Player Motivation and Understanding Game Dynamics

Player Motivation and Understanding Game Dynamics

Andrew Jinman (Twofour Learning: Immersive Learning Producer, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-352-4.ch023
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Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity for social engagement. Transporting players to fantasy realms where they bridge the void between reality and the virtual world, via the creation of their online persona. Since the introduction of “table-top” games in the 70’s, social interaction has been shaped by various game dynamics. Following the evolution of the MMORPG genre, the author investigates the implication of these dynamics on in-game social interaction and personal creativity. Identifying the key drivers in a player’s motivation allows us to understand how different players are affected by the game’s dynamics through research by Bartle (1996) and Yee (2005). Retrospectively these games are being described as immersive due to game dynamics and social content, with a direct intention to increase play. The author also discusses anticipating the occurrence of problematic behavior and addictive nature of the technology.
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When we think of MMORPG’s we usually restrict our thoughts to the last decade where this genre of gaming has really expanded. Predating these preconceptions I explore the origin and history MMORPG’s. Understanding the evolutionary timeline and the context of these games allows us to draw on current gaming functionality, examining the gaming dynamics, their introduction over time and their impact on traditional game design.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Player Organization: An association of players with common interests and goals within the MMO environment; sometimes called a guild or clan.

Player: The real person sat at the computer participating within the game, with his or her character.

Online Identity: is a social identity that network users establish in online communities, for this thesis this applies to the online identity formed within an MMORPG, and the persona the player takes on. See Introduction to online identity.

MMO Environment: Massively Multiplayer Online environment, or virtual world where the game takes place.

MMOG: Massively multiplayer online game; variety of game, which is capable of supporting thousands of simultaneous players usually within a virtual world or an MMO environment.

RPG: Role-playing game, a game where the player takes on the role of another character, acting and behaving like them.

Game Dynamics: Proportions of game functionality or characteristic created to intentionally encourage game play or game enjoyment; for instance, Social activities and Fighting.

MMORPG: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

Social Learning: Social learning refers to learning within a social environment e.g. MMORPG exclusively within Player Organizations.

Fantasy Genre: Is an art style that uses magic and supernatural forms to propel the narrative, theme and or setting. Originally descended from myths and legends these were early examples.

Character: The persona or role taken on by a player when he or she enters the game environment.

Reality: The non-game environment where the player exists, as opposed to the MMO environment where the character, avatar or persona exists.

Game: An activity structured with certain objectives, which are shared by participants, usually undertaken for enjoyment. With reference to this thesis “game” is used to describe the MMORPG’s, and activities preformed by its participants.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Gabriele Meiselwitz
James Braman, Giovanni Vincenti, Goran Trajkovski
James Braman, Giovanni Vincenti, Goran Trajkovski
Chapter 1
Adérito Fernandes Marcos, Pedro Branco, João Álvaro Carvalho
Art objects might be described as symbolic objects that aim at stimulating emotions. They reach us through our senses (visual, auditory, tactile, or... Sample PDF
The Computer Medium in Digital Art's Creative Process
Chapter 2
Salah Uddin Ahmed, Letizia Jaccheri, Guttorm Sindre, Anna Trifonova
The interaction between art and technology, especially computing technology, is an increasing trend in the recent years. The context of this... Sample PDF
Conceptual Framework for the Intersection of Software and Art
Chapter 3
Joseph William Pruitt
The purpose of this chapter is to define the roles of engineering and design within the product development cycle looking at both the scientific and... Sample PDF
The Design of Engineering
Chapter 4
Jim Bizzocchi, Belgacem Ben Youssef
The chapter describes the synergistic integration of distinct research and creation agendas, each firmly grounded in its own set of practices and... Sample PDF
Ambient Video, Slow-Motion, and Convergent Domains of Practice
Chapter 5
Ethan Ham
Randomness is a slippery term that conveys different meanings in different disciplines. In mathematics, an individual number is random when there is... Sample PDF
Randomness, Chance, & Art
Chapter 6
Holography: Re-Defined  (pages 103-112)
Martin Richardson, Paul Scattergood
When writing this chapter it became apparent that we were not only exponents of digital holography, but also the critics. This is a problem when it... Sample PDF
Holography: Re-Defined
Chapter 7
Lorenzo Picinali
What is the real potential of computer science when applied to music? It is possible to synthesize a “real” guitar using physical modelling... Sample PDF
3D Sound Simulation over Headphones
Chapter 8
Raphael DiLuzio
This is a guide for working with a visual art form using a digital time-based medium. This chapter will provide an overview of the necessary... Sample PDF
Broken Cinema: The Eye and Hand in a Time-Based Art
Chapter 9
Ambivalent Interplay  (pages 146-161)
Heejoo Kim
The human vision, the most ubiquitous receptor of the human senses, has been the prevailing sensory organ for a noticeable manifestation of visual... Sample PDF
Ambivalent Interplay
Chapter 10
Yueh Hsiu Giffen Cheng
The development of net art originates from the rising of net media generally. During the past two decades, Net art has overthrown the standards of... Sample PDF
The Aesthetics of Net dot Art
Chapter 11
Nicola Quinn, Annette Aboulafia
People have used tools for artistic expression for millennia. Relatively recent is the use of digital technology to afford the creation of art.... Sample PDF
A Graphics Tablet as a Fine Art Tool
Chapter 12
Greg J. Smith
This text seeks to contextualize the history of and discourse surrounding information visualization. It positions visualization in relation to... Sample PDF
Information Visualization and Interface Culture
Chapter 13
Benjamin David Robert Bogart
“Memory Association Machine” (also known as “Self-Other Organizing Structure #1”) is the first prototype in a series of site-specific responsive... Sample PDF
Memory Association Machine
Chapter 14
Stefano De Luca, Eugenia Benelli, Francesco Altarocca, Dario Dussoni
Designing good and sound architectural projects is a hard job. Generally these kinds of projects involve many stakeholders, everyone with his/her... Sample PDF
EVO-PARK: Designing Better Architecture Projects Using Participated and Interactive Genetic Algorithms
Chapter 15
Sergiy Rakov, Viktor Gorokh, Kirill Osenkov
The chapter discusses the possibilities modern IT opens for Mathematics and its applications to real life, in particular to Art – by an example of... Sample PDF
Mathematics, Computer Mathematical Systems, Creativity, Art
Chapter 16
Jim Barta, Ron Eglash
Students who may typically view mathematics as a sterile and disjointed subject are learning new skills and concepts using a suite of virtual design... Sample PDF
Teaching Artful Expressions of Mathematical Beauty: Virtually Creating Native American Beadwork and Rug Weaving
Chapter 17
Mia Kalish
One visualization in Diné philosophy is four small dots arranged in a circular sequence at 90°, 0°, 270°, and 180°. Each position is associated with... Sample PDF
Visual Analytics and Conceptual Blending Theory
Chapter 18
Lindsay Grace
Enculturation is the act of passing cultural ideologies from one person to the other. It is what breeds innovation instead of new creation. It is... Sample PDF
The Challenge of Enculturation on Art
Chapter 19
Lindsay Grace
Software is philosophical. Software is designed by people who have been influenced by a specific understanding of the way objects, people and... Sample PDF
The Philosophies of Software
Chapter 20
Technological Social-ism  (pages 343-374)
Judson Wright
Culture is a byproduct of our brains. Moreover, we’ll look at ways culture also employs ritual (from shamanistic practices to grocery shopping) to... Sample PDF
Technological Social-ism
Chapter 21
Stephen A. Schrum
As creative people inhabit virtual worlds, they bring their ideas for art and performance with them into these brave new worlds. While at first... Sample PDF
Theatre in Second Life® Holds the VR Mirror up to Nature
Chapter 22
Machinima in Second Life  (pages 396-416)
Stephany Filimon
This chapter provides a brief history of machinima, films created by computer users within virtual worlds, and focuses on machinima produced within... Sample PDF
Machinima in Second Life
Chapter 23
Andrew Jinman
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are becoming an increasingly popular recreational activity for social engagement.... Sample PDF
Player Motivation and Understanding Game Dynamics
About the Contributors