of things too much.

Posted by: Jon on March 25, 2007 7:26 PM

Do military/police/fire or other public sector gamers vary statistically in terms of gaming preferences and behaviors than their private sector counterparts?

I know for myself, when I play WoW I often find myslf playing a similar role to my real life as a miliary officer and leader (when the truth is, I spend all day "in charge" or "leading" and occassionally "managing" something, that often all I want to do in the game is let someone else take the reigns for once and just be the "good soldier", my training influences my style of play in combat, and even how I play - I tend to much less serious and much more silly in game than I would ever be in real life.

I think for many players, it's the other way around - the game is where, they can be powerful, be in charge, the great leader or whatnot whereas I'd rather just knock out a few quests and explore, and go PvP or raid, if the mood strikes me, and when i get bored, pull a "Leeroy" - all things that I sure as hell don't do on the job. I doubt I'm alone in this.

Posted by: MOGS on March 27, 2007 7:56 PM

I'm a Police Officer, I find the part of my RL that carries on over into the game is that I unrealistically expect those I play with to follow instructions/orders exactly. I get quite bemused when an order is given and then people blatantly disobey it. Also when I'm given an order I do my very best to do exactly what is expected of me without question. I'm very hierarchial (sp) and obey any command structure.

Likewise when I get into any kind of argument and realise the person who I'm arguing with is probably a child I find it frustrating. I think "IRL he/she wouldn't dare say those things to me or think of me in such a way, I wish I could pop up next to him/her irl and say look who you're dealing with". This maybe arrogance on my part or as I believe the fact I'm used to people treating me differently irl then they do in the game.

People did ask me what I was doing when I lead a raid on ventrilo and all my terminology was in "radio speak" and I had to keep kicking myself to try and use "normal" words.

A few ingame know I'm a Police Officer but it's not generally known amongst the games populace. I wouldn't tell most people as either a) they don't believe me or b) they hate me just based on my job, c) I like my game time to be seperate from my RL time. Even where I live nobody knows I'm a Police Officer, all my neighbours think I'm an "odd job man" which is what I tell them.

M, 29, WoW (previously of EQ)

Posted by: MROLL on March 27, 2007 9:06 PM

I've been coming here for the last couple of years and have to say I love the type of thoughtful insight this site generates. Congrats, Mr. Yee!

I'd really be interested in seeing how military, and former military, types differ in gameplay to non-military types.

Also, I find that I'm very interested in the area of why greifers (sp?) do what they do, and how best to deal with it in a manner that encourages them to stop, at best, or at least to go and find someone else to bother. This is, of course, unless you can tell me of a way to find them in RL, and choke them myself. hehehe

Thanks, and keep up your good work. I hope this pays off for you in your chosen profession.

Posted by: John B. on March 28, 2007 12:42 AM

Personally, I think your site is extremely cool because, as far as I have seen, no one has done anything even remotely close for MMORPGs.

Could you do a survey on if male or females of differing ages effected their thoughts about "twinking" (feeding a lower level character good gear and enchants so they can dominate people their level and above). Thanks.

Posted by: WoW Player on March 28, 2007 3:43 PM

Hey, I just found your site today and I'm really enjoying it. I am the content manager/blogger for a non-profit called ISIS-Inc. Our mission is to reach people with critical sexual health information using technology.

We have always wanted to see what is possible as far as incorporating sexual health messages or components in to mmorpgs. In order to get public health funding, one thing that would need to be demonstrated would be that mmorpgs players take more sexual risks than the general population/ or that they are a large enough sexually active demographic to spend prevention dollars on.

Do you think that a sexual risk taking/lifestyle study is feasible? How might it be conducted?

Please check out our site ( or our blog ( to find out more about us.

Great blog and Cheers!

Posted by: phalligator on March 30, 2007 2:24 PM

i totally meant .com on the blog url. sorry about that.

Posted by: phalligator on March 30, 2007 2:25 PM

My girlfriend and I are on two seperate sides of PVP - I for one enjoy PVP on a consent basis (meaning you actually challenge someone to a PVP duel, or you have an option to warp or participate in a PVP room/event). This I believe is how most games play themselves out.

My girlfriend, by contrast, enjoys PVP free-for-all servers (particularly in Ragnarok Online). In said servers, it is entirely possible to be joyously walking along when someone blasts you with some massive spell that instantly annihilates you.

She feels that my server isn't interesting enough, and I find that her server is too...chaotic.

What I want to know is who's on my side and who's on my girlfriend's side. =P

Posted by: Arrow on March 31, 2007 7:40 AM

Being a female, and having played Ragnarok for some time, I find this very interesting! Most people avoid PvP servers for the exact purpose that you mentioned...however I noticed something in RO that carried over, after I switched to Dark Age of Camelot. Guys usually seem to be really big on a sort of unwritten 'code of honor.' Nothings stopping a group of 40+ people from running around a PvP zone killing everything in sight, but there always ALWAYS seems to be a niche of players that 'duel' exclusively (and god forbid you're the healing class that stumbles upon them and helps out the one thats technically on your team!). I remember being told off for 'adding' on other's '1v1' fights in the RO PvP rooms, and likewise in the DAoC Frontier, if you care at all for your 'social image' you'll think twice before helping a realm-mate take down someone else one-on-one (and thus earn the rather harsh title of 'trash').

Perhaps some crave control and order and justice, whereas others submit to that deliciously dark desire to just rip into the nearest person, low-leveled or not (you thought you were going to kill that Poring, didn't you!). Perhaps some people like to savor each bite of the experience, whereas others prefer to swallow it whole.

As for me? Group vs Group! 100 v 10 is no fun, and 1v1 gets a bit dull ;D

Posted by: Kita on March 31, 2007 10:19 PM

True, but then again, considering the servers she also plays on are HIGH RATE servers...practically eveyone's a Level 100+ Transcendant, and so everyone automatically assumes the other is out to kill them...and thus really it comes down to who has the quicker finger on the mouse, rather than any kind of actual tactics (unlike RTSes or FPSes)

Posted by: Arrow on April 1, 2007 12:04 PM

Perhaps this is more of a question for anthropology than psychology, but it certainly fits in the realm of group psychology: I'd be interested in a study of the persistance of cultural identity as it pertains to MMORPG worlds. An example would be the group of people identified with Horizons: Empire of Istaria -- very loyal core group, extremely reluctant to leave in the face of extreme disappointments and when they finally do leave that game, they can be found still playing together in large guilds/groups in other games. Many are now found in either Vangard or LotRO while on the surface they seem less likely to move to WoW or Guild Wars. Is this a phenomenon of the older gamers only (most seem to be between 35 - 70)? Has this happened with the communities of other MMO's that didn't last? Are there other similarities than just adulthood among these loyal "tribes"? How does this relate to RL cultural groups (gangs, nationalities, races, churches)?

Posted by: KittyMcD on April 3, 2007 6:58 AM

A suggestion for research: I'd be curious to see whether MMOGs contribute to the breakdown of traditional gender role stereotypes in the minds of their players, given that the choice in most MMOs between playing a male or female character is purely cosmetic. With no limitations in place for role choices, and male character and female characters performing their individual tasks equally well regardless of gender, does this help to break down preconceptions of male and female roles in the real world for people that spend a large amount of time playing these games?

Posted by: Cameron Sorden on April 8, 2007 3:50 PM

Dear Nick,

I am a last years student of Communication Sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. Right now I'm in the middle of writing my master thesis, which is about the uses and gratifications of MMORPG's. First of all I'd like to congratulate you on your groundbreaking work in this field.

To measure the gratifications of MMORPG players I used the twenty items you published in your 'The Demographics, Motivations and Derived Experiences of Users of MMORPG's' study. I hope you don't mind. But as I am processing the data, I have come across some problems as to how you have gotten your results from those answers. I am guessing you used the factor loadings as weights for each item, but statistics was never my strong point.

If it might be possible for you to clarify how you calculated the scores for each factor (Relationship, immersion, escapism, achievement and manipulation) I would be most grateful. I tried to email you this question but I kept getting delivery failure notifications so I thought I'd post it here. Many thanks in advance and keep up the brilliant work.

Best regards,

Jelle Vuylsteke

Posted by: Jelle on April 13, 2007 6:19 AM

Hi Jelle - You could just use the factor loadings as weights and then sum up each factor item, but it would be more elegant to run your own factor analysis on the items in case there are cultural differences. Depending on the goals of your study, either could be justifiable.

Posted by: Nick Yee on April 13, 2007 11:37 AM

Draft a proposal for a society structure that mimics the reasons people are drawn to MMORPGs so we can have the benefits in real life.

Posted by: Matt on April 16, 2007 9:23 AM

i was wondering about other playing and class/race chooseing statistics of male/female players, such as the melee/range/magic class selection, finess type/brute force class selectoin, and the such.

Posted by: joe nothin on May 9, 2007 11:42 PM

Can you post data specifically related to SWG?

Posted by: Mark on May 21, 2007 8:42 AM

Curious to know if MMORPG players in general prefer PvP or PvE? Many MMORPGs have a hard time balancing these game-play elements, so I'd like to know which is the prevalent reason people are there to play these games in the first place.

Posted by: Keith on May 26, 2007 3:35 AM

This stuff is amazing. I love reading the stuff on WoW.

Posted by: Chris on June 7, 2007 12:21 PM

I've been playing LOTROnline since it opened for business, and beta tested a little before that, and I've run into an interesting problem when I talk to friends about it: Two friends have already said they won't play it because there isn't a traditional magic user class in the game, though everybody gets skills and such that are magic in fact.

Are MUs so into putting up huge damage with their fireballing, iceing, and assorted gimcrackery that they really can't enjoy a game any other way?

I can have fun hunting, healing, or tanking; I don't find it essential to fry small furry creatures with lightning bolts, though that's fun, too.

So I'm curious about this, magicky people. Is not having a true magic user available going to keep you out of a game? If so, Turbine better start working on an expansion pack.

Posted by: Ray on July 3, 2007 10:44 AM

Morning - I am interested in any data related to the behavior of peoples avatars. Do people act differently in the game then in RL or is their character's similar to RL?
Is their avatar an extension of their real personality and character or something else.

Cheers -
"Garnet" from Ultima Online
10 year veteran

Posted by: William Carew on July 4, 2007 5:39 AM

Have you looked at the abilty of avatars to move through each others physical (virtual) space?

The idea that people wont deter you from moving is a big deviation from our real enviornment.

I think that it must be particualarly dangerous for our driving because the habits of manipulating an avatar and manipulating a motor vehicle must share a lot of memory!. (insurance actuaries could have a field day with that if wow players are more likely to have an auto collision)

Posted by: shander on July 11, 2007 4:57 PM

I would like to see a study done on the accessibility of gaming environments. Specifically covering if a particular feature (e.g., 3D spacial audio, keyboard vs. mouse/joystick, turn based versus real-time) is key to individuals being *able* to play at all.

While the extreme cases of individuals with disabilities (blind, deaf) would be interesting, a study that includes other issues such as colorblind or partial hearing or partial mobility (e.g., one hand) would be useful as well.

Posted by: Norm on July 23, 2007 9:48 PM

How about a survey that covers the in-game repercussions to real life break ups. When a couple plays together, especially in the same guild, what happens if they break up? Can they be civil enough to stay in guild together? If not who gets to stay and who has to leave? What if they both hold officer positions? How does the break up affect the rest of the guild?

Posted by: River on September 10, 2007 11:59 AM

One thing that interests me is the different ways people induct themselves into existing groups. I find that, as with new hires in businesses, some recruits in in-game bands have to learn on their toes. For example, having to be exuberant, but keep radical suggestions to themselves. Or to try to make connections with subgroups or form cliques, or even to headhunt members to splinter off into new groups. In more competitive games like what CCP puts out, you have a fairly dynamic security culture, and lots of betrayal. Usually less betrayal by individuals, and more of sundered allegiances between player factions when their leaders no longer calculate advantage, or when the perceived character or makeup of a group changes. This is so especially when each leadership has allegiances and vendettas to juggle with hundreds of others. Some folks are just born black sheep, and I am curious as to how they wrestle with that online, especially in the longterm.

Posted by: Dave on October 11, 2007 12:29 AM

Greetings, here goes an idea:

When you decide to do a survey, why dont you prepare the questions in a "beta" state and then let the players to help you improving it? Some of us know about stadistics, guild leaders can and will point things out that would help you to organice your questions so the information of each survey will be more complete. Every player will help you in this as they help you to answer the questions.

I find the most interesting your articles, but after I read the coments I tend to get the feeling that they could have been done better, providing more information, deeper information. Helping to understand better the whole picture rather than a part of the picture.

To give you an example, in the article about young players taking leadership of guilds more than old people, your questions where towars why did young people wanted to take those leadership. Players sugested that asking why old people was not likely to take those same leadership was an important part of the picture too. No stadistical data is provided of how many of those "old" players prefer not to take that responsability because it makes the game feels like work.

To put in in short: Players do participate in the surveys because they (we) want to know more about the psychology of mmorpgs. Take full advantage of us.

PS: Sorry for the bad english.

Posted by: Elrik de Melnibone on October 23, 2007 1:49 PM

How about looking at the seasonal variants of MMOs? Do more people play in the winter when there is less to do outdoors. How about seasonal depressions? When are the most reports of psychological addiction happening? It would be interesting to see some numbers on this subject.

Posted by: SuddenDevice on October 29, 2007 4:43 PM

I started taking your survey, and gave up. It wasn't tailored so that a person who used to play an MMO could say so. I play WoW quite a bit a few months back. I probably would still be playing if the password hadn't been hijacked. I couldn't get it back, as I had gotten the account from a friend of a friend (account sharing is a no-no, so I couldn't go directly to Blizzard, and that friend of a friend didn't seem particularly inclined to help out). So I've been without WoW for a couple of months (which has actually turned out. I was ticked that I was only 6 lvls from 70, but WoW killed my first semester of college. I learned some harsh lessons, and things might have gotten worse if I hadn't been forced off of WoW). The first page of the survey didn't have any options for "I'm not currently playing an MMO (but I would if I could)." Remedying this could help expand the number of people who could/would take your survey(s).

Posted by: BtF on November 25, 2007 5:21 PM

I tried to search the posts here to see if it had been suggested, and since I didn't see anything I thought I would post an observation and a possible question.

As one of your first study individuals, I have followed your ideas and theories with great interest and sometimes some very surprising findings. It has been very informative. One thing that I have found in my many MMORPG experiences (EQ1, EQ2, DAoC, WoW, SWG, Matrix, AC, AC2, UO, CoH, CoV, and recently Tabula Rasa) is that some of the guilds that I have been a part of have completely switched games en masse, and when they go to the new game, the guild dynamic changes. Several of the guilds in the new game (EQ1 to EQ2 for example) end up with different people leading them, or conflicts start, and in extreme cases, the guild totally falls apart due to infighting. Even though the exact same people are in the same guild, just in a different game. And sometimes when they go back to the old game, they may even rejoin the old guild or even restart it.
In short, it would be interesting to see what causes these changes in guild dynamics.

Posted by: Timiddragon on December 5, 2007 6:34 PM

I could never play lotro now knowing there is a no ranged magical class. I have always played casters, in wow i have mage / elemental shaman / lock and in runescape I maxed out magic on my char. Its just what i do :P

Posted by: wow achiever on December 12, 2007 7:58 AM

I was interested in your guild articles. It seemed that the guildleader was constantly giving to the guildmembers, while the guild members were constantly taking from the guild leader. I'd like to know if the guildmembers gave back to the leader. Did they help with conflicts? Did they give him days off? Was the only benefit in game loot?

Posted by: galen on December 14, 2007 10:06 AM

I'd like to see the gender statistics that you have done previously revisted to see what sort of change has happened since. Simple, but I'd love to see if female players still don't play male toons, if there are more women playing or about the same, and so on and so forth...

Posted by: Esther on February 5, 2008 3:17 AM

Nick I love your site and have already "wasted" hours studying your work.

I am concerned that much (if not all) of your data is based on vollunteer surveys.
This, naturally, has all kinds of biases.

Have you tried contacting the MMO companies for direct data mining access?
All kinds of "true" data could be found this way.

I suspect that many conclusions drawn from vollunteered data would be reversed!

In addition, if you could get GM access to a game like WoW you could Jane Goodall directly instead of having to take people's word for it.

Posted by: Rochmoninoff on February 8, 2008 3:04 PM

Just something to throw out there because it touches on a couple of different articles that you just posted (Virtual Bodies Ourselves & Therapy).

I'm a male-to-female transsexual, and I have found that almost every transgender person (that is 40 or younger) I know has gone through a stage of playing MMORPGs avidly, as a member of their preferred gender. You both get to design your body the way it 'ought' to be, and have your dysphoria eased because people are treating you more 'correctly'.

This was true for me, as well, even though I was completely repressed and had not yet realized that I was TG.

I don't, btw, think that this is a particularly large component of cross-gender gaming in general, because I don't think that TS's make up enough of the population. But it describes a huge percentage of the TS's that *do* game.

Posted by: Thorondil on February 19, 2008 2:29 AM


I was your panel chair in New York at ICA two years ago.

In terms of in-game motivation, take a look at Bandura's social learning theory.


Posted by: David Weinstock on February 21, 2008 2:11 PM

I would be interested in seeing more about outside customizations (addons) to MMOs.
Is a game unplayable without them? Would you only play your class if there was an addon available? Do some people find that addons ruin certain aspects of the game (raiding, role playing, mapping, databases, ect).

Posted by: randomxette on February 21, 2008 2:46 PM

Well, in my experience (more than 10 years now), I've found that different nationality players tend to behave differently. Some of them group more, some of them are just plain annoying, some of them are more helpful. Also, some countries seem to "apport" more mature or old players.

I think it would be a nice topic for a study, trying to find how nationality influences gameplay, and what people think about players of said nationality.

Posted by: Shanara on March 3, 2008 12:16 AM

I would like to see an updated WoW demographics with the new races add in The Burning Crusade. How has the Blood Elves and Draenei affected their respective faction? How has it affected the population imbalance.

Posted by: michael on March 13, 2008 12:19 AM

I think it would be interesting to see how people feel about the MMOs they play, compared to those they do not play. In EVE-Online there is great resentment towards MMOs such as World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online. Due to EVE-Online's steep learning curve, harsh death penalties, and much higher level of difficulty (and many other reasons), EVE players describe these MMOs as 'cookie-cutter' and 'easy-mode' MMOs.

There is a huge sense of elitism, that I must admit I share in, among EVE players when the topic of these MMOs comes up, and "go back to WoW" is a comment remark when a player suggests a game-change that will result in dumbing the game down in any way.

I think looking at how all MMO players feel about their MMO of choice compared to others would yield some interesting data.


Posted by: Druadan on March 22, 2008 3:45 AM

Sorry for the double-post, but I just thought of another =P

It would be interesting to see how satisfied MMO players are with the developers of their games. How well the developers respond to the criticisms of their players, how well they respond to suggestions, how much input they accept from the playerbase, and how the playerbase responds to the changes the developers propose, along with how these effect the game, is interesting to me.


Posted by: Druadan on March 22, 2008 3:49 AM

Satisfied with devs? Lol, look at the WoW class forums... basically all just QQing at class imbalances and whatnot.

Posted by: Elmo on March 25, 2008 3:24 PM

I would be interested to see how RL cultural norms affect gameplay in FFXI.

As mentioned in one of the earlier comments, there is and always has been a separation between NA and JP players. Likewise, there are common conceptions that German and French players are to be avoided at all costs.

While I've done plenty of things with JP players and most of the EU players that I do anything with on a regular basis are from the UK, I have had good and bad experiences with players from all groups.

What interests me most is the RL concept of "honor" that seems to carry over into the game world. In FFXI, enemies periodically attack the city of Al Zahbi and if they win the battle, the Astral Candescence (AC) is lost.

Having possesion of the AC directly affects bonuses that players can get, ability to transport around the world, and other things, meaning that loss of the AC leads to the shut down of maybe 1/3 of the game world until it is won back. When it is lost during peak JP playing hours, there is typically an immediate response by the JP players and they gather together to win it back. I'm not sure if it's associated with some sort of shame for having lost it, or a losing of face, but it could be.

Conversely, when the AC is lost during NA peak playing hours, the common sentiment is "just wait it out, the JP's will get it back" and the NA players typically don't seem to put an effort toward winning it back.

Similarly, I have heard explained to me by a Japanese friend who plays that much of the "JP ONRY" phenomenon that happens on the game started with weaker JP players who were embarassed to play poorly, especially in front of NA players to whom they couldn't explain their lack of skill due to language barriers. While playing with other JP players, they could give excuses for their failures.

However, NA players, especially Americans, have a tendency to embrace their "suckiness" and go off on anyone who would dare to suggest things that they might do differently. If they do something foolish, they might respond by berating the person who says something, instead of trying to get better.

I definitely feel that there is some RL cultural carryover at work here and I'd be interested to read about it.

Also of note, I have a few friends who alter their playing schedules so that they can play primarily with Japanese players. One of them has even gone as far as to start learning Japanese. He says that he does it because the sense of porfessionalism and caring about a job well done seems to resonate better with the JP players, and that's very much how he is in RL.

Posted by: Aramina on April 14, 2008 2:13 AM

What does your research tell us about using the online medium (not necessarily only in mmorpgs)for counseling? That is, does the veil of the net allow for greater disclosure, fewer barriers to entry for those still wary of stigma of counseling/treatment, and open up a new world in this field? Or are all the old school profs who tsk tsk at "counsleing online" as on par with phone psychics right??

Posted by: Cameron on April 16, 2008 10:40 AM

I actually have one problem with your classification system, and I've had it for a while but thought I finally would mention - "gnome" is classified as an "aged" race. MY gnome (WoW) is "cute". It was a conscious decision when I picked her, that I wanted someone who would be superficially adorable and nonthreatening (and then be a warlock, just to be contrary).

So it's very hard when I see "aged (gnome/dwarf)" and "cute (tribble/fluffy thing)" as the two options on the survey. Of course, there's variance in all the races, but in WoW in particular there are an awful lot of "cute little girl" style gnomes.

I think it'd be interesting to look at how your RL attractiveness correlates to in-game. My experience has been that women who're confident in their own attractiveness tend not to play 'sexy' characters as much. They'll pick a "lithe" character, sure, but tend not to mess with all the attention-grabbing skimpy clothes and dances that make it 'sexy'. On the other hand, women who are or think they are unattractive in RL seem to enjoy their in-game sexiness/power much more.

It's a fairly intuitive thing, which is part of why I'd like to see it looked at - I can't tell if I'm just seeing what I expect to see.

Posted by: Alixna on April 23, 2008 11:00 PM

Some pages can't fit in to a 800x600 screen. I have to scroll left and right to read all the text.,

Posted by: name on May 6, 2008 10:05 AM

How does age of players effect behaviourism of the community. Mainly intress would be the k-18 mmorpg environment (age of conan).

Obivously there will be some research problems, due the fact that people can pretend to be 18-year-old.

Posted by: Jomps on May 10, 2008 8:29 AM

the younger kids havent played old school dungeons and dragons.where youre mission is to take care of everyone and play buy game ethics at all times.most kids dont want the adults to play because they choose their groups and ways of breaking the rulse often.i am 33 and play buy the concept of installing an honor system that rewards ethical play and a set of gameing codes.

Posted by: tony easterbrook on May 13, 2008 9:44 PM

the best games ive played are tomb raider resident evil zelda man hunt condemend criminal origions bio shock haunting grounds shenmue shadow of rome colosseum death trap dungeon sid meires pirates and dark an example to mmorpgs make more games like roman rpg and dark cloud types.

Posted by: tony easterbrook on May 13, 2008 10:02 PM

The Daedalus project would be an excellent place to also gather some general health statistics of mmo players to see if there are any trends. If there are any health science students/researchers out there - maybe consider giving Nick a buzz. I'd love to see if there was any correlation between health issues/opinions and gamers.

Posted by: William D on June 11, 2008 2:07 AM

I've recently been playing Urban Undead recently and it's a fascinating game. It's a web based zombie mmo, but it's all text based.

One of the greatest fascinations I've noticed is the "PK"er community. PK stands for Player Killer. In this game, it's always open PVP and zombies fight against humans and humans fight against zombies... however a niche of humans vs. humans have cropped up and it seems to have quite a subculture to it.

I wonder if that sort of thing has been lost to the ages - most modern games restrict open PVP and I wonder if that's lessened the games. I think an expose on PK'ing and PVP should be done - it seems like a hot topic.

Me, personally, I hate PVP'ing in games like Guild Wars or City of Heroes, because of the queuing system (I hate waiting for my character to respond to the command "attack"). In Urban Undead though it's kind of like roleplaying - you're a psycho, it's your job to kill everyone around you. The developers even support it!

However there are no two games that treat pvp the same, SWG had flags / factions, Guild Wars was built around a competitive scene designed for PVP, whereas games can entirely expunge it.

DAOC focuses a lot on PVP I hear, so it's interesting to me - what is "ok" in pvp and what is "not ok".

I mean a poll like that could reign in a lot of data on a contentious issue.

anyway, that's my 2 cents.

Posted by: Mike Cavanaugh on June 17, 2008 8:19 PM

I'm quite interested in the hoarding aspect of gaming. Some players (including me) enjoy to pursuit the goal of possessing each item in the game.

This type of compulsive hoarding is not to be mixed with hoarding of potions and other useful items. The type I'm talking about is compulsive hoarding of even the worthless items, just for the purpose of making a collection.

There seem to be quite a few of us around.
e.g. there even are mods for Oblivion like the decorator assistant that carter only to collectors, offering either sufficient room for massive collections or ease of item placement and arrangement.

To me it seems like an intriguing symptom which deems further study, and I have not seen anyone preform that yet.

Could be interesting to try to link it with specifics real life behavior or disorders like the obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Posted by: Dragan Pepic on July 27, 2008 8:32 AM

I've often said that MMOs are perhaps the perfect form of communication between men and women. I say this because the game provides a shared topic of conversation, a framework for discourse if you will. Men and women can talk about something that both sides have an active interest in, and when the men get bored they can go kill some orcs without insulting the women. They might even go kill some orcs together.

EQ is the poster child of this due to it's slow pace that gives ample time to chat during downtime. The mechanical workings of the game, the social network of guilds and server population, role play, and lore all provide conversation topics. I know that nearly half of the population of my old EQ guild were female, and while I rarely have much to talk about with women I meet in RL, it is not uncommon to have hours long conversations with those female players about topics ranging from ingame to RL and back again.

I would be interested in exploring male-female relationships as they relate to MMOs.

Possible Topics:
Do RL relationships that start by ingame contact?
What about the longevity of the above relationships?
Do people feel that they have more in common with members of the opposite sex that they meet ingame?
Relationships that start out of game, how often do significant others (by sex) start playing a game to spend time with their partner?
Does this activity strengthen the relationship?
Do significant others that start gaming to be with partners continue to play the game because they enjoy it or because it allows them to spend time together?
Do players in a relationship have "ingame" affairs with others?
If so was it because the significant other did not play the same game?
Do such ingame affairs lead to actual RL cheating?
How does all of the above relate to age, do younger people create RL relationships from ingame relationships more readily than older people?
What about "cyb0r"? (RL vs. ingame.)

...and dozens of other questions.

Personally I don't have any personal experience with the above topics, but I know anecdotal stories about all of the above from friends and guildies. One thing is that I would have expected that younger players would be the ones who would turn ingame relationships into RL relationships more often, but anecdotally it would seem to be the older players that do so more often. In fact I know several people that physically moved (from state to state) to be with a significant other, where the relationship started from ingame contact.

I think this subject is ripe for a survey or two.

Posted by: Charles Caplan on August 15, 2008 1:48 PM

i think you should put an article about bot/farm especially asian farmer/botter which based on the actual environment itself. while grind is a major reason a player quit the game,bot and farmer/real money trader is also a major reason a game can be broken thus making players quit.

about bot, its very obvious in games to exist(esp. free to play which u can create a new character after your char get banned). but the trend of this botting to replace grinding seems to be a worse problem in asian/asian region online games (living in asia myself) than international or na region.

botting for real money trading seems to be a trend in asian region online games. this is very related to environment and social economy in asia itself. where rmt prove that it can support their life almost entirely. and botting for level is also related where u need to work all the time but still want a high level char. pretty obvious difference with a legal-non botter character owner who always grind because he/she had enough money and time available.

Posted by: irwan on September 8, 2008 11:56 PM

As a gamer new to MMOs (WoW), I'm slightly concerned about the potential for addiction. While I don't truly think it'll be a problem for me personally, I know about the track record the game has.

I do enjoy the game, but I'm almost afraid to. I'd like to see information on the process of addiction, or how to stop it before it starts.

As for me, I've found that the odds against addiction are in my favor. I'm a girl, so my brain doesn't feel as much reward from the game as a guy's brain will. I have no complaints about my life and use WoW as entertainment, not escape. There are even aspects of the game that I don't like, which I suppose is rare. Furthermore, my concern has led me to monitor my play time.

Although at the end of the day, I'd like to see an outline for addiction so I might be able to stress less about the game.

Posted by: whit on September 25, 2008 7:18 AM

I'd be interested to see if sexual orientation has an effect on character preference. I've heard that gay males prefer healer types, and while it's definitely true for me I'm curious if that's an accurate statement. I'd also be interested to see if there's a correlation with race appearance or game mechanics.

Posted by: Sean on October 10, 2008 6:36 AM

It might be interesting to study how the culture of brand new games evolve. One particularly interesting game might be Darkfall, as it is a full-loot, no-safe-zones, open PvP game.

There was some speculation about whether the game was ever coming out, but the creators of the game have since signed contracts with publishers and server hosts, so it at least looks like it will be coming out in the near future.

Posted by: Yarias on October 11, 2008 11:50 AM

i'd personaly love to see what pvpers think about pvpers and vica versa.

Posted by: zeonz on October 23, 2008 6:54 AM

The work done here is absolutely amazing. I think the Daedalus Project is spectacular, the research interesting and its up-to-date.

However, one thing that I find interesting when playing MMORPGs is the RP...

On World of Warcraft there are MANY different servers for players to choose from: Normal, RP, PvP, RP PVP, etc. The one phenomenon that I find is occurring more and more is that players join RP servers and actually make fun of people who joined the server to role play.

They completely go against why the server was designed and they portray role players in the most vulgar, idiotic sense. What drive these motivations? Why join a server that doesn't fit your player needs?

Posted by: Tarinae on November 6, 2008 8:56 AM

Hi Nick,
I've really enjoyed reading your articles. I noticed that you had done studies on gender and gender bending. I was wondering if you had looked into homosexual gamers. Just demographics, avatar appearance, classes, game preferences that sort of thing.
thanks for the reading material

Posted by: Sam Worley on November 9, 2008 12:18 PM

First I want to give you two-thumbs up. Very nice thing you have going on here. A thing I would like to see addressed here is how people associate themselves with their main characters. For example, do try to form their character into their image or do they form their characters into more who they want to be or admire. This is even more interesting when you add in gender-bending and factions based on good an evil. Do e people who like power without worrying about morals pick evil factions and vice-versa. How do women and men relate to their characters who have the different sex? This is extremly interesting topic i would like to see covered

Posted by: Zeke on December 9, 2008 8:35 AM

You've said in an article that the player is oriented first by team achievements, single player victory, then solitary achievements etc. From what I've noticed while playing mmorpgs players are usually interested in solitary achievements within the team or guild. All players want to be recognized as the best in what they do and establish a hierarchy in the guild.(It's just an opinion)

Posted by: neps on December 10, 2008 4:04 AM

Do something on what causes female and male players to prefer different genres, characters, and classes over others. It would be very interesting.

Posted by: DocSpencer on February 3, 2009 3:38 PM

Is their an appeal for perma-death? As in when a character dies, it's deleted?

Posted by: Akira Oni on February 14, 2009 11:15 PM

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.


Posted by: fluimamak on April 1, 2010 1:33 AM

i am doing a project on mmorpg addiction, and i am wondering if some people would please send me some info on it, my email is, the school computers are blocking most of this site and almost all others on this subject, so please, e-mail me with info, stories, etc.

Posted by: glen c. on May 18, 2010 2:02 PM

Hey everyone,

There are SO many topics in video games world which can be researched, but most of the time those end up with correlation(interconnection) data.

Me and 2 of my friends decided to write an empirical work (master thesis on easy + cooperation mode) about games. The problem is - we have to do an experiment, which means we have to use manipulable variables to show up differences between the groups.

We just started researching the topic of video games used in psychology experiments, but didnt find any yet, just correlation graphs from gathered data :x

Any ideas/tips will be really appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Posted by: Matt on October 24, 2010 1:42 PM
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