Multiplayer games as the ultimate communication lab and incubator: A multimedia study
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One of the features that most clearly differentiates Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) from the rest of the gaming world is the communication that occurs among players. This communication both facilitates game play and creates potential problems in these game spaces (as discussed in chapters 8 and 9 within this volume; Tang & Fox, 2016). Many of the most frequently cited studies of multiplayer games tend to focus on this social nature of gaming. For example, Cole and Grifths (2007) surveyed 912 MMOG players about the friendships and social interactions developed online. Yee (2006) conducted a massive survey of online gamers to determine their motivations for game play, which included a large social component consisting of socializing, relationship building, and teamwork. Others have looked at these game spaces as a place to relieve loneliness (Kowert & Oldmeadow, 2014; Martončik & Lokša, 2016) or for people with autism to manage social interactions (Wang, Laffey, Xing, Ma, & Stichter, 2016). Although most of these studies focus on the uses and effects of communication in MMOGs, few of them focus on the actual communication. How do communicative exchanges play out in these games? Is MMOG communication a unique type of communication or does it follow patterns that are similar to other types of communication? Does it matter how open and large the play group is? Or how constrained the communication is by the types of talk needed for rapid game play? This chapter takes a closer look at the communicative interactions that occur in MMOGs and compares those interactions to those found in other mediated communication contexts.
New Perspectives on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming: Multiplayer 2
Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified