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Exploring clan culture: social enclaves and cooperation in online games
Lin Holin Sun Chuen-Tsai Tinn Hong-Hong
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up
Virtual online gaming clan organizations are used to analyze social grouping and cooperation within competitive gaming communities. Participants from two popular massive multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) in Taiwan were interviewed to collect data on the social dynamics of gamer networks in virtual worlds. Our essential argument is that joining online clans involves costs and risks, yet the “law-of-the-jungle” nature of the gaming world and the interdependent role structure of most game designs encourage the formation of gaming groups. Players commonly establish clans consisting of individuals from their off-line networks in order to reduce the risk of cooperating with strangers. A typical portrait of careless and vulnerable teenage gamers is found unsound.