Communities of Practice in MMORPGs:
an Entry Point into Addiction?



Karsten D. Wolf
Didactical Design of Interactive Lea...
What are MMORPG?

Massive Multiplayer
      Online
Roleplaying Games




                      cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
What are MMORPG?

Massive Multiplayer
      Online
Roleplaying Games




                      cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
Nintendo DS
                 Wi-Fi Connection
Xbox live




 Second Life &    Truly massive!
  Sony Home              cc b...
What are MMORPG?

           Massive Multiplayer
                 Online
up to 20,000 users Games   8,000,000+
           ...
What are MMORPG?

          Massive Multiplayer
Fantasy Character               Quests
                Online
          Ro...
Hours/week spent playing




0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40+   cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
on average more than 20 hours a week
                 =
          enough for a CoP


                              cc by K...
Average media usage in Germany
TV                                   225 minutes            26 h/week
Radio                ...
cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
Virtual Worlds,
Real Leaders




                  cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
Why is this interesting for c&t research?
Do MMORPGs support the building of CoP?

If so: how? Can we learn from it for de...
Community
 - Familiarity                  - Trust / Openness
 - Sense of belonging           - Management hierarchy
 - Rep...
Individual roles & goals Mean Std.dev.

                                3.37
Aspiration for community               0.63

...
Community attributes             Mean Std.dev.

                                  3.28
Reputation mechanisms              ...
Practice attributes                    Mean Std.dev.


                                        3.25
Mutuality / Exchange  ...
aspiration for community
      .575                 .439
             .463                       .386
Sense of            ...
< 7 <14 <20 <30 <40 40+ h/w
                    cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
< 7 <14 <20 <30 <40 40+ h/w
                    cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
Other findings related to playtime
Hardcore players (40+) have lower tolerance for
lurking

Sense of belonging is higher fo...
Playtime and being an expert




                               cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
WoW Addiction Inventory
• Loss of control
• Withdrawal
• Mental focus
• Tolerance
• Negative consequences for work perform...
WoWAI scores

               Being
               at risk
               4,5%
                         Addiction
         ...
Playtime and addiction risk


                      3,5% 10,5%
                     12,3% 30%




 < 7 <14 <20   <30   <40...
CoP and addiction
Aspiration for Knowledge (rp=.175) and
Reputation (rp=.176) goes together with
addiction

Aspiration for...
Wikipediholism
             #1     159,825
             #10      79,162
             #30      53,500
# of edits




      ...
Tools for supporting CoP                 Ongoing integration
                                         of work & learning

...
Tools for supporting CoP                 Ongoing integration
                                         of work & learning
i...
CoP support in WoW - how?
Small set of tightly integrated tools

Support of the collaborative work (specialized interface)...
Conclusions
WoW supports the building of CoP

Quests, collaborative action, rewards, integrated UI

Addiction exists for h...
Faculty educational science
                               Didactical design of
                interactive learning envir...
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Communities of Practice in World of Warcraft: an entry point into addiction?

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This presentation discusses an empirical study if WoW supports the formation of Communities of Practice and the danger of addiction while trying to become a member.

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Communities of Practice in World of Warcraft: an entry point into addiction?

  1. 1. Communities of Practice in MMORPGs: an Entry Point into Addiction? Karsten D. Wolf Didactical Design of Interactive Learning Environments Communities & Technologies 2007 Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA Friday, 29.06.2007 cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  2. 2. What are MMORPG? Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  3. 3. What are MMORPG? Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  4. 4. Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection Xbox live Second Life & Truly massive! Sony Home cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  5. 5. What are MMORPG? Massive Multiplayer Online up to 20,000 users Games 8,000,000+ Roleplaying in reach subscribers ~960,000 users online at the same time cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  6. 6. What are MMORPG? Massive Multiplayer Fantasy Character Quests Online Roleplaying Games Levels cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  7. 7. Hours/week spent playing 0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40+ cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  8. 8. on average more than 20 hours a week = enough for a CoP cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  9. 9. Average media usage in Germany TV 225 minutes 26 h/week Radio 225 minutes 26 h/week Listen to music 45 minutes 5 h/week Internet 44 minutes 5 h/week Newspaper 28 minutes 3 h/week Books 25 minutes 3 h/week Magazines 12 minutes < 2 h/week (9. Welle 'Massenkommunikation' 2005 ENIGMA GfK & MMA Media Markt) cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  10. 10. cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  11. 11. cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  12. 12. cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  13. 13. Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  14. 14. cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  15. 15. Why is this interesting for c&t research? Do MMORPGs support the building of CoP? If so: how? Can we learn from it for designing (learning) community environments? Are there negative side effects? Are these side effects related to community building, to other gameplay elements or to gamer‘s traits? cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  16. 16. Community - Familiarity - Trust / Openness - Sense of belonging - Management hierarchy - Reputation - Informal leadership - Rules - Leadership - Possibility to communicate - Boundaries / Lurking Practice Domain - Common interest - Communication - Repository - Mutuality / Exchange - Learning - Rituals - Experts present - Sense of shared past - Experts known - Participation - Sub Groups - Rules enforced Individual Roles and Goals of Members - Aspiration for knowledge - Being Expert vs. Layman - Aspiration for reputation - Being informal leader - Aspiration for community - Being formal leader - Aspiration for power - Individual interest - Duration of membership CoPI (Wolf/Rausch 2005-7) cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  17. 17. Individual roles & goals Mean Std.dev. 3.37 Aspiration for community 0.63 3.08 Duration of membership 0.89 Being expert (or layman) 2.64 0.77 Aspiration for Reputation 2.55 0.78 0.76 Aspiration for Knowledge 2.47 1-4 Likert scale, n=1102 cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  18. 18. Community attributes Mean Std.dev. 3.28 Reputation mechanisms 0.61 3.13 Sense of belonging 0.75 3.06 Lurking accepted 0.70 3.03 Possibility communicate 0.75 Familiarity 2.76 0.76 1-4 Likert scale, n=1102 cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  19. 19. Practice attributes Mean Std.dev. 3.25 Mutuality / Exchange 0.60 2.94 Rituals (cronbach‘s alpha=0.589) 0.72 (casual) Communication 2.72 0.70 1-4 Likert scale, n=1102 cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  20. 20. aspiration for community .575 .439 .463 .386 Sense of Mutuality / belonging Exchange Communication Familiarity p < .0001 cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  21. 21. < 7 <14 <20 <30 <40 40+ h/w cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  22. 22. < 7 <14 <20 <30 <40 40+ h/w cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  23. 23. Other findings related to playtime Hardcore players (40+) have lower tolerance for lurking Sense of belonging is higher for 20+ players, as is familiarity & communication for 40+ players Players with a longer duration of membership play longer (no ease out?) Possibility to communicate even for casual players cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  24. 24. Playtime and being an expert cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  25. 25. WoW Addiction Inventory • Loss of control • Withdrawal • Mental focus • Tolerance • Negative consequences for work performance • Negative consequences for social life cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  26. 26. WoWAI scores Being at risk 4,5% Addiction 1,9% cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  27. 27. Playtime and addiction risk 3,5% 10,5% 12,3% 30% < 7 <14 <20 <30 <40 40+ cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  28. 28. CoP and addiction Aspiration for Knowledge (rp=.175) and Reputation (rp=.176) goes together with addiction Aspiration for Community (rp=-.079) not!!! Lurking is not tolerated by addicted players cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  29. 29. Wikipediholism #1 159,825 #10 79,162 #30 53,500 # of edits #50 46,529 #100 36,608 #500 17,305 #1,000 11,101 #2,500 5,300 authors ranked by # of edits cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  30. 30. Tools for supporting CoP Ongoing integration of work & learning collaborative & individualized search Documents & Collaboration & Practice problem solving Knowledge repositories Project N2N-Publishing & spaces Content Sharing Knowledge Social filtering structures Social bookmarking Online communities Collaborative news- FOAF- and filtering & aggregation networking platforms Formal Learning Conversation Email & E-Learning Discussion spaces groups Fleeting interactions Synchronous interactions cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  31. 31. Tools for supporting CoP Ongoing integration of work & learning in World of Warcraft Documents & Collaboration & Practice problem solving Actual Gameplay Guild websites in WoW Knowledge Social filtering structures Guild screen Formal Learning Conversation Ingame post offices & discussion boards Fleeting interactions In-game chat channels & external chat tools such as Teamspeak cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  32. 32. CoP support in WoW - how? Small set of tightly integrated tools Support of the collaborative work (specialized interface) Setup of worthwhile challenges and rewards Problems to be solved need to be tackled by groups cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  33. 33. Conclusions WoW supports the building of CoP Quests, collaborative action, rewards, integrated UI Addiction exists for heavy users Players with aspiration for knowledge and reputation are more at risk as players with community seekers cc by Karsten D. Wolf 2007
  34. 34. Faculty educational science Didactical design of interactive learning environments http://www.karsten-d-wolf.de/ wolf@uni-bremen.de
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