Browsing Category Gamer Culture

Gaming and Self-esteem

In this two part article I will be looking at the effects of gaming on self esteem. We’ll start by looking closer at some research into the subject. How does self-esteem tie in with escapism? How are these two effected by our motivations (achievement, social and immersion) to play? How does self esteem differ between healers, tanks and DPS? Let’s explore these questions.

I recently came across the results of a study made by a fellow gamer. I was instantly intrigued by what I read and a friend of mine was kind enough to get me into contact with the researcher himself. If you, like me, are a SWTOR player, you might know him as “Barmy” from The Red Eclipse. Barmy studied psychology at the University of Derby where he wrote his dissertation “Escaping Reality into Fantasy: Online Survey Design Examining Self-esteem and Escapism In Relation To Internet Gaming Disorder and Motivation to Play.” The study utilised an online survey design that investigated multiple variables: general demographics, gamer demographics, motivation for playingInternet gaming disorder test (Pontes & Griffiths, 2014)escapism scale (Stenseng, 2009) and a self-esteem scale (Rosenberg, 1965).

Amongst the gamers who partook in the survey the…

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Social Identity and Guilds in MMORPGs

As you might have noticed by now I am always keen to know the reasons why people choose to game, especially in MMOs. The answer to this can reveal so much. So please, humour me for a second and answer me this:

Which of the following reasons describes your motivation for gaming most accurately?

  1. I like competition and enjoy pushing myself to be better.
  2. As well as meeting new interesting people, I play to spend time and maintain contact with the friends I have made in game.
  3. I log in order to sometimes get a break from RL by exploring virtual worlds, characters and story lines.

Of course we are most likely effected by more than one of these motivations but it is possible that one of them is more dominant than the rest. Are you an achievement, social or immersion focused gamer? What is interesting in thinking about this question is that it can effect how important your “Online Social Identity” is to you.

How we are seen by others is extremely important to us in real life but it clearly also transcends to online gaming. Let me explain myself.

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Why do we ‘troll’? – Guest writing for Rav!

Good morning fellow gamers! The other day my friend Ravanel kindly asked me if I wanted to guest write on her blog today. Of course I said yes. So since my sleeping routines are getting no better and my addiction for writing you guys new blog posts is getting worse (!!!) I’ve been typing away on a new article exploring answers to the question “Why do we troll?”.

“Everyday users on the Internet—as well as clinicians and researchers1–7—have noted how people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn’t ordinarily say and do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel less restrained, and express themselves more openly. So pervasive is the phenomenon that a term has surfaced for it: the online disinhibition effect.” -The Online Disinhibition Effect, John Suler 2004

This is the subject examined in my latest blog post. To read it, jump over to the Ravalation blog and check it out here. Happy trolling everyone!

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The Psychology Behind Character Creation – Part 2

A little while ago I wrote an article about why we make our characters look the way they do. To follow up on this I have conducted a few interviews with SWTOR players asking them questions about characters they’ve made. Something I quickly picked up on was the relationship with the players motivation for gaming and the attitude he or she had towards character creation. There’s a very clear connection between these two which you will be able to see for yourself below. If you haven’t already read the original article about the psychology behind character creation I would recommend you follow the link and do so first.

The Psychology Behind Character Creation – Part 1

Here are the summaries of four interviews highlighting some different attitudes to character creation and it’s importance:


The Harbinger

Aaree tells me that the first character she makes in a new game generally is a slightly idealised version of her self. It’s got similar features as that of her own physical self. The alts that come after can differ a lot but tend to unnamed (2)have one or two things in common like the eye colour or make up. She gears her characters to suit the role they play.

“As in the case with my healer sage wearing robes, ect” she explains.unnamed

Almost all of her characters are female and have always been since she started gaming years ago. Aaree does have a male character that she is very fond. She tells me she has spent a lot of time getting his appearance just right.

From talking to Aaree it is obvious that immersion is important to her when playing a game like SWTOR. This is clear from looking at everything from the way her character looks to how she gears them and even makes choices in the story fitting the personality traits she has assigned the character. Her main is female and so are most of her alts. They look either very much like her or are very different but with one or two similar characteristics (such as being human, same gender or even eye colour). If she goes for other species then these tend to be human like in their appearance, marialans or cyborgs for an example. Similarities such as these will make it easier to feel a sense of immersion into the story. It is also a way for us to explore different sides of our own personalities within the safe environment that gaming provides.



The Red Eclipse

Snave tells me that he spent more time making his main character but then modeled the other characters that came later after that. This due to a combination of limited character design options in the games he plays and him “being pretty lazy about this stuff”. He has spent much more time customising his characters outfits ect than he did in the initial character creation he informs me.

When asked if he finds his main resembles him in any way he answers: “Unfortunately I am not blue, nor do I have red eyes. I guess we have similar hair at a push but to answer the question; no I do not model characters after myself normally.”

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Language, pls! Gaming slang, offensive?

When I started playing SWTOR my past gaming experiences were very limited. I remember playing a bit of Sonic on my uncles old SEGA but at the time I must have been about nine years old. Over ten years later I ran into SWTOR. Since reading and writing has always been a passion of mine I found this new medium of storytelling fascinating. I eventually found the little button on the minimap which lead me into warzone queues and that was that. I no longer cared about story content, I could beat people up in warzones instead. Well, get beaten up mostly really but for some reason I still enjoyed it immensely.

Needless to say at this point I was clueless about half of the things being said in chat. I was quite proud over having grasped the concept of the different roles (tank, healer and dps) but on a daily basis I was looking up acronyms like “ikr”, “aoe”, “pug”, “gg” and “fps”. Expressions like “casual”, “rekt” or “grind” were as incomprehensible to me. Urban dictionary was my best friend while unsuccessfully trying to camouflage myself as a real gamer like the rest you. I have to admit, the first time someone called out they were getting raped in a warzone I was confused.

After having played the game a little longer and thankfully gotten at least a little bit better at it the language too started coming more naturally. Urban dictionary and me no longer needed each other. Without thinking of it I was using the terms that had once been so alien to me.

One day when I was on TS with a few friends something interesting happened that I could not have predicted.

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