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Appears in:
Pages: 5613-5625
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

HELPING YOU TO HELP ME: PURSUING SELF-INTERESTS IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT AND ITS CORRELATION TO OFFLINE SOCIAL CAPITAL

M. Meachem

Dominican College (UNITED STATES)
The number of people playing Massive Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) is growing steadily yet there are limited studies on the social impact this online activity has. This research, using both quantitative and qualitative data, focused on whether users of the most popular MMOG, World of Warcraft (WoW), exhibited behaviors of social capital in their online gaming activity and whether there is any correlation to offline social capital. An online survey of 200 WoW players, combined with 100 hours of direct observation and a sampling of interviews, spotlighted three typical behaviors that served as indicators of social capital – trust, cooperation, and information exchange.
The findings indicated that cooperation provides the best indicator to make a correlation about a gamer’s offline social capital behaviors. Simply put, once it is known how much cooperation the WoW player displays in the game, one can make fairly accurate estimates to that person’s level of social capital. There was also a statistically significant positive correlation between Social Capital and Information Exchange but the data found no relationship between Social Capital and Trust. Additionally, the observations showed that in-game cooperation was a relevant and necessary behavior for many WoW players if they wished to advance. This type of cooperation is significant and similar to what Alex de Tocqueville noticed in his observation of early America. The cooperative and altruistic behaviors seen are not just a sense of selfless love for others’ well being but rather they are part of an attempt to effectively pursue the player’s self-interests. Players regularly opted to offer assistance because they believed kindness would eventually be shown when the players themselves needed it. Like the early Americans, these players realized there would be a greater long-term benefit for the individual if he or she assisted others as needed.
@InProceedings{MEACHEM2009HEL,
author = {Meachem, M.},
title = {HELPING YOU TO HELP ME: PURSUING SELF-INTERESTS IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT AND ITS CORRELATION TO OFFLINE SOCIAL CAPITAL},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5613-5625}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Meachem
TI - HELPING YOU TO HELP ME: PURSUING SELF-INTERESTS IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT AND ITS CORRELATION TO OFFLINE SOCIAL CAPITAL
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5613
EP - 5625
ER -
M. Meachem (2009) HELPING YOU TO HELP ME: PURSUING SELF-INTERESTS IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT AND ITS CORRELATION TO OFFLINE SOCIAL CAPITAL, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5613-5625.
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