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The strenuous task of maintaining and making friends: Tensions between play and friendship in MMOs
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Centre for Technology and Society Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
2013 (English)In: DiGRA 2013: DeFragging Game Studies / [ed] DiGRA, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This empirically driven study concerns the creation and maintenance of friendships in online gaming. Social interaction and community building are integral to online game-play, yet maintaining and making friends within a gaming context is not without its conflicts. Through analyses of interview data (n=52) combined from two research projects concerning MMO-gaming this study presents three ideal type portraits of gamers. The portraits illustrate different struggles of balancing friendships, a challenging game experience, and everyday-life. Specifically they look at the relationship between social design and social play; everyday-life and contexts of play; and 'player burnout', when players leave the game. Results emphasise how friendships and everyday-life constrains affect how we play, our preferences towards play, and who we play with online. The study concludes that maintaining and making friends in an online game can be a strenuous task limited by both a rational game structure and everyday-life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
social relationships, sociability, digital gaming, social interaction, game structure, rationalization
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98475OAI: diva2:684017
DiGRA 2013:DeFragging Game Studies, Atlanta Georgia, U.S.
Available from: 2014-01-07 Created: 2014-01-07 Last updated: 2014-01-15Bibliographically approved

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