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.