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Lifestyles in the Game World: the virtual, not virtual at all

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  1. Lifestyles in the Game World: the virtual, not virtual at all Sang-Min (Leo) Whang (Dept. of Psychology, Yonsei University) swhang@yonsei.ac.kr

  2. Digital Paradigm, & Generational Gaps • The impacts of ICT on Youth in Korea • Globalization vs. Nationalism • Reality vs. the Virtual • Separation vs. Integration (Cultural, Social) • From Industrial Society to Information Age • Who does create the information age in Korea? • The role of Youth in Virtual World • An innovator of digital media usages • A leader of Virtual World

  3. Living in an Artificial World Living in an artificial world:Psychology of Cyberspace

  4. Real Beach?

  5. New Generation in ICT culture

  6. Lineage: The Biggest MMORPG in Korea

  7. Emergence of New Society: Lineage

  8. Castle Seizure

  9. Research Issues • The nature of experiences in virtual world • Could virtual experiences have meanings equivalent to those of real world? • Do they contribute to form new personal identities? (Multiple identities) • Different activities? (avatars, game addiction?) • Different social relationships? • The consumption of digital images • From a consumer to a prosumer in digital age • The nature and changes of human experiences

  10. Limited Options with Ends Repeated Episode with Constrained End Unlimited Parallel Episodes Dream shared by thousands New World/ New Self Dream Day-Dream Dream shared by a few Game/ Plans Individual Diad, Small Group Real Life The Psychology of On-line Game Single Play Game Multi Play Game Online Game User vs Program User vs User User vs World

  11. What are you looking for? • Narrative Story-Telling • The social construction of virtual world experiences • Different perception on the virtual worlds • Different virtual activities and communities • What are the adaptive behaviors in a new social environment beyond personal stories • The emergence of new values and behavior patterns

  12. Comparative studies: Korea and Japan • Lineage users’game behaviors focusing on on-line game lifestyles • Hypothesis • Identification of lifestyles in two contexts: real vs. virtual world • Comparison of the virtual lifestyles in the context of real world • Online survey • Korea data • 2002. 11.1 - 2002. 11. 8 (N=4747) • Japan data • 2003. 7. 12 - 2003. 7.25 (N=1,143)

  13. The 9 factors of on-line game lifestyles • Social oriented • behaviors and values related to other-oriented and pro-social activities • Traditional norm oriented • promotion to chivalry, honor and feudalistic order in the game world • Out-law oriented (anti social behavior) • Anti-social, outlaw behavior • Role play oriented • characteristics of players who separate the game from reality

  14. Achievement oriented • tendency of seeking personal accomplishment and success in the game world, regardless whether they are affiliated to the group or not • Materialism • measures up their sense of success by the levels in game or the collection of precious items, solely based on materialistic facts within the game. • Collectivism: Hierarchically oriented • emphasizes the following of strict system of rank and chain of command that are found in a highly organized body such as the military or patriarchy • Discriminative attitude • the tendency to decide their conduct based on gender and age of other players • Individualism: Anti-Group oriented • often choose to act alone and consider personal freedom in game world to be important

  15. Social Orientation • behaviors and values related to other-oriented and pro-social activities • It is important to me that players around me are also doing well. • I feel good when players around me either gain a level or acquire a good item. • I often chat with new players that meet in the game.

  16. Traditional Norm Orientation • promotion to chivalry, honor and feudalistic order in the game world • I always follow the decision made by my clan. • Upon becoming the ruler of a castle, I plan to lower the tax rate and exercise my power in a just and noble manner. • I feel good when someone I know becomes famous. • It is frustrating to realize that the game I love is slowly degrading.

  17. Out-law orientation (anti social behavior) • motivation and tendency of Anti-social, outlaw behavior • If necessary, I consider stealing or swindling items to be acceptable. • It’s enjoyable to harass or bully inexperienced new players.

  18. Role Play Orientation • emphasize the role play nature of virtual world • If a player asks for my age or gender, my answer is usually based on the current character. • Whenever there is an event or a castle siege going on, I always participate in order to get any spoils of war. • To earn money, I am prepared to resort to activities such as begging.

  19. Achievement Orientation • tendency of seeking personal accomplishment and success in the game world • I feel a sense of pride developing my character to be stronger and more powerful. • I believe a competition among players in a game is very natural and an integral part of it.

  20. Materialism • measure up their sense of success by the levels in game or the collection of precious items • Having a lot of game money is always a good thing. • In the game, success eventually means either to attain a high social status or to become wealthy. • I always pay special attention in game play to avoid situations leading to financial loss.

  21. Hierarchical orientation • emphasize the following of rank and command such as the military or patriarchy • Members of the clan should be willing to sacrifice themselves for cause of the clan. • To sacrifice clan members for the leader is perfectly acceptable. • To run a clan successfully, it’s vital to have a well-defined system of order and a strict chain of command. • Whatever situation the clan is faced with, its members should always unite.

  22. Discriminatory attitude • tendency to decide their conduct based on gender and age of other players • When I come across a new player the first thing I inquire is their years of game experiences. • When I meet a player in virtual world, I check his/her sexual [real world] gender.

  23. Individualism • often choose to act alone and consider personal freedom in game world to be important • I’ve chosen not to join any clans. • I have no interest as to which clans gain control of castles and come to power.

  24. Korean Gamers’ Lifestyles in Lineage(by cluster analysis) Individual (28.2%),Community (44.8%),Off Real World (27%)

  25. Individual Gamers : They play Lineage as a game. • Seek individualistic freedom, not necessarily selfish • Think on-line game a kind of video or console game • They don’t really appreciate the social networks in online game

  26. Community oriented gamers • They follow the hierarchical order in a clan as well as have strong comradeship. • Open minded and not discriminatory by gender and age • Popular characters, such as lords (Politicians), knights in Lineage world • A majority group in the game world (44.8%)

  27. Off Real World Game Players: Play game as a part of their Real Life • Manage to exercise every possible means to achieve personal success inside the game world • Emphasize the values and materialistic acquisition in game world, and have a strong sense of vertical individualism. • Have the propensity to adopt a value of relativism, believe it is all right to harm others in the game world

  28. Comparative studies: Korea and Japan • Lineage users’game behaviors focusing on on-line game lifestyles • Hypothesis • Identification of lifestyles in two contexts: real vs. virtual world • Comparison of the virtual lifestyles in the context of real world • Online survey • Korea data • 2002. 11.1 - 2002. 11. 8 (N=4747) • Japan data • 2003. 7. 12 - 2003. 7.25 (N=1,143)

  29. Age [RW] of game players

  30. Gender Proportions in Real & Cyber World % % %

  31. Social Network at two Countries as a part of Social Capital

  32. Three types of LifestylesWho are they? Are they different each other? Korea Japan

  33. Single oriented players : Play Lineage as a game not a world • Seek individualistic freedom, Not selfish • Who think and behave on-line game world is another way of video or console game • Who don’t really appreciate the social network

  34. Community oriented players: Majority group in the online game world • Tend to follow the hierarchical order in a clan as well as to have strong comradeship. • open minded and not discriminative towards gender and age unlike in reality where a traditional person is indeed gender and age discriminative • Lords (Politicians), Soldier of Lineage world

  35. Off-real world players: Play game as a part of their Real Life • Emphasize the values and materialistic acquisition in game world, and have a strong sense of vertical individualism. • Having the propensity to adopt a value of relativism, believe it is all right to harm others in the game world, whereas they do not in the real world. • Managed to exercise every possible means to achieve personal success inside the game world

  36. Lifestyles in a game world by countries

  37. What do they do in the game world?(except hunting) individual individual

  38. Values & honors for gamers individual individual

  39. Korean Japanese individual community off real world Social Economic Status(measured by wealth in game)

  40. The Perceived Trust as a part of Social Capital • Most people are trustworthy [in Lineage/ Real World].

  41. Perceived Reciprocity as a part of Social Capital • if a person receiveshelp from someone, he/she should be willing to return it others[in the game/ Real World].

  42. Same, or Different <Lineage> <EverQuest> If your girl (boy) friend has another sexual partner in game world? Does it bother you?

  43. Same, or Different <Lineage> <EverQuest> I would feel guilty, if I have another intimate partner inside the game.

  44. Importance Main considerations for a chanracter