In Their Own Words: The Social Component
Over the past 5 years, I have asked MMORPG players hundreds of different questions. The one that inevitably provides the most interesting responses is this one - "Why do you play?". The following narratives show how multi-faceted every player is and how motivations intersect and influence each other. Together, these narratives provide the foundation to any other discourse about MMORPGs. After all, if we don't understand why players are in these online worlds to begin with, then we can never truly appreciate the more complex phenomena that emerge from these environments.
Oftentimes, we project our motivations onto others and we fail to appreciate what "fun" is to someone else. The following narratives show how relative fun can be and the sheer diversity of ways of deriving satisfaction from the same construct. "Fun" means something different to different people.
The narratives are framed by the 3 main components, thereby illustrating how the different subcomponents can combine, but more importantly, shedding light on where more work still needs to be done. The presentation below extracts parts of long responses submitted by players and might create the illusion that players are more single-dimensional than they really are. This was done to make it easier to understand the spectrum of motivations. Most players in fact described their preferences along several motivations so make sure you browse through the profile tool to get a sense of how multi-faceted players really are.
At a Glance:
- The Ultimate Chat Room
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