The following article has been accepted by the journal Presence and will be published sometime in the middle of 2006, but feel free to start citing it. It's written in APA format (more stats oriented and with a more social psych framing). The correct citation should be:
Yee, N. (2006). The Demographics, Motivations and Derived Experiences of Users of Massively-Multiuser Online Graphical Environments. PRESENCE: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 15, 309-329.
Download the Final Manuscript
Congrats on the publication!
The article continually references the "1st gen" styled mmorpgs where things such as levelling and server limitations to '2000' players are the norm. Apparently noone has looked at EVE-ONLINE have they? We normally have between 9k and 12k+ players online at the same time AND more importantly there are no 'shards' or different versions of the same thing...we play in a GENUINE Virtual universe where what you do actually matters to THE ENTIRE PLAYER BASE, and not just to the shard of choice. EVE also eschews the level grinding for a more interesting AND helpful 'leveller' which is called "time based training". Skill packs are purchased and installed...and they learn. No grinding at all.
The article is fine for the majority, but pales compared to the meaningfullness of alliances, territory and fame that can be found in EVE.
Casey - I wish academic journal articles had turn-around times of weeks instead of years. Also, given that there is no real foundational literature that exists on MMORPGs within the quantitative social sciences, an overview approach is better than the "here's one cool game" approach you're suggesting. More importantly, the findings from the article largely do apply to Eve in terms of demographics, motivations and social interactions.
There's a lot here at the Daedalus Project about the complexities (raids, guilds and relationships) of MMOs, but academic journals and blogs are very different things. If you were hoping to find a cool, sensationalist article, you probably won't find it in an academic journal.
I was completly blown away by the depth and insight of the survey, more so when just reading the questions led me to re-evaluate my own reasons for this 'addiction'.
However, while playing my MMORPGs I have noticed a distinct divide between Eastern and Western Games.
I would love to read and study more about this, as the difference in both these styles absolutly fascinates me. (eg. Ragnarok- Very old style Gameplay, graphics, relatively non-aggressive etc. yet is so popular in the East) ..
Btw.. I'm from India, where MMORPGs have just started. I would love to help you out anyway I can.
Awesome. As a graduate psychology student who plays MMORGPs, I'm very glad to see some academic investigation into these games. As you have pointed out, MMORPGs affect a lot of people from a lot of different age groups and backgrounds, so they deserve study. With World of Warcraft coming out since your publication, MMORPGs are now even bigger than they were before. I hope your study inspires other researchers to go into even more depth on this topic. Thank you.
~Phronk ( http://www.phronk.com )
Congratulations on the article. I've only given it a first glance, and I must say it is extremly interesting. Your approach is thorough and systematic, and the results of your research are negating some of the myths about gaming in general, and MMORPGs in particular the main stream media likes to entertain.
As a regular EVE Online player I understand Casey's frustration, but as you said, and as I mentionned above, only through a scientific approach like the one you've adopted, can we distinguish between myth and real behaviors.
I'm ready for your next survey, and research results. Good luck with your PhD thesis!
Hey there, just finished reading the article and I've gone through most of the Daedalus Project. I've been playing MMORPGs for a while, and everything you've written has made perfect sense to me. It's really been a fascinating read, thank you.
I find indeed reading all this very enlighting, as I find myself being part of these new virtual worlds. Now many of the things I've seen going on them make a lot more sense :)
I am very interested in the idea of studying MMORPG's. I got interested back in the days of the MUD/MUSH text based VR's and have carried through to EQ, then SWG and most recently WoW. I have created maxed out characters in each- though no Jedi in SWG- got bored.
One dimension of the MMORPG server structure that deserves attention is the fact that it supports investigations of causality and counterfactuals. Each server world is parallel and has the same "physics" including things like drop rates and equipment features. Small changes in those characteristics on some worlds while leaving the other worlds constant provides a means for exceedingly complex experiments on player behaviour and the economy, as examples. For example, the drop rate of The Mighty Axe of Dragon Chopping is likely strongly connected to the market price for it. Wtih 3000 arbitrage proof worlds to work with such relationships could well test more general economic hypotheses.
I also point to the other economic link - the gold-farmer and the connection to the real world cash economy.
This stuff is very very interesting and I encourage you in your investigations.
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