Research Paper Submitted for Partial Completion of the Qualification
B Com (Hons), Module Code: ISTN7RP
In the School of Information Systems & Technology
In the 2011 Academic Year
Student: Yusuf Ismail
Supervisor: Craig Blewettt
This study investigates the conformity of Belbin’s Team Roles to successful teams in a massively multiplayer cooperative gaming environment. The game chosen from this type of gaming genre was World of Warcaft. One ten man raiding team (team one) and one five man dungeon group (team two) were used to discover answers sought in this investigation. The first question this study aimed to answer was what Belbin’s Team Roles are present in winning teams in World of Warcraft. It was found that the Monitor-Evaluator (ME) role was absent in team one and the Shaper (SH) role was absent in team two. The Completer-Finisher (CF) role was found to be dominant in both teams. Additionally the Team Worker (TW) and Monitor-Evaluator (ME) roles were found to be dominant in team two. The second question this study sought to answer was how team roles stipulated by Belbin relate to these effective teams. Discussion was offered on the Completer-Finisher (CF), Team Worker (TW), Monitor-Evaluator (ME) and Shaper (SH) roles. Correlations were found between English being a first language for players and the Monitor-Evaluator (ME) role as well as the role a player fulfils in the game and the Company-Worker (CW) role. A negative relationship was also discerned between the Plant (PL) and Team Worker (TW) role. The results of this study suggest that Belbin’s theory for a successful team does not conform to winning teams in World of Warcraft.
The core gameplay in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) revolves around players slaying monsters and completing quests as in the case of World of Warcraft and The Lord of the Rings Online (Blizzard, 2011a; Brothers, 2011).