Me, myself and others: Connecting player identification to gaming social capital

Regnath Franziska Elmezeny Ahmed
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

The social outcomes of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) have been subject to numerous studies in the past. In these games identification processes and virtual identities are present, yet most research measures game involvement solely through play frequency. This study proposes that time is an insufficient measure, and instead positively relates individual identification to in-game social connections among adult, German MMORPG players. This is done through mixing pre-existing theories, and scales; measuring Player Identification (van Looy et al. 2012), as well as online social capital (Williams 2006). The results from our study indicate that player identification positively predicts gaming social capital, a dedicated form of online social capital dedicated to gaming contexts, while time (measured by game experience) did not moderate this correlation. Hence, this study finds strong evidence for the insufficiency of time as game involvement measure, and the positive correlation between identification and social outcomes in MMORPGs.


How gaming achieves popularity: The case of The Smash Brothers

Elmezeny Ahmed Wimmer Jeffrey
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

Using a case example of the crowd-funded YouTube documentary The Smash Brothers, the study explores how digital game culture is represented in media. The units for a qualitative content analysis, as described by Krippendorf (2004), are defined through thematic distinction. The results refer to four major categories and compose digital game culture as a whole: game, gamer, gameplay and game community. The interaction between gamer and game (gameplay) is the most featured element in the documentary. Gamers were shown to be individuals, athletes, celebrities and artists. Gameplay was also depicted to be of varying nature and in opposition, considered both a sport and an art. The specific game community is portrayed as being a large, friendly and sociable community. Based on the findings, further research can be facilitated in order to study the representations of digital game cultures in other forms of social media, as well as mass media and public discourse.