DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies
, August, 2014
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666
This empirically driven study concerns the creation and maintenance of friendships in online gaming. Social interaction and community building are integral to online game-play, yet maintaining and making friends within a gaming context is not without its conflicts. Through analyses of interview data (n=52) combined from two research projects concerning MMO-gaming this study presents three ideal type portraits of gamers. The portraits illustrate different struggles of balancing friendships, a challenging game experience, and everyday-life. Specifically they look at the relationship between social design and social play; everyday-life and contexts of play; and ‘player burnout’, when players leave the game. Results emphasise how friendships and everyday-life constrains affect how we play, our preferences towards play, and who we play with online. The study concludes that maintaining and making friends in an online game can be a strenuous task limited by both a rational game structure and everyday-life.
digital gaming, game structure, rationalization, Sociability, social interaction, social relationships