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Communities and Online Gaming

IMPACT OF MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAME ON TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS

ABSTRACT

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.

Key words:

 MMOG, MMORPG, MOBA, Young Adults, team work, community 

  1. INTRODUCTION

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1.  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.

  1. E-sports

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.

1.5 Conclusion 

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.

References:

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Burleigh, T. L., Stavropoulos, V., Liew, L. W., Adams, B. L., & Griffiths, M. D. (2017). Depression, 

Internet Gaming Disorder, and the Moderating Effect of the Gamer-Avatar Relationship: An Exploratory Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Mental Health and Addictionhttps://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/96675726.pdf

Bredl, K., & Bösche, W. (2013). Serious games and virtual worlds in education, professional 

development, and healthcare. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, IGI Global.

Calleja, G. (2010). Digital Games and Escapism. Games And Culture5(4), 335-353. 

https://doi.org/10.1177/1555412009360412

Griffiths, M. D., Davies, M. N. O., & Chappell, D. (2003). Breaking the stereotype: The case 

of online gaming. Cyberpsychology & Behavior6, 81–91. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10843353_Breaking_the_Stereotype_The_Case_of_Online_Gaming

Hagström, D., & Kaldo, V. (2014). Escapism Among Players of MMORPGs—Conceptual 

Clarification,Its Relation to Mental Health Factors, and Development of a New Measure. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking17(1), 19-25. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0222

30 replies on “IMPACT OF MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER ONLINE GAME ON TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS”

Hello Jade,
First of all, I must say hats off! Despite that your paper is opposite to mine, I must you are right that sometimes playing can help us. But again, moderation is needed when playing as we tend to forget about the tremendous amount of time that we spend on it. However don’t you think that doing sport outside is better than E.Sport?

thanks nafeesah, e-sports is digital and is more beneficial to mental health whereas sports outside is more associated to physical health. Moreover, E-sport is considered as a sport because the organization is the same as for sports team. In e-sports, there are team,managers or coaches, leagues, tournaments, marquee events, endorsement deals, player transfer fees, scholarships, and a dark side with match fixing, doping, and gender-related disputes. I think that both are good and that by doing outside sport you can have a more healthier lifestyle than e-sports.

Dear Jade,

First of all i would like to thank you for such a beautiful article and highlighting some main points about multiplayer online games. Everything comes with its pros and cons and one has to be responsible for their choices. Playing has always been beneficial in a learning context and e sports gives those who are specially able a chance to play while in normal circumstance they won’t be able.

Thank you Devina. yes e-sports have brought up many opportunities.

Dear Jade,
Well done on this informative paper! I found your approach to the MMOGs very insightful. I found the psychological well-being aspect quite thought-provoking.
Somehow, it is always the negative aspects of online games that have been in the limelight. The upsides, unfortunately, tend to go unnoticed.
However, as your article revealed, online games do have their worthwhile share of pros.

thank you dishana for reading my paper.
it is a fact that negative aspect of online gaming is always in limelight that is why my aim was to highlight the positive aspects of it.

Hello Jade,

I really enjoyed reading your paper and it’s good that you chose to write on the positive impacts of Massively Multiplayer Online Games on teenagers and young adults because sometimes we tend to focus more on the negative ones.

As you said, “…a new generation of skilled players are dedicated to surviving in what is known as eSports” and I think that E-sport definitely shows another aspect of gaming which challenge how we usually associate gaming and competition with addiction, health risks etc… Even if it is not considered as a ‘true’ sport due to the lack of physical efforts, it definitely has a positive impact on the mental health of gamers as they are spending time engaging in an activity they really enjoy and where they can also benefit from opportunities like scholarships.

But again, I think that gamers should be responsible and conscious that playing too much can have a negative impact on their health. Anyways, good job writing such an interesting paper!

Hi leaticia , thank you for reading my paper.
E-sport is considered as a sport not because of the physical effort but because the organizations are almost the same with coaches, league, competition, training time etc..i agree with your point that ‘gamers should be responsible and conscious about health risks’ but i think that it really depends on the gamers’ as there are many type of gamers and also maybe the genre of games has a role to play.

Hi Kelly,
I find your article very informative. You tackled the subject in a balanced manner with pertinent arguments for and against the topic. Great job 👍

hi Nisha,
thank you for taking time to read and comment on my paper.

Dear Kelly,

This is a brilliant article, well documented.

You have well expressed the interest of this new generation of people.

I personally have 2 gamers at home, sometimes I don’t really understand their games but it’s always pleasure to see how they played and how they tackled these games with the others.

However the gamers should be much more responsible and should have a life balance as the risk factor can be very risky in regards to their social, family life and their health.

You have well expressed all these in your article.

Well done.

Hi Eric,
thank you for taking time to read my paper. I agree with you that sometimes we tend to have negative stereotype upon gaming and i think that it really depends on someone’s psychology. for example i have my brother at home who is an example of the risk factors you mentionned as he prefer to close himself in the room playing instead of having a social and family life. But, in today’s generation games are becoming part of education and is also present in workplaces and this shows how games can be beneficial.

Hi Jade,
It’s indeed a great job regarding the positive impact of MMOGs on teenagers. Your analysis has changed my perceptions about these games. Previously, I used to think that these games just impact adversely upon the youth’s health as they spend hours and hours on these games. You have given strong supporting ideas in connection with your main argument though you did highlight in your concluding paragraph about some adverse impact which may occur. However, throughout your paper, you convincingly show that the positive influences are considerable and they outweigh the negative ones which have unfortunately been in the limelight for years. Gamers should find the right balance to minimize the risks of negative impact. Going through your paper has changed my own perspective about the MMOGs ……Really enjoyed the read and it gave food for thought. You will find the link to my paper hereunder and awaiting your kind comments please.
Regards
Ranish

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/social-media-and-political-participation-are-social-networking-sites-democratizing-political-systems/

Hi Ranish,
thank you for reading my paper. I am happy that my paper has changed your perception about how beneficial MMOG games can be. i wanted to highlight the positive impact of gaming as many people as you thinks that because gamers are playing hours and hours they are addicted to it but as you can read in my paper, there are many learning outcomes.

Hello Jade,
Your paper was really interesting and I also agree with your arguments, you have been able to support your argument with strong research. The industry of gaming has experienced a great evolution with the arrival of VR gaming, AR and compared to years ago gaming is becoming more and more accessible. Game designers are trying to create a new playful space for the players to immerse more easily. This led to the creation of a creative community and an inclusive culture. But do you not think that gaming is also having a negative impact on players. At the end of the day the creation of an avatar can impact on the player’s real identity. The problem of highly sexualised female characters in games like world of craft.
Thank you, if you have some times you can check my paperhttps://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/young-adults-are-being-affected-by-unattainable-expectations-promoted-by-instagram-influencers/

hello christelle,
nice point mention about how VR and AR are revolutionary in the gaming industry and how it is creating a new immersive gaming spaces. To answer your quedtion, as i mentioned briefly in my paper, whether gaming is having a positive or a negative impact on gamers, it depends upon the psychology of a person. about the avatars, again it depends on a players motivation to play, please refer to the paragraph 1. Escapism and immersion where i explained about it.

Hi Jade,

I wanted to comment as reading your paper, a thought occurred to me regarding your point about the beneficial effects of gaming in learning. Your paper comes to a similar conclusion to mine, however I didn’t include what a powerful tool it can be in education, and you are absolutely right.

I was reminded of the Tetris effect, which Wikipedia has summarised for me as: “when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and dreams…People who have played Tetris for a prolonged amount of time can find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street.” (also known as the Game Transfer Phenomena).

I think that those who have grown up playing video games certainly benefited from the cognitive workout those old-school Atari games created. I wonder if in the next few years we will be seeing the social effects of games such as Fortnite Battle Royale on the younger generation currently playing it. Perhaps there won’t be such a positive outcome?

Great food for thought!

Rebecca

hi rebecca,
sorry for late reply and thank you for taking time to read my paper. fortnite is a game of where there is teamwork and strategy thus i think that it may have positive outcomes. but players also should be responsible as for the timing for playing games as i mentioned a lot in previous comments it depends on a gamers pychology.

Hi Jade,

I would lie if I say that I did not enjoy reading your paper! You have made some strong arguments on MMOG games. You have highlighted the positive impacts that these games have on young adults and I sincerely agree with your points.

I am myself a gamer and in this confinement, I have spent most of my time in front of my television forgetting the outside world. I try to balance my life between socializing with people and playing online. It is just a matter of time before finding the perfect balance which will let gamers have time for each task.

Since I am here, I would like to invite you to read my paper.

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/online-personae-and-inauthenticity-are-parallels-on-social-networking-platforms/

Stay safe,
Alexia🤗

Hi Alexia,
I am glad you enjoyed reading my paper. it is true that gaming is a good leisure during confinement and its good that you find the right balance. i am curious to know how is gaming beneficial to you?

Hi Jade,

Gaming reduces my stress level when I overthink about everything. I play Tekken 7 and Sims to forget about my problems. I spend maximum 2 hours online playing. Also, playing games improve my reflex and reaction time. It may be a game but I put it into practice in real life. For example, when I play Need for speed, I practice my driving and drifting skills and then I put it into practice. I must say that video games are the reason to why i’m still alive today.

Hope my response has helped you.

Stay safe,
Alexia🤗

Hello Jade,
Well written and informative conference paper. Your arguments were well explained and you provided good examples as well. I would like to shed like predominantly on MMORGs as in some way it reinforces positively the gamers and is a good practice for teamwork. While playing online, a lot of features are acquired indirectly and this helps the gamers in their real life to achieve goals. It’s good that you’ve emphasized on the positive aspects indeed there are various articles which stated that it is affecting the psychological well-being. In addition, I support your argument where you stated that E-sport is another aspect of gaming in the community as this is advantageous for several people nowadays. Also, there has been a constant increase in the number of people who prefer E-sport as it boost their self-confidence.
It was a pleasure to read your paper and if you want you can comment on mine too. It will be nice to know your opinion on mine too .
Here is the link:
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/youngsters-lifestyle-being-shaped-by-the-social-media-influencers/#comments
Have a good day,
Harmony.

hi harmony,
thank you for reading my paper. i indeed wanted to highlight E-sports because it creates a lot of opportunities and i think that it has made people change their negative thinking about gaming with E-sports.

Hey Jade :),
You are welcome. Furthermore, I would like to know your own experience with the E-sports. How have this contribute to several changes in your life ?

Hello Jade,

From a non-gamer’s perspective, I definitely enjoyed reading your paper. I learnt new terms when it comes to games online such MMOG, MOBA, and so on. I agree that games can totally affect our mental health positively, especially after a stressful day, for example. Through games, people can also acquires skill which tends to be useful in daily life. For instance, games can help students develop skills to work collaboratively and even develop their critical thinking (problem solving, analysing, etc).

However, there should be a certain balance between gaming and daily life. Too much gaming can have negative consequences as well such as isolation, health issues and so on.

Hello Jade,
It was really interesting to read your paper as it highlights the benefits that we get by playing games. Playing multiplayer games does give us the ability to increase our problem-solving skills and helps us to react to our problems at faster pace. I was really impressed reading the learning outcomes of playing multiplayer online games as you have rightly written down how strategies, teamwork and patience while playing online games help us in our life. Of course, playing games can have some negative impacts but everything comes with its “Pros and Cons”

I would like to invite you to read my paper which talks about Social Commerce being revolutionized by Instagram Marketing.

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/23/instagram-marketing-has-revolutionized-social-commerce-the-consumer-trust-and-the-role-of-influencers/

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