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THE ENJOYMENT OF
GRIEFING IN ONLINE
GAMES
Hunter Paul
Nicholas David Bowman
Jaime Banks
Interaction Lab
(#ixlab)
ABSTRACT
“This article expands on the use of self-determination theory (SDT) as an
explanation for enjoyment in video game...
GRIEFING, DEFINED
• Harassing- causing emotional distress for the victim by
shouting slurs, insults, spamming, disrupting ...
SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
Motivation
Autonomy
Competence
Relatedness
Read more! Deci & Ryan, 2000
SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
Click model to read more. =)
SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
Click model to read more. =)
SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
…but, if relatedness is so
key to gaming enjoyment
(and perhaps even
meaningful gameplay),
then ...
SOCIAL IDENTITY (DEINDIVIDUATION)
• Postmes and Spears
(1998) explain that
online spaces allow us
to wear group/social
ide...
HYPOTHESES
• H1: Non-griefers’ satisfaction of autonomy (H1a),
competence (H1b) and relatedness with other players
(H1c) f...
METHOD
• Online survey w/ $75 incentive
• N = 221, 153 males, avg. age = 32
• Participants asked (randomized) to talk abou...
METHOD
• PENS scale (Ryan, Rigby, Przybylski 2006)
– Autonomy: M = 5.80, SD = .97, α = .72
– Competence: M = 5.74, SD = 1....
RESULTS
Regression Analyses
• Community gamers’ enjoyment
a function of all three SDT
needs (adj. R2 = .58)
• Griefers’ en...
DISCUSSION
• Griefers
• …enjoy the autonomy and
competence of gaming, and
• …experience more autonomy and
less relatedness...
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Nick Bowman, Ph.D. [CV]
Twitter (@bowmanspartan)
Skype (nicholasdbowman)
nicholas.bowman@mail.wvu.edu...
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The Enjoyment of Griefing in Online Games

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Abstract: This article expands on the use of self-determination theory (SDT) as an explanation for enjoyment in video games. Two different types of players with contrasting gameplay styles were examined and compared using the theory: griefers, who enjoy engaging in activities meant to disrupt other players’ game experience, and more community-focused players. A two condition experiment was used to examine griefers’ satisfaction of SDT needs compared to their levels of enjoyment when griefing others and if their gameplay style hinders their enjoyment or not when compared to community players. Results support the relationship between SDT need satisfaction and enjoyment, and indicate that griefers enjoy their gameplay style as much as community-based players, despite the antisocial nature of the gameplay style resulting in differing levels of need satisfaction. The results show the relationship between the three SDT needs and enjoyment based on an emphasis on the importance players place on individual needs.

Paul, H., Bowman, N. D., Banks, J. D. (2015, April). The Enjoyment of Griefing in Online Games. Paper presented at the Eastern Communication Association, Philadelphia.

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The Enjoyment of Griefing in Online Games

  1. 1. THE ENJOYMENT OF GRIEFING IN ONLINE GAMES Hunter Paul Nicholas David Bowman Jaime Banks Interaction Lab (#ixlab)
  2. 2. ABSTRACT “This article expands on the use of self-determination theory (SDT) as an explanation for enjoyment in video games. Two different types of players with contrasting gameplay styles were examined and compared using the theory: griefers, who enjoy engaging in activities meant to disrupt other players’ game experience, and more community-focused players. A two condition experiment was used to examine griefers’ satisfaction of SDT needs compared to their levels of enjoyment when griefing others and if their gameplay style hinders their enjoyment or not when compared to community players. Results support the relationship between SDT need satisfaction and enjoyment, and indicate that griefers enjoy their gameplay style as much as community-based players, despite the antisocial nature of the gameplay style resulting in differing levels of need satisfaction. The results show the relationship between the three SDT needs and enjoyment based on an emphasis on the importance players place on individual needs.”
  3. 3. GRIEFING, DEFINED • Harassing- causing emotional distress for the victim by shouting slurs, insults, spamming, disrupting events or threatening • Power Imposition- dominating players through repeatedly killing them, targeting new and inexperienced players or exploiting loopholes in the game to harass players • Scamming- using fraudulent schemes to swindle other players • Greed Play- when the griefer seeks to benefit themselves even if it bothers other players, such as stealing items or achievements from other players who earned them
  4. 4. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY Motivation Autonomy Competence Relatedness Read more! Deci & Ryan, 2000
  5. 5. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY Click model to read more. =)
  6. 6. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY Click model to read more. =)
  7. 7. SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY …but, if relatedness is so key to gaming enjoyment (and perhaps even meaningful gameplay), then how can griefers have fun?
  8. 8. SOCIAL IDENTITY (DEINDIVIDUATION) • Postmes and Spears (1998) explain that online spaces allow us to wear group/social identities • In this process, we might glom onto features of those groups
  9. 9. HYPOTHESES • H1: Non-griefers’ satisfaction of autonomy (H1a), competence (H1b) and relatedness with other players (H1c) from their regular gaming experience will be positively related with enjoyment. • H2 & RQ1: Griefers’ satisfaction of autonomy (H2a), competence (H2b) and either satisfaction of relatedness with other players or lack thereof (RQ1) from griefing will be positively related with enjoyment.
  10. 10. METHOD • Online survey w/ $75 incentive • N = 221, 153 males, avg. age = 32 • Participants asked (randomized) to talk about a time they engaged in griefing (n = 39) or community-based (n = 93) gaming experiences in World of Warcraft
  11. 11. METHOD • PENS scale (Ryan, Rigby, Przybylski 2006) – Autonomy: M = 5.80, SD = .97, α = .72 – Competence: M = 5.74, SD = 1.11, α = .73 – Relatedness: M = 4.69, SD = 1.62, α = .72 • Enjoyment (Tamborini 2010) – Overall M = 5.78, SD = .79, α = .92 • Controlled for age, gender, and gaming experience
  12. 12. RESULTS Regression Analyses • Community gamers’ enjoyment a function of all three SDT needs (adj. R2 = .58) • Griefers’ enjoyment a function of autonomy and competence (adj. R2 = .68) • Both groups enjoyed games at a similar level (~ 5.90 on a 7- point scale), t(262) = -.34, ns Open-Ended Response Codes • Griefers did so: – When playing socially – Initatedd and responded to griefing about equally – Little self-reported harassment or greed play – Griefers are not lone wolves
  13. 13. DISCUSSION • Griefers • …enjoy the autonomy and competence of gaming, and • …experience more autonomy and less relatedness than other gamers, • …but might still play with others and in social contexts, they really don’t engage or seek social bonds
  14. 14. FOR MORE INFORMATION Nick Bowman, Ph.D. [CV] Twitter (@bowmanspartan) Skype (nicholasdbowman) nicholas.bowman@mail.wvu.edu http://comm.wvu.edu /fs/research/lab Interaction Lab (#ixlab)

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