The Swedish Media Council commissioned a report into MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) “Living in the world of Warcraft” in 2007 which was carried out by Jonas Linderoth, PhD, and Ulrika Bennerstedt, MA, of Gothenburg University. The report focused on the game World of Warcraft and 10 young people (aged 17-19) were spoken to about their experiences and involvement in the game and its impact/effects on their lives.
World of Warcraft is one of the more popular MMORPGs with around 9 million users, despite users needed to pay to subscribe to the game. The game has its own diverse lexicon and even has its own wiki to explain the complexities of the game.
The results of this report have now been translated into English and their findings make interesting reading.
One of the findings from the research highlighted the fact that users found the game needed considerable devotion and time to progress and “level” and this made the most significant impact on their lives with regards to relationships, education and even personal hygiene! However the game did provide opportunities to socialise and develop communication skills when regulated. However this can be difficult to enforce, although Blizzard (The game’s developers) have taken steps towards this by adding Parental Controls to the game so parents can structure the time their children can play WOW online for.