Posted by: Andy | February 23, 2009

Q: What can you learn from mmo players about social interactions?

A:  Nothing!  They don’t interact with humans!  *ba dum ting*!  But seriously folks, I’m here for all of the next 5 minutes.  Is this thing on?

But really seriously folks, Sony gave some folks 60 TB of EQ2 data to pour through and analyze.

This bit cracks me up.  Money!:

Buried among those happy, average players was a small subset of the population—about five percent—who used the game for serious role playing and, according to Williams, “They are psychologically much worse off than the regular players.” They belong to marginalized groups, like ethnic and religious minorities and non-heterosexuals, and tended to use the game as a coping mechanism.

That makes sense right?  People with serious social disfunctions are going to be the ones who invest hours in false social situations right?  I know I’ve never been that into RP – I did it occasionally in my MUD days – but only really as a by product – in between other things and for a laugh.  It was a lot of fun though, and I think others really enjoyed Perrin the chaos elemental.  Or something like that, wow that was a long time ago.  I need to see if I can dig up any of his backstories that I wrote back in the day….SHAT that is mem’ries son.  Mem’ries!

I don’t do studies and the like, so if any readers do – does this raise any ethical questions?  From what I recall, any time someone is being studied you have to at least let them know they are being studied (which seems like it would skew most of the studies..which is why there is usually a “trick” involved IIRC so people don’t realize the actual thing being studied).  In a situation like this though, there is no need for a trick and you can get at exactly what you want (at least as near as the data tracks anyway) – and you get around having to let people know they are being studied ahead of time as a freebie!

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