'Alone together?' exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer online games
Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs) routinely attract millions of players to their online worlds but little empirical data is available to assess their players' social experiences. In this paper, we use longitudinal data collected directly from the game to examine play and grouping patterns in one of the largest MMOGs: World of Warcraft. Our observations show that the prevalence and extent of social activities in MMOGs might have been previously over-estimated, and that gaming communities face important challenges affecting their cohesion and eventual longevity. We discuss the implications of our findings for the design of future games and other online social spaces.
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Ducheneaut, N. ; Yee, N. ; Nickell, E. ; Moore, R. J. 'Alone together?' exploring the social dynamics of massively multiplayer online games. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2006); 2006 April 22-27; Montreal; Canada. NY: ACM; 2006; 407-416.
Copyright © ACM, 2006. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in CHI 2006 - Best Paper award nominee http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1124772.1124834