Research Plan: Motives in Playing MMORPGs

Game Theory, Games, Graduate School, Information and Communications Technology

Diving into the second week of my research plan, I’m determined to complete my research piece this week. My goal is to shape the research behind my driving question, “Why is an individual motivated to continue playing MMORPGs for a long period of time?”

Luckily, I’ve been casted with an intrinsic motivation spell. I’m going to start an introduction which defines MMORPGs, how explain how someone plays the specific game I have chosen for this research project.  It just so happens that yesterday in my Video Games and Education class, Professor Lee discussed motivation and gaming. The theories I found digging through my research articles for Social and Communicative Aspects of ICTs directly correlates with the theories discussed in my Video Games and Education class.

To break down the research I conducted for my study, I have listed all of the articles I am reading and borrowing ideas from – see below:

After reading in Interaction with the game and motivation among players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, I’ve found that there are two theories that I want to include in my plan. One is Richard Bartle’s theory of player types. Bartle explains that there are 4 different types of players: killer, achiever, socializer, and explorer. Each player type is engaged by different factors such as leaderboards, ranks, newsfeed, friends, chat, and achievements. Based on Bartle’s four large player groups, Nick Yee discovered three components in the study Motivations of Play in Online Games, which are achievement, socialization, and immersion. I want to measure how deep these psychological motives are which leads these players to play an MMORPG for a long period time.

I found that the article, Interaction with the game and motivation among players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games, was a great start to my research that lead me to read Nick Yee’s study Motivations of Play in Online Games. I’m going to use Yee’s empirical model to asses a player motivations. As a future game designer, this will provide useful information about the users engagement including in-game behaviors and usage patterns. I want to shape the goal of my study around ethical game design and best practices in MMORPGs. It would be excellent to provide grounds for motives causing long term game play based on the game mechanics and dynamics of the game as well the player type.

There has been much progress made since last week, being that I was holding a blank slate. As I continue to read and research, there was a reading two weeks ago that I want to model called Children online: Learning in a virtual community of practice. Since I will be using the same measures to record data, a survey and an interview, I would like to use Angela Thomas’s structure as a model.

…until next check-in!

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