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.


Human, all too non-Human: Coop AI and the Conversation of Action

Simon Bart
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper considers the cultural sociological questions that might begin to be asked when players understand themselves to be cooperating rather than competing with the computer when they play digital games. Coop play with game AI in games like Call of Duty provides the basis for understanding human relationships with computers and machines in a way that may differ from the cultural historical antagonism embodied in a game like computer chess. This investigation also opens the doors for the analysis of emergent play in human-computer interaction.


Demystifying guilds: MMORPG-playing and norms

Verhagen Harko Johansson Magnus
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

One of the most influential gaming trends today, MassivelyMulti Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), poses newquestions about the interaction between the players in thegame. Previous work has introduced concepts such ascommunity, commons, and social dilemma to analyzesituations where individual choices may result in sub-optimal global results. We propose to use the concept ofnorms instead.Modelling the players and groups of players in these gamesas normative systems with the possibility to create normsand sanction norm violations, we can analyze the differentkind of norms that may deal with the trade-off betweenindividuals, groups, and society at large.We argue that our model adds complexity where we findearlier concepts lacking some descriptive or overstretchingwhen trying to analyze the balance between individualplayers and the game playing society.


Addressing Social Dilemmas and Fostering Cooperation through Computer Games

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

The concept of social dilemmas can be used to understand social situations all around us. I am looking at identity formation to help understand why people make the decisions they do in a social dilemma and whether the explicit knowledge of being in these situations help steer them to cooperate within their social groups. First I describe a previous study which clearly demonstrates the need to think about identity deeply and to think of decision-making as happening within specific social contexts. Then I describe on-going ethnographic, action research with a guild in World of Warcraft. I am hoping to get an insight into how social norms of the guild, and game in general, can support cooperative behavior. I discover that I must do this through collaborative community management in order to legitimately participate and influence the guild.


The Problem of Other Players: In-game Cooperation as Collective Action

Smith Jonas Heide
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper explores the development in game design of collaborative relationships between players, proposes a typology of such relationships and argues that one type of game design makes games a continuous experiment in collective action (Olson, 1971). By framing in-game conflict within the framework of economic game theory the paper seeks to highlight the importance of already well-developed models from other fields for the study of electronic games.