The aim of this paper is to discuss about how MMOGs which is the genre of games played within a community can be beneficial concerning teenagers and young adults. Researched has been made by reading scholarly articles about various subjects on video-games. Escapism and immersion, the learning outcomes, the psychological well-being and last but not least, E-sports are the main focus to be discussed about how MMOG types of games more specifically MMORPG and MOBA are impacting positively to the teenagers and young adults.
MMOG, MMORPG, MOBA, Young Adults, team work, community
The development of PCs has remarkably been developed since the last decade to engage in rapid participation with others in the scale of virtual online spaces. This PC development has impelled a developing number of individuals utilizing the Internet from different points of view and has had an exceptional important effect on the lives of individuals that uses it. Notwithstanding the various positive focal points, there has been a development in asking about focusing on the usage of the Internet and its negative perspectives including both summarized Internet propensity and dynamically express online addictions, for example, in web-based or online gaming. Online gaming gives a medium where players can investigate various parts of their character in a protected and mysterious condition (Hussain and Griffiths, 2008 as cited Van Rooij, Meerkerk, Schoenmakers, Griffiths & van de Mheen, 2010). There are several types of games and some of the games which is played within a community are Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) which consist of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) and Massively Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Role-Playing Games (RPG’s), or First-person shooter (FPS) and many more. The main aim of this paper will be about Massively Multiplayer Online Games, for instance MMORPG and MOBA and how they impacting positively on teenagers and the young adults focusing on the games design to attracting a community, the escapism and immersion of this type of game, its learning outcomes, their psychological well-being and last but not least, E-sports.
- MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAMES and MASSIVELY ONLINE MOBILE ARENA.
Most of the Massively Multiplayer Online Games are Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games but there is also the Massively Online Battle Arena. It is a typical supposition that most Massively multiplayer internet games players are young people. Notwithstanding, as indicated by an exploration made by Griffiths, Davies & Chappell(2003) from a result of 11457 players, a surmised of 72% of them who play this sort of game are from 14years to 29 years that is they are adolescents as well as young adults also. MMORPG empowers the gamers to create their own avatar to discover and play in personality-contained, continuous, and immersive internet-based worlds with others from around the globe. These games are designed and run on a real-time basis which makes it highly social and of competitive nature which calls for high level of participation and coordination among the gamers (Scott & Porter-Amstrong, 2013). In most MMORPG’s, players monitor an avatar, sometimes uniquely customized to time, and progress through the game by progressing the powers and statistics of the avatar (Manocha, 2017). Often this is done through the use of in-game achievements, level improvement, skill improvement and other accomplishments directly connected to the avatar (Manocha,2017). As for Massively Online Battle Arena Games (MOBA), they are online multiplayer environments capable of huge numbers of players, anxious to gain a solid reputation amongst the other players of the community and to collaborate between each other(Ripamonti et al., 2018). Nevertheless, the collaboration is constrained to a small group of players throughout each match and the focus on a plot is very constrained as there is still no specific requirement for persistence and in the same way, the player is not portrayed by a character performing as her “avatar” in the game, but she merely controls a character she selects from among those she owns in a pre-determined list, in a god-like nature(Ripamonti et al., 2018). Such forms of video games are distinguished by unique structural elements potentially facilitating the production of addictive consumption behaviors, including the fact that they exist in permanent virtual environments, enabling continuous gameplay via a sophisticated progression mechanism and facilitating social interactions between players.(Ripamonti et al., 2018). In this community of MMOG gamers, there are different type of gamers for example the tactical gamer, the destructive gamer, the super competitive gamer and the gamer who is here for entertainment. Having different type of gamers in a team can be beneficial in a team to defeat rival teams.
- Escapism and immersion
People usually plays MMOG type of games because of its aspect of escapism and immersion. According to the quotation from Messerly’s(2004) cited by Calleja(2010), “Escapism is the primary appeal. Moreover, as the graphics get better and the game play more sophisticated, playing becomes even more engrossing. It is easy to understand why anyone would want to escape our difficult and complicated world and fall into a vivid, compelling game environment. One can live there with little or no interaction with the ordinary world”, in short the contrast between the real and the virtual world.In addition, there are players that play with the purpose of immersion have a tendency to avoid real-life challenges, including engaging in the game world and having to perform parts. Motivation for immersion is also divided into three sub-components: exploration, role-playing, and customization. Also, while Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games are generally designed to simulate the aesthetic look and feel of the real world, little is understood on how players really view the reality of MMORPG environments, or how such perceptions contribute to escapism, social interaction and well-being. For example, in addition to visual fidelity, MMORPGs may facilitate the sense of being present in a virtual world through an engaging context story (Hagström & Kaldo, 2014). Multiplayer games are highly interactive, and are rather omnipresent thus, this dimension of gaming, as described above, controversies the legitimacy of escapism, as it contradicts the idea of the magic circle.For instance, the magic circle separates the virtual environment from video game (Juul, 2005), as Calleja (2010) described it. Moreover, MMORPG being played in a community of unknown people from the players real life who may stay anonymous, depending on a player’s motivation to escape, some find escapism as therapeutic. For instance, according to Warmelink, et.al. (2009), escapism is important in order to self-soothe or canalize behaviors. People have to face problems they wish to find help for. According to this argument, games feature an incredible means of escape, as they encourage players to do whatever they want to in a fun and peaceful atmosphere (Warmelink,2009). Playing community-based game such as MMORPG and MOBA as mentioned previously, it increases the perception of things in virtual world and the real-life mentally.
- Psychological well-being
The other factor to be discussed in accordance to the positive aspect of MMORPG an MOBA games which are played within a gaming experience is the Psychological well-being. Despite there is a several of articles stating that MMORPG and MOBA are affecting the psychological well-being that is the creating addiction such as in Burleigh et.al. (2017). Moreover, there is some theorists who suggests that these games are positively impaction the psychological well-being of players. As mentioned by Jones et.al., (2014), even though immersive experiences have now become consistent with videogaming involvement, videogaming experiences often offer incentives for the creation and preservation of productive connections. Playing WoW in this way creates cognitive and social bridges between online and offline worlds to provide a more analytical perspective on the use of MMOs and encourage better self-regulation. Good experiences inside online videogaming. There is also the sense of desire to express optimistic thoughts such as love, gratitude, pleasure and the various other descriptors of pleasant feelings. In game like Word of Warcraft for example, community and team are created making team collaboration to be important thus learning about team spirit which is key in this game genres. Improve well-being by reflecting on variations of getting healthier, living substantively, developing positive and respectful bonds, meeting objectives and becoming fully dedicated to life. It was claimed that videogames are an area where such encounters can be nurtured and will enable players move beyond survival and truly succeed in existence (Jones et.al., 2014).
1.4 Learning Outcome
Massively Multiplayer Online games is also beneficial in the learning outcomes. They have been used as a technique to empower learners who may well lose confidence or support and to improve their self-esteem (Ritchie and Dodge 1992; Dempsey et al. 1994) as mentioned by Mitchell and Savill-Smith (2004). Strategy, team work, logic, leadership and routine are some of the learning outcome learnt from video games such as MMORPG and MOBA games. Being strategic in important in order to defeat enemies this genre of games so as to beat enemies, levels and sometime solving puzzles. From battle strategies, there are many kinds of tactics that are to be included. Players have to think properly to find the best path to be effective, achieve rates or win rewards. Another learning outcome is Teamwork, either they battle, cure or defend mates, cooperation is always the secret to accomplishing greater challenges or to reaping the major rewards. Leadership is another aspect of the learning outcomes and most of the players who creates their own guild learn how to control and respect the community in achieving task assign to the team. From a study made by Koptrur (2016), someone said that the first thing he noticed about World of Warcraft (WoW) was that patience is needed when working with various individuals seeking to accomplish a shared objective. Because each person is different on a specific scale it is important to bring them together in a common ground. Hence, it is here that consistency falls into action and can be noticed that “these properties are applicable to everyday life” (Koptur, 2016). Gaming in community helps in many aspects and is not only negative as a lot of people thought it is. Making new friend, learning new skills teamwork problem solving and so on can be helpful to players who are used to play in a community-based game.
E-sport is another aspect of gaming in community that helped adolescents and young adults in their life. Although the many negative arguments about it saying it leads to addiction, health risks and many more, there are many young adults who are benefiting from e-sports nowadays. E-sport also called electronic sports has been officially defined as a field of sporting activities in which people learn and practice mental or physical skills in the use of communication technologies (Wagner, 2007 as cited in Seo & Jung, 2016). Some games played at E-sports are Leagues of Legend (LoL), Counter Strike, Burk (2013) as cited by Seo & Jung (2016) states that although millions of people are playing video games, a new generation of skilled players are dedicated to surviving in what is known as eSports. Playing eSports can also be located at the convergence between video games and competitive sports, where players play with others to develop their abilities and expertise and serve their opponents better. Consequently, Therefore, unlike certain other game activities where users will appreciate memorialized narrative – playing eSports generates a feeling of competence-based competition (Seo & Jung, 2016). Moreover, the benefits of e-sports to gamers are hand-eye coordination as both needs to be used at the same time while playing the game, problem-solving skills as within the gameplay there will be obstacle that need to be solve rapidly and thinking ahead, Increased memory capacity that is because when there is a specific environment or object in a game to be coordinated with other team players must remember places and where to if ever a map is available in other word players must have a photographic memory, last but not least, it opens pathway to scholarships, if you have been noticed by sponsors by your talents and skills at E-sports, they may hire you as a professional gamer and also offering scholarships for example, the organization of E-sports has found that giving scholarships rather than money to gamers would be more beneficial than giving them money.
From what has been discussed, playing game within a community is largely beneficial in many aspects and ways. Escapism, immersion, psychological well-being, learning outcomes has been discussed to analyze about how Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) which is played within a community of gamers is impacting positively on teenager and young adults. Despite the many types of games that we have in MMOGs, at the importance is that they all have the similarities of a community-based game where team are to be formed and collaboration is important between team members. All the factors that contribute positively to gamers is not only for the virtual world but also for real-life as said by Kaptur (2016) properties of a game like World of Warcraft is also relevant to the daily life. In contrast to what the discussion is pointing out about gaming to be impacting positively to teenagers and young adults. There are also many studies to contradict this point of view saying that gaming is bad and that it leads to addiction health problem and that it lowers academic outcome. It is true but what was wanted to be pointed out here is that sometimes-playing games can help in the development of new skills and that avoiding people to play game is not a solution on the contrary, it really helps to be more interaction, productive and developing new skills.
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