Effects of Mmorpg on Students

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ADDICTION AND THE STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMES.

A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE DIVISION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION

AUGUST 2006

By Neils L. Clark

Thesis Committee: Ruth Duran Huard, Chairperson Dan Wedemeyer Jonathan Lillie Pete Britos

Aknowledgements Harry Partika and Meryl Martin, without whom there would be no data, and Aaron Delwiche, without whom there would be no aspiration.

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Abstract This work begins by providing a comprehensive review of videogame-related literature in fields as diverse as communications, psychology, sociology, and neuroscience; this reading suggested that behaviors noted as detrimental in psychology and neuroscience were being observed in studies of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) gamers. The current research provides data which suggests that a player’s perceived use of varied structural characteristics within a game is related to differing addiction and engagement levels. In particular, the constructs of negative valence, side activities, and interaction with real life friends within MMO games had distinct relationships with each addiction and engagement levels. When structural characteristics were controlled for, PvP advancement and guild preference appeared to be significant predictors of addiction or engagement. While the primary aim was to offer preliminary data comparing structural characteristics and addiction, this work also discusses the benefits and limitations of sampling respondents within MMO game worlds.

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Table of Contents Aknowledgements...................................................................................................................... ii Abstract .................................................................................................................................... iii List of Tables............................................................................................................................ vi List of Figures ......................................................................................................................... vii Preface ................................................................................................................................... viii Chapter 1: Relevant Literature................................................................................................. 1 Addiction Literature.............................................................................................................. 3 Brown’s Hedonic Management Model of Addiction........................................................ 4 Neuroscience..................................................................................................................... 5 Internet Addiction ............................................................................................................. 6 Engagement and Addiction............................................................................................... 7 Brown and Charlton.......................................................................................................... 8 Engagement and Addiction in MMO Play........................................................................ 8 Player Populations and Structural Characteristics of MMO games...................................... 8 Structural Characteristics as a Theoretical Concept ....................................................... 10 Yee’s MMO Motivations................................................................................................ 11 Comparing the Social Networks within MMOs with those of the Mafia ....................... 13 Project Massive and Guild Communication ................................................................... 15 Social and “Uber Raiding”...
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