Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hello Everybody,

As a requirement for work towards my Masters degree, I am completing my Thesis looking at the relationship between playing MMORPGs and social skills. As fellow gamers, I would appreciate your input and help in completing this project. Please feel free to let others know if they are interested in participating. I am interested in individuals who play MMORPGs. Thanks.

Title: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: Relationship Between Time Spent Playing and Quality of Social Skills

Experimenters: Brandon Fell & Dr. Michael McGuire

Length of Experiment: 10-15 minutes


Special Instructions:

This research project will be conducted entirely online. If interested in participating, please send an email to research.fell@gmail.com. You should receive an reply within 12 hours with further instructions, a specific link to the survey, and the survey password. The survey is coming through surveymonkey.com so be sure to check in your spam file if you feel like you have not received a reply in time. After clicking on the link you will enter the password given, please continue to fill out the demographics questionnaire and the following survey. Once finished close the browser. Thanks for your participation.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-10-2011, 10:54 PM
Edit: Nevermind. Too bad I can't delete.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-11-2011, 06:06 AM
So is this the concerning social skills in RL or "ingame"? Likely a silly question, but I just want to be sure.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4 re question
02-14-2011, 03:53 PM
The social skills measured are RL social skills. Although the argument could be made that many transfer between RL and gameplay. I hope this answers your question.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I've been hooked into online games since were all using dial-up modems and connecting to BBSes, that is if anyone remembers what those are.

It's not the game that makes a person's social skills what they are. It's the person. I've had fun with a lot of fun and interesting people in my day. The ones that are annoying and obnoxious, everyone knows who they are.

Maybe these people that can't relate to other people on the internet, can't relate to people in real life that well either. Maybe the problem here is they can't get along with people. So they decide to train people and do malicious stuff towards their fellow players, including ganking people. You name it, they've done it.

I don't play everquest anymore, but it was the game that started it all. They had something called a "play nice policy". I think that's something we need to bring back in game, even if we can't apply it to the forums.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-15-2011, 12:07 PM
Does it have to focus in so much on RPG? Why not just MMO players in general?

WARNING: tlDR (text length DESTROYS RETINAS)

My viewpoint is that MMOs offer a great opportunity to substitute in-person social skills, when for whatever reason, you lack opportunities to exercise your skills in the real world. MMOs keep those skills from getting rusty. They can alter your skills, for the good, or for the bad, but that depends on the person, and who they are at their core to begin with. MMO play just shows everyone else what you really are, or how you would be, if given the chance to alter your world.

Take me for instance. Im a very social person out in the real world. But not a busy body socialite, the kind we all dislike, lol. Im well liked and respected at every job Ive ever had. Well, currently, Im away from my homeland, which is California. I moved to Tennessee in 2004 when my parents decided to follow my oldest sister here and their only grandbabies, at the time. I eventually married my first wife here, big mistake, and divorced last year. Well, I did have a few friends outside of work at the church we attended. My ex and her kids from a previous marriage still go there. So, I dont. So, now Im away from all my good friends from California, (thank goodness for Facebook and mics on PS3 games, or Id never be able to talk with them), dont see any of the friends I made from that church any more, and all I have left are the good relationships I have at work. Im trying to develop those into outside work friendships, as they're all Ive got for now, but its hard because I work at a big hospital here, and their lives are consumed with their work, and their day to day lives as well. Its not easy to just call them up to hang out, because our off days rarely line up. They're all nurses and doctors, and Im just doing clerical work among them.

So, when I was forced to buy a new PC in Dec 2010, I finally shelled out for a moderate gaming PC, that could play STO, which I knew about, but didnt have the PC horsepower to run it. Many times in the past Ive tried to start up a clan, and get with people online on PS2, or PS3, but life, my family at the time, or work always interfered. Now Ive got none of that, and a ridiculously easy job that has me working 3 day 12 hour shifts, and 4 days off to do anything I want to in. The job also doesnt pay much, as I took a position just to get my foot in the door where I work, but the pay was lower than the job before it. Then getting divorced, and losing half the income we had, I was forced to retreat back to my parents house and become "one of those guys" at age 33, while I try to pay things off, and work my way back to California, back to all my real friends from school and other jobs, and back in the state that thrives in the entertainment industry, where Ive decided to point myself now.

A few days into playing STO, (after writing the infamous Cryptic resume), I see in the game chat boxes a person recruiting to their fleet and claimed they were an easy going fleet, and were great at helping each other. So, I figured, why not. I joined them. Once I realized the new Tritton headset I got was compatible with my PC sound card jacks, I got myself onto Ventrilo for the first time. My fleet was exactly as they described. They were genuinely some of the nicest, coolest gamers, that were previously complete strangers to me, Id ever met online. They talked to me like an old friend, and helped me with every STO question, and did it in a way that was genuine, and not like they were annoyed with the new guy and all his questions. I even heard another guy comment how much he liked our fleet too, and that everyone here wasnt the usual jerks with the sarcastic remarks every time someone came in and out of Vent. I replied that our fleet Vent rooms were kind of like Cheers, where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. Then here and there when anyone signed in, Id say "NORM!", it usually gets a good chuckle. Normally, Im the one who's trying to lead up a clan, or in this case a Fleet. But, since I lucked into finding the great fleet of STO players Im with now, I wouldnt dream of leaving or starting a new one on my own now. Im perfectly happy to play my part, and just be part of this fleet community. Our actual fleet leader is a nice woman as well.

All that to say, sometimes, when life, or just your shyness in general, or whatever the reason, you cant engage people outside your house, MMO communities can provide a good therapeutic replacement and keep your social skills well oiled in the meantime. Do I encourage people to STAY glued to their MMO headset? No. But everyone has been through their own life, everyone has their own story, and their reasons for the amount of time they spend in an MMO. I never looked down on them before, and since I find myself online more often than not now, I certainly wouldnt now. That, and I had to shed my high school dorkism as I got out of high school, and became well rounded and "normal", and friends with many women (nurses right now ), but Im never ashamed to admit or embrace my inner dork. I know the outside world views MMO players as losers and dorks and the like, but that typically comes from all those people we encountered in grade school and high school who had the REAL issues of hidden self esteem problems, and insecurity they were always trying to over compensate for. Ironically the "dorks and losers" were the regular people all along, who were never wired to put others down, just to hide their own fears.

OP, you have my permission to excerpt any of this post if it helps with your school work.
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