I've always wondered about certain bias in surveys. I know the goal is to minimize any bias, but there's always some.
For example, don't you think that the type of person that would enjoy spending time participating in your survey might also be inclined to create their avatar in a certain way? I mean to say that if I am someone who just doesn't put much thought into my avatar I might also be the type of person that isn't interested in taking the survey. Thus you miss out on that representation in the survey results. This is just an example off the top of my head. Many biases are unpredictable or at least less obvious. I'm not saying there's anyway around it, but just something I wonder about.
That's a really interesting point. It's true that I do risk missing certain people who may not be so "invested" in the game I guess. I did a series of test interviews before doing this, and some of the people stopped playing the game, or hadn't played for months because of the problems with the game. Bias is mostly present anyway but as long as I can account for it and discuss it in the thesis then it's fine. Mind you some people spend a long time, others not so much. I'm sure alot of people here have created a random alt to mess around with, or to hold items etc.
I wager this is worthwhile research. I don't know of much credible information on the topic of online gaming. MMO game makers should sponser research like this. It could undoubtedly improve game quality, not to mention teach them how to manipulate more "customers" into paying their monthly fee. Aside from all that, there's a lot to be said about identity when these communities really get up and going. This is the first time we've really been able to project our identities without the limitations of our real life circumstances. That will certainly affect how we view ourselves, others, and our place in the world in profound ways. Gender is a central issue in that, no doubt. I mean this all in the sense of online communities providing the potential for this phenomenon. MMORPGs are just the genesis of such environments. Studies on this now could shed light on what is nearly sure to come.
Anyway, interesting stuff...
And, yes, I'll do your survey '-')b
hmmm, yeah i guess that was soapboxy. It did help me unwind though...
I'll watch that in the future :P
Edited, Feb 15th 2011 9:44pm by DaricoAndari
Soapboxy is good! :D Long answers or short are equally good for me! There is actually a group of researchers currently working on data from EverQuest 2. Sony Online Entertainment gave them all the data from the game to use. Currently they are looking at ways of using it. There's a link to a story about it here: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/02/aaas-60tb-of-behavioral-data-the-everquest-2-server-logs.ars
If Square Enix were interested in what I learned, I'd be more than happy to tell them. I think they are interested in their own polls currently. The EQ2 research should be interesting, but I think it's going to take a while to use properly since there's 60TB of data :s
Please give us a link when you complete your paper or thesis; I've always found the psychology of gamers to be a complex subject. By the way, you might have already seen this documentary, but it's actually accurate and is relevant to a lot of people playing MMOs: "My Gaming Addiction" that occasionally airs on Current TV.
Thanks for that - I'll have to look it up. Yes I was going to post links on the forum once I'm done. It will probably be a while...
Not cheesy at all but im stuck trying to get out of this **** pokeball....*grunts* starting a f*cking diet come monday
I believe that studying such a group will provide insights into the attraction of online gaming, and the potential for gamers to perform gender in ways that are unavailable to them offline.
What un that there words mean? That one o' them sigh-key-log-sickle terms people use?
In all seriousness I had to look that up and still don't fully understand it. Males playing female characters/females playing male characters? Dominant and passive roles? What?
AH sorry if that wasn't clear. There's a school of thought that suggests that gender is not innate, instead we learn our "gender roles" when we are children and continue after reaching adulthood. School, family, work, media and culture influence how gender is "performed" quite literally. For example, boys are often told to "man up" or dissuaded from doing "feminine" hobbies like dancing, or that they shouldn't show emotion. Girls are encouraged to be nurturing and modest. However as a child grows up they may fall into different habits as a result of friendship groups, school etc. In high school/secondary school, sporty jocks have to be alpha male and macho and not appear to be "girly" for example but when they were younger, they may not have behaved like this. Some researchers working on the Internet have suggested that it allows people to experiment more because they are anonymous and there are fewer repercussions for people who want to "be someone else" like role play. Yeah sometimes that does include men with female avatars and women with male avatars, but also say if a quiet guy, who doesn't like sports etc becomes a powerful macho paladin in a game? Their gender "performance" would change, or gender identity as some people put it. I hope that clarifies it!
*steps off soapbox*