What Online Games and Virtual Worlds Can Tell Us About Participation, Community, Globalisation and Marketing in the 21st C...
What are online games/virtual worlds?<br />Characteristics<br /><ul><li>Persistence
Freedom/open-ended
Characters/ avatars
Guilds/clans/ teams
Cooperative and competitive play
Economies/ virtual property (sometimes)</li></li></ul><li>Participation time!!<br />What is your impression of online game...
Who are these people?<br />Source: 2006 Survey of City of Heroes/City of Villains players<br />
Robust Economies<br />
Think play<br />Playful activity can take many forms beyond gameplay, and aspects of games like challenges and rewards can...
Re-think the need to control<br /> <br />Control is becoming impossible.  Focus instead on shaping experiences, fostering ...
Involvement is crucial<br />Consumers are no longer passive consumers of fabricated brand stories.  They are intimately in...
 <br />A fundamental characteristic of community is that it is organic.  Be willing to seek out relevant communities where...
Transparency and authenticity are good, even when things are bad<br /> <br />Those who engage with your brand, either posi...
Leverage the power of crowdsourcing<br /> <br />While relinquishing control can be scary, the upside is that there are mil...
 <br />Think creatively about the use of virtual space to allow activity beyond what is possible in physical space.  Think...
Activity binds communities<br />A community will not flourish without some sort of activity to bind participants together....
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Research Methods for Online Games

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Research Methods for Online Games

  1. 1. What Online Games and Virtual Worlds Can Tell Us About Participation, Community, Globalisation and Marketing in the 21st Century<br />©<br />Lisa Galarneau, Ph.D. Candidate<br />Research Director, Intrepid (Seattle)<br />
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  17. 17. What are online games/virtual worlds?<br />Characteristics<br /><ul><li>Persistence
  18. 18. Freedom/open-ended
  19. 19. Characters/ avatars
  20. 20. Guilds/clans/ teams
  21. 21. Cooperative and competitive play
  22. 22. Economies/ virtual property (sometimes)</li></li></ul><li>Participation time!!<br />What is your impression of online games and virtual worlds?<br />They scare me<br />I’m intrigued, but have little experience with them<br />I have played around in them a bit<br />MMOGS FTW!!<br />
  23. 23. Who are these people?<br />Source: 2006 Survey of City of Heroes/City of Villains players<br />
  24. 24. Robust Economies<br />
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  26. 26. Think play<br />Playful activity can take many forms beyond gameplay, and aspects of games like challenges and rewards can be applied as motivating forces behind many initiatives. Human beings have been engineered for play, and these types of non-linear experiences are peculiarly satisfying.<br />
  27. 27. Re-think the need to control<br /> <br />Control is becoming impossible. Focus instead on shaping experiences, fostering community, designing for emergent behaviour. Use a gardening metaphor: it is all about planting seeds, pruning and fertilizing as necessary. What happens when you cut something? It either dies or grows back however it wants to. Exerting influence over brand communities is about subtlety, not power.<br />
  28. 28. Involvement is crucial<br />Consumers are no longer passive consumers of fabricated brand stories. They are intimately involved with their brands, and will embrace the ones they love as integral parts of their lives. One of the things players find so appealing about games is that they can exercise their sense of agency. Figure out ways to show your customers that you value their involvement. If they can see the culmination of that involvement in your products, all the better.<br />
  29. 29.  <br />A fundamental characteristic of community is that it is organic. Be willing to seek out relevant communities where they arise spontaneously, even if it means relinquishing control. Use community members as resources.<br />Go to where they are<br />
  30. 30. Transparency and authenticity are good, even when things are bad<br /> <br />Those who engage with your brand, either positively or negatively do so because they have passion for it. Recognize that even bad sentiment can be turned into something positive. Admit your mistakes, be transparent about making change, involve your communities in such decisions.<br />
  31. 31. Leverage the power of crowdsourcing<br /> <br />While relinquishing control can be scary, the upside is that there are millions of people whose opinions and productive play can be harnessed to a brand’s benefit.<br />
  32. 32.  <br />Think creatively about the use of virtual space to allow activity beyond what is possible in physical space. Think about eliminating the limitations of our physical lives and magnifying what’s good, for instance by making your organization more accessible.<br />Virtual spaces are more than replicas of physical spaces<br />
  33. 33. Activity binds communities<br />A community will not flourish without some sort of activity to bind participants together. Think about ways to stimulate your communities to engage with you and with each other. Challenges and activities can mean your community becomes interdependent, and this interdependence is exactly what leads to stickiness<br />
  34. 34. These are powerful marketing vehicles, but be socially conscious about advertising<br /> <br />Most consumers respect advertising models based on getting content for free, and some appreciate the sense of realism that comes from seeing real-world brands in their favourite games. However, when children are involved, sensitivity must be the watch-word. Instead, think about ways to build community around your brands and leverage the power of the crowd to get your message out there.<br />
  35. 35. Everyone likes games<br /> <br />In Korea, game-playing is much like watching movies is to us, everyone does it. The difference is that there are options to accommodate a wide range of interests.<br />
  36. 36. There’s been a paradigm shift from spectating to participation, so marketing and research online needs to respect that and help consumers experience involvement and personal agency in the research process<br />Key Takeaways<br />Consider ways to leverage the trends in your research projects <br />
  37. 37. Thanks!<br />lisa.galarneau@thinkintrepid.com<br />

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