Online Role-Playing Game Motivational Factors
University of Houston
The study implemented was put into practice in order to examine Online role-playing games and how the motivational factors driving game play reflects gaming behaviors and personal characteristics. The significance of the study is to find correlations between motivational factors and behaviors regarding game play. The study was appropriately conducted through online surveying, with the participants from among all populations, and age groups answering questions about their online gaming experience, personal characteristics and behaviors. With previous research findings, we expected to find a significant difference in motivations and gender among the populations. The findings showed that correlations were found between gender and motivations which help interpret other factors of game play, such time investment. From the results we can see that there is a significant difference in what drives particular virtual behaviors, and expect to see several similar studies of interactive online communities in the future as they continue to develop. Keywords: online, role-playing, game, motivation, behavior, personality, gender.
Online Role-Playing Game Motivational Factors
Our own perception of who we are as an individual can only be observed in the mind of the beholder; thus, we can only try to accurately depict our ideal image through our physical self for the rest of the world to view and understand. The ways in which we depict ourselves vary- through our appearance and expressions we mold our own individuality. The expansion of technology allows us to stretch our ideal self-portrait canvases into vast dimensions. The internet ideologically connects the globe together through online social interaction and experiences. There are countless forms of communicating online, giving someone endless possibilities to stretch their concept of self. Through social media we can easily see that the ideal images of anyone can easily be skewed in the minds of viewers, and maybe even confused or even changed in the individual himself. Online role playing games shows us how online social interaction can affect the individual’s behavior in reality and vice versa. Throughout the past decade, the releasing of numerous Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) has flooded the market with a frenzy of buyers rushing to get to the stores to fire up their own virtual worlds. In recent studies, MMORPGs have been observed, mainly through online surveys, to collect data and form hypotheses about the new subject. Among these studies, findings have suggested that there are different motivational factors which contribute to the game play. With the gamers at large averaging about 20 hours of game play per week, from all categories such as college students, middle aged homemakers, to retirees; it is no surprise that everyone would have a different reason, or motivation for playing. In fact, according to a study done in 2009, there are noteworthy findings in factors contributing to motivational game play among the genders. (Meredith, A., Hussain, Z., & Griffiths, M. D., 2009). About 60% of all females playing MMORPGs are said to enter the gaming environment due to a real life relationship with a romantic partner, while only 16% of males are said to do so. The same study also organizes the findings of motivational factors into a five factor model with the factors being: achievement, relationship, immersion, escapism, and manipulation. It suggests that females prefer to play the games to relate to other players and are motivated by the factors of ’relationship’ (desire to interact with other in a meaningful/supportive way), ‘immersion’ (enjoying the fantasy world as “someone else”), and ‘escapism’ (desire of being in a virtual world to temporarily “escape” from the real life). While males preferred...
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