Members of these communities typically share an interest in online gaming and a great deal of the interaction between them is technologically mediated. Marko Siitonen from University of Jyväskylä studied social interaction in online multiplayer communities in his doctoral thesis of speech communication.
- Online multiplayer gaming is a playground which can give us clues about the future of social and technological developments, Siitonen states.
Online multiplayer games enable the formation of lasting relationships
Online multiplayer games typically encourage interaction between players: some go even as far as demanding it. Collaboration with other players may be a prerequisite for making progress in a game, or a game may be based on competition between players.
- Typical online games can be played fairly independently, without seeking closer contact with other gamers. However, social interaction is a strong motive not only for playing multiplayer games, but also for forming lasting social relationships with other gamers, Siitonen says.
Online games are based on the possibilities of computer networks. This shows in the scope of modes of communication that typical multiplayer games offer. A single game can support communication based on text, image, and sound. In addition, a game may provide tools for interaction between two people, as well as enable communication between whole groups and communities.
- In addition to using the modes of communication offered by games, members of multiplayer communities may keep in touch face to face, over the phone, via email, or in IRC, Siitonen explains.
Long-term interaction lays the foundation for a feeling of community
Social interaction between members of multiplayer communities shares similarities to interaction in face-to-face groups. Shared values and goals are the basis on which a shared understanding and a sense of community are built on. Negotiating values and goals is an ongoing process that takes place throughout the existence of a community. They are reflected e.g. by how new members are accepted in the community and by how the roles that are significant to the operation of the community are cast. Disagreement concerning these issues may lead to conflicts within communities, yet solving these conflicts can serve the purpose of strengthening or changing the community’s foundations.
- The traditional building blocks of identity, such as appearance or age, are often insignificant in multiplayer gaming communities. A 13-year-old French schoolgirl, a 27-year-old Swedish housewife, and a 44-year-old American engineer can all be members of the same community. When the members never meet face to face, they form perceptions of each other based on e.g. how active or reliable they think the others are, Siitonen describes.
Forming images of the other members can be quick in a technologically mediated environment. Still, reputation based on long-term social interaction does have real significance in online multiplayer communities. Activity and motivation are emphasized in technologically mediated communication, and the most active members often hold the leading positions in the communities.
Online multiplayer communities are susceptible to changes. Old communities perish and new ones are born constantly, and gamers frequently shift between communities. However, the social networks and personal relationships that form the base of these communities may survive even though the disbandment of a community. It is possible that a new multiplayer community rises out of the old one’s ashes.
Siitonen used interviews and information gathered by participant observation as the data for his study. The observation data was collected from two different communities within an online multiplayer game called Anarchy Online.
Liisa Harjula | alfa
Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology
Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences