Project Massive 1.0: Organizational Commitment, Sociability and Extraversion in Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Seay A. Fleming Jerome William J. Lee Kevin Sang Kraut Robert
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMPs) continue to be a popular and lucrative sector of the gaming market. Project Massive was created to survey MMP players about their play experience, social experience, and communication tool usage both inside and outside of their gaming environments. 1852 MMP players have completed the online Project Massive survey, reporting on their play patterns, commitment to their player organizations, and personality traits like sociability and extraversion. The primary focus of Project Massive has been on the player groups that form in MMPs. Most MMPs support and attempt to foster group formation of some kind or another among their players. These formal player groups, often called guilds, can be as persistent as the digital worlds in which they exist. We have found that players who are highly committed to their guilds spend significantly more time in-game than do moderately committed guild members and solo (non-guild) players. Enhancing a player's commitment to their guild can translate into extending their commitment to the game world. In turn, this may result in longer subscriptions and increased revenue for the game's creators. This research is important because there has not been substantial research into the traits and practices of the more successful player organizations that are able to sustain committed bodies of members. Project Massive has investigated how these groups develop, organize, communicate, and operate across a number of independent game worlds. Here we report on our findings and describe our future longitudinal work as we track players and their organizations across the evolving landscape of the MMP product space.


MMOs as Practices

Reynolds Ren
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper examines those acts that occur within MMOs and are chiefly given meaning by the context of an MMO, and asks whether they fall under MacIntyre’s definition of a Practice. The paper argues that many MMO acts are best understood as occupying a nexus between the purely social and the purely ludic. That is, acts occur in the context of a rich and nuanced set of traditions and practices, in which acts can attain a level of excellence and other acts can be understood as negative. Given this acts, in MMOs can meet MacIntyre’s definition of Practice, thus we have a framework in which to morally evaluate acts such as Ganking and Ninja Looting. However, this is just a framework, as a matter of practical ethics we need to then examine the factors and particular context that surrounds a given act, such as the MMO, whether there was a prevailing guild, whether it occurred during a raid with well-understood rules, etc. But what this paper suggests we do have to hand is at least one theoretical argument with a practical application for the ethical basis of some acts that occur within the context of MMOs.