And I want to point out that back in 1999 when I conducted my early surveys, very few researchers had the technical capability and cultural knowledge of online games to have conducted the research I did. The people who truly polluted the field were those "qualified" researchers who between 2001-2003 relentlessly bombarded the player community with surveys based on preconceived notions of deviant outcomes from game-play. Players became fed up with surveys because of the unrelenting use of long scales that unabashedly focused on depression, self-esteem, quality of life, and a naive notion of "addiction". Players became fed up because they had become annoyed by "qualified" researchers trying to force their agendas onto the player community. What's fascinating about online gaming has nothing to do with deviance and the player community knew this and they were tired of being baited.
There is no such thing as objective social science research. Researchers always bring their own agendas and assumptions into the work they do. The only difference is between researchers who acknowledge, and can therefore examine, their agendas and those who pretend they have none. There is nothing objective about a non-gamer forcing an agenda of deviance on a community they know nothing about and have no desire to learn about.
I am honored that the player community gave me the opportunity to diversify the range of academically-viable issues and themes in the online gaming research community. I feel that researchers obsessed with the violence, aggression, and addiction agendas are simply trying to find the red dots in a Pointillist painting. They are literally missing the entire point. Talking about dynamic communities in terms of one arrow between two simplistic variables doesn't help us understand much. It only furthers and builds upon entrenched assumptions.
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