presented by Nicholas
Psychology Major / Concentration in Computer Science
and foremost, I'd like to thank the 1000-odd people who took time to fill
out my online surveys. I'd also like to extend my gratitude to those individuals
who helped publicize my surveys by posting links on websites or news forums.
I will return the favor here:
would also like to take the time to finally thank the people at Haverford
College who made this endeavor possible. I'd like to thank my independent
study advisor Douglas Davis for giving me the enthusiasm to study personality
in cyber-space. I would also like to thank Matt Nocifore for letting me
use his Form Gather script that allowed me to handle the incoming data
interest in EverQuest began as a purely psychological one. I noticed that
one could for example, conduct experiments in EQ with a high degree of
control. In fact, one could even manipulate gender which is not easy to do
real life. As the surveys started to come in however, and I realized how
rich this pool of personal accounts were, I became more interested in the
almost ethnographical quality of what I was doing. And at the end of my
analysis, I am able to use the kinds of quotations I would not have had
access to if I had chosen to use a multiple choice form. Many experimental
psychologists feel that this kind of survey study is too subjective, but
as my independent study advisor says, there is no richer data. The only
way to get clean data is to strip away nuances, and when you do get the
clean data, one is left to wonder how much else has been stripped away.
this study did was allow me to map out the territory that one could focus
on in EQ. The responses that my informants provided makes it possible to
know what the right questions to ask are.
total, I received close to 2500 submitted surveys. I admit that I was not
able to read through every one of them. I can say, however, that I skimmed
through 70% of them and read through at least 1/3 of them. In the following
presentation, I use many quotes from my informants (all italicized). The
basic format of the presentation is a mapping out of the range of variation in
the important questions each survey focused upon, followed by a discussion
that expands on that information.
preserve the flavor of the informant's own words, I have left quotes as
they were typed, unless a typo might cause a great deal of confusion.
Character names, wherever they were used, have been altered.
invite you to email
me your questions and comments.