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Online-spil…. Online-games…. Online-game demo:. Movie: Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Stats for online-games?. ”online battle may represent the opening round of the next console cycle, in which online features are likely to play a huge - and perhaps pre-eminent - role. Wired, 2003

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online spil


online game demo
Online-game demo:

Movie: Return to Castle Wolfenstein

stats for online games
Stats for online-games?

”online battle may represent the opening round of the next console cycle, in which online features are likely to play a huge - and perhaps pre-eminent - role.

Wired, 2003

DFC intelligence:

Online game market will grow from $875 millions in 2002 to over $5 billion in 2008.

Estimate that 198 millions will play online i 2008 with over 100 millions consoles with online capability.

Estimate that the usage of online games will go from 7,5 billion hours in 2002 to 35 billion hours by 2008, an increase of 450%.



Masters Degree in Psychology

PhD Student at IT-University of Copenhagen,

Written two Danish books and several articles on computer games and learning.

Heavily involved in game community: Digra, Game-studies, Game-research, AOIR, DAC, IGDA

Earlier consulting: Framfab, Incircle, EQ, Game-Research.

Still consult on game related issues.

Reports on eSports, online gaming, and Computer game Risks.

online games agenda
Online-games agenda

Introducing online games

Online-games characteristics

Social aspects of online gaming

Future of online gaming

what are online games
What are online-games?

Several perceptions:

…General public: Counter-Strike and Everquest (Dangerous and well known)

…Among players: Counter-Strike, Quake, and Everquest (Leading edge)

…Among researchers: Muds and Everquest (social)

…Game developers: Quake, Everquest, Age of Empires (technical)

…Prophets: The Sims Online, Majestic, or Nokia Game (revolution)



Online games



facts about online games
Facts about online-games

In South Korea hotspot for online-games more than 5,4 millions are active in online-games compared to 700.000 in US. 100.000 Sims Online250.000 Asherons Call, Ultima online, Dark Age of Camelot 300.00 Star Wars Galaxies450.000 Everquest3.200.000 Lineage: The blood pledge(pay app. 10$ a month) have up to 160.000 online at peak hours.

10% of players in Game-research survey played more than 30 hours a week

online games roots
Online-games roots







Air Warrior

Space war

MazeAir Fight









Trade Wars

Star Trade












Meridian 59


Sims Online


IL- Sturmovik

online games examples
Online-games examples




Quake III

Anarchy Online

Age of Empires II


Ultima online

Star Craft

genres and development
Genres and development

Massively Multiplayer online games (MMOG)

FPS: Fast to learn – hard to master, social through clans and in-game talk. Very competitive.

RTS: Medium learning curve, deep, social is limited.

TBS: High learning curve, deep, social a big part.

Killers, Achievers, ExplorersSocializers,

MMORPG: Conflict, levels, action in centre, demand many hours in time not in mastery social still important

MUDS: Social and role-play crucial!Can be hard to learn, more control of game

Classical games

Simple, easy, known, fast to play


Classic ArcadeTriviaSports

Casino TriviaClassic Board ….

online games agenda11
Online-games agenda

Introducing online games

Online-games characteristics

Social aspects of online gaming

Future of online gaming

survey on online games
Survey on online-games….

The survey was conducted online at and was hosted by the web bureau Framfab.

A total of 680 online gamers took the survey within a period of two months.

One may expect that experienced online gamers will be more inclined to take such a survey than newcomers. Thus the numbers may be higher than if we had access to all online gamers.

More results are available in our reports which can be bought for 150 Euro through

who are online gamers
Average age for online-gamers are 24 years with 95% of all online players between 15-31 years

Few newcomers!

75% of online-gamers have played 1-5 years online.

96% have had internet access more than a year

67 % have more than 256 kb bandwidth

75% have bought online within last 6 month

95% have a computer that is less than 3 years old.

Action is most popular

Who are online-gamers?

Source: Game-Research, 2002

what are online games14
Online-games is kind of social community

92% play from at home – majority play both alone and with other physically,

Most play both with friends from real, acquaintances, friends from online.

Almost 50% have met people from the in real-life.

It is a time-consuming and demanding hobby

54% play from 0-12 hours online

10 % play more than 30 hours a week

91% play too much online

33% play usually or always too much.

People play significantly longer online than offline.

What are online-games?

Source: Game-Research, 2002

online game addiction
Social dynamics: You can always play and it is easy to switch on the computer, and locate someone to play with or against.

Money: You can get in a money jam. It cost money to be online however; with flat rate, this problem is becoming smaller, however other incentives are coming.

Conditioning: There will slowly emerge conditioning – friends will ask, when do you come online, shall we play tomorrow, need to get just this item, or beat this opponent etc. The more you play the more friends you get and the more your social life is taking place online.

Competition and fantasies: The dream for prestige, higher rating and big money. The hunt for the last kill

Flow: There are no breaks and no end in multiplayer games – one game take the other. If you play computer games offline or in LAN you will at some point grew weary.

Online-game addiction?
online game demo16
Online-game demo:

Movie: Everquest

play time online games
Play time online-games:

Hours pr. week

Source: Game-Research, 2002

top 5 problems
Top 5 problems:

”To many immature idiots”


Source: Game-Research, 2002

online games agenda19
Online-games agenda

Introducing online games

Online-games characteristics

Social aspects of online gaming

Future of online gaming

social and different
Social and different:

Online-games are to high degree thriving communities, where a story is constructed in shared space. The players take the game universe new places, and attach new meanings….

“Besides fighting and levelling up, I kept my dogs happy and would take them for a stroll on ogre beach for exercise every morning. I guess they enjoyed ogre meat rather than the regular meat I got from the merchants.They would grieve to me how they lost their money. It was a typical life, after gaining some levels we would be back in town talking about our Lineage: the bloodpledge life, and most importantly our real lives also.”

ShinobiMage (2001)

gender bending
Gender bending:

A big issue over the years, and had a surge for a couple of years in relation to online games

55% thinks there are disadvantages to playing a female avatar:

  • Sexual advances, harassments, comments and problems causes by above - 45%
  • Treated like stupid or ignorant because of gender - 12%
  • Gameplay disadvantages in some games - 6%

Source: Wright, 2001

gender bending reasons
Gender bending reasons

Genres for gender-bending:

RPGs 67%Action 53% Fighting games 17% Other: 9%

Why Males Play as FemalesGameplay Advantage (60%) Adds to the RPG Experience (25%)Gender Exploration (19%)Visual Stimulation (23%)Better Modelling (14%)Adds Variety (13%) Female Sounds (6%)Amusement (6%)Habit (6%)

Female Models are Faster & Harder to See (19%)

Other Players Give you Goodies (16%)

Better Skills (14%)

Psychological Edge (11%)

Anecdote about Syrenia DAOC/Ultima Online/Anarchy Online

Source: Wright, 2001

social interaction
Social interaction:

“74% disagreed with the statement that communication/chat with other players is a necessary but not appealing part of online gaming

86% agreed that communication/chat is an appealing part of online gaming

79% agreed that online games should focus heavily on communication features enabling cooperation between players (pooling resources with allies, teaming up etc.) “ Smith, 2002


Source: Game-Research, 2002

gossip and communication
Gossip and communication:

They want to gossip and have more tools for communication

Source: Game-Research, 2002

recognizable identity
Recognizable identity:
  • Important experiences:
  • People look or communication/interaction
  • People want to recognize each other - persistent identity
  • Problems in all genres, not just MMORPG!

Source: Game-Research, 2002

  • Communities online:
  • In connection with the game. Mods, forum, in-game, screenshots, game experiments, training, eSports, clans, competition
  • Around the game not as such anything to do with the game.Everyday life, forums, chat.
  • Social relations in game betweens avatars,which is a necessary part of the game dynamics. Alignment, love affairs, role-play.

The new mod Air buccaneer based on unreal engine.

ex of communication in cs
Ex. of communication in CS

Performance Talk

Re-locaters (blaming something else for a "failed" performance) Competence boosts (statistics talk, personal boasts and responses) Vulnerability/confusion/apologies for failure talk Final showdown talkGame strategy/tactical talk Team talk

Game Conflict Talk

Camping and Cheating accusations/disputesAWP Talk (one-shot kill sniper rifle) Kicking, banning & rules

Above most central…

Source: Wright,, Boria, & Breidenbach, 2002

ex of communication in cs28
Ex. of communication in CS

Insult/Distancing Talk

Taunting talk/trash talk/ritual insults Explicit gendered, radicalised or homophobic talk (the status of game player, not just exclamations and responses) Pissed off talk/exclamations/surprise  

Game Technical/External Talk

Ping rate/lag talk Talk about technical matters and other game/computer related matters Talk about other games

Creative Game Talk

Names, naming and identity talkJoking, irony and word play Map creations, map judging, and logo comments and designs Changing game rules and technical limits

Kilde: Wright,, Boria, & Breidenbach, 2002

online games agenda29
Online-games agenda

Introducing online games

Online-games characteristics

Social aspects of online gaming

Future of online gaming

existing mmog paradigm
Existing MMOG paradigm…



51 MMOG today and more than 120 in development

Gameplay in existing28 games with role playing elements (54 %)11 games with real time strategy game play (26%)6 games where game play is focused on driving a vehicle (12%)5 games which are mainly focused on battle (10%)2 games combine role playing elements and real time strategy (4%)

Source: Eladhari, 2003

existing mmog paradigm31
Existing MMOG paradigm…

Features in development:Create objects within the gameDeeper characterizationDynamic systems for quest assignments Evolve stories that affect the world Group dynamics with emergent political and economic systems

Themes in games in development4 games with historic world themes (5%)24 worlds with a science fiction or post apocalyptic themes (36%)26 worlds with a general fantasy themes (38%)9 games with unique worlds (14%)5 worlds inspired by comics or anime (7%)

Source: Eladhari, 2003

majestic a new genre
Majestic – a new genre?

“It plays you

the suspense thriller that infiltrates your life throughthe internet, fax and telephone”

Majestic goes across different media and set the game up in the zone between real and play – in a new way.

majestic a new genre33
“In essence, Majestic is being set up to be a giant wild-goose chase over the Internet. You'll be fed clues through the various on- and offline technologies mentioned earlier, and you'll use them to progress through the game. Some puzzles can't be solved by using the Majestic Alliance or the Web site, however. Sometimes, for example, you will have to physically call a phone number received through an arcane fax or e-mail to listen to someone's voice-mail messages”Majestic – a new genre?
majestic a new genre34
Majestic – a new genre?

The game is made up by a thin client – the interface below.

what the future holds
What the future holds…

Broadband penetration (South Korea 70% vs. 14% in US/Nordic Countries)

Console going online – new generation in 2005 (add-on  built in)

eSports going on television (Subculture  mainstream)

Interest for Game cafés on the rise (draws in new market)

Cross media integration

Online games for everybody…

With the fun and the perils

thank you
Thank you…

Questions, comments or consulting. or

Slides at


Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon (2003). Online-spil: Start the game already in: Spillets verden. Gads Forlag. In press.

Egenfeldt-Nielsen, Simon (2002). Online Gaming Habits.

Eladhari, Mirjam(2003).Trends in MMOG development.

Koster, Raph (2000). Online World Timeline.

Morris, Sue (1999a). Online Gaming Culture.

Mulligan, Jessica (2003). Developing online Games. New Riders.

Smith, Jonas H. (2002). The Architectures of Trust: Supporting Cooperation in the Computer-Supported Community. Masters thesis, Copenhagen University.

Wright, Kathryn (2001). Genderbending in games. WomenGamers.com

Wright, Talmadge, Boria, Eric & Breidenbach, Paul (2002). Creative Player Actions in FPS Online Video Games