Long-term motivations to play MMOGs: A longitudinal study on motivations, experience and behavior

Schultheiss Daniel
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

The upward trend in the sector of the digital games goes on.An evolution takes place, which is capable to go to many directions. On the one hand computer graphics become more realistic, games are more complex and the speed, as well as the distribution, of the internet increases steadily. On the other hand another trend appears: browser-games, also called MMOGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Games). Games, which are text-based or contain only few graphical content and are playable without local installation on the computer. Only an internet connection and a browser is needed to use them. These persistant online-worlds, in this special case a browser-game called "Space Merchant Realms", are the object of investigation in this work. Before the empirical analysis is proceeded, the object of investigation is defined in the sector of computer-games and online-games. Subsequently the identification of usagemotivations, gameplay experience and playing-behavior is, as well as its temporal variation, in focus. In this longitudinal research, the usage-motivations are examined with help of the Uses-and-Gratification-Approach and the gameplay-experience is examined with the flow-theory. In two waves of the questionnaire (Nt0=125; Nt1=135), which were surveyed at an interval of ten weeks, several results could be extracted. Ten game motivation factors (total variance 67,175%) and four game experience factors (total variance 58.5%) appeared by the usage of factor analysis. Based on self-evaluation of players, further statements on playing-behavior could be encountered. Moreover the variations of usage-motivations, gameplayexperience and playing-behavior after ten weeks were determined. Four of the ten motivationfactors arose (one of these significant), while six factors stayed constant. Three of the experience-factors became less important (one of these highly significant) and one remained constant. The time of usage demonstrably decreased within ten weeks. This investigation which claimes to be a kind of pilot study, is the first step into an integrated investigation of browser-games.


Space, Agency, Meaning and Drama in Navigable Real-Time Virtual Environments

Roudavski Stanislav Penz François
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Does our preoccupation with navigable space distract us from the expressive potential of interactive media? Can our understanding of spatial context in virtual environments (VEs) be expanded to incorporate social reasoning and behavior? Drawing on the theoretical foundations and practice of Architecture, this paper considers the relationship between person and environment in the real world and in navigable real-time three-dimensional digital worlds. The first part discusses the cyclical and bi-directional nature of the person _ environment relationship with interactive involvement as the basis for meaning construction and behavior guidance. The second part considers the differences brought in by the representative nature of computer-based interactive three-dimensional (3D) worlds. The examples for discussion are derived from the rich field of videogames. This is followed by an overview of the principal components of Shenmue II, a role-playing game, and a case-study examination of one interactive sequence from it. The analysis shows that navigable space always carries meaning, reiterates that interactivity is an integral part of spatial experiences and illustrates how construction of mental images is a product of mediation. When VEs are designed to utilize rich agency and expressive mediation devices, they potently overstep the systematic rule-based constraints of their design and become meaningful and engaging as situations that have real-world roots and dramatically significant consequences.


Growing Complex Games

Glean Nicholas
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Do computer simulation games display emergent behavior? Are they models of complex systems or ‘life’ systems? This paper aims to explore and investigate how games studies can use complexity models and emergent behavior to critical analyzes the computer simulation game. (God Games, Real-Time Strategy Games, and City Building Genre) The developments in and from the natural sciences (Complexity, Emergence, Self-Organization, Non-Linear Dynamic Systems) are important intellectual tools that can aid in the development of this discipline. Computer simulation games have a similar strategy to games like Go or Chess; even though they may have fixed rules they can display unpredictable patterns of play (emergent behavior). This approach is in contrast to current models that are being deployed within the field of games studies. The introduction of complexity and emergence into game studies can allow for computer simulation games not to be dismissed but to be explored and explained, as complex games, rather than just simply simulations.