In the past decade, digital games have become a widely accepted form of media entertainment, moving from the traditional 'core gamer' community into the mainstream media market.
With millions of people now enjoying gaming as interactive entertainment there has been a huge increase in interest in social multiplayer gaming activities. However, despite the explosive growth in the field over the past decade, many aspects of social gaming still remain unexplored, especially from a media and communication studies perspective.
Multiplayer: Social Aspects of Digital Gaming is the first edited volume of its kind that takes a closer look at the various forms of human interaction in and around digital games, providing an overview of debates, past and present.
The book is divided into five sections that explore the following areas:
- Social Aspects of Digital Gaming
- Social Interactions in Virtual Worlds
- Online Gaming
- Co-located and Console Gaming
- Risks and Challenges of Social Gaming
This engaging interdisciplinary book will appeal to upper level students, postgrads and researchers in games research, specifically those focusing on new media and digital games, as well as researchers in media studies and mass communication.
Table of Contents
Section I: Social Aspects of Digital Gaming 1. Introduction: Multiplayer Gaming as Social Media Entertainment Thorsten Quandt and Sonja Kröger 2. Design Principles: Use and Misuse Richard A. Bartle 3. Multiplayer Gaming Around the World Thorsten Quandt, Vivian Chen, Jan Van Looy and Frans Mäyrä Section II: Social Interaction in Virtual Worlds 4. Methodology of Measuring Social Immersion in Online Role-playing Games: Exemplary Experimental Research on Social Interactions in Virtual Worlds Benny Liebold, Daniel Pietschmann, Georg Valtin and Peter Ohler 5. Happy Together? A Gender-comparative Study into Social Practices in Digital Gaming Jan Van Looy and Lotte Vermeulen 6. Player-Centered Game Design: Expectations and Perceptions of Social Interaction in RPG and FPS as Predictors of Rich Game Experience Christina Schumann 7. Analyzing AI in NPCs: An Analysis of Twelve Games Magnus Johansson, Björn Straat, Harko Verhagen and Henrik Warpefelt Section III: Online Gaming 8. Party Animal or Dinner for One: Are Online Gamers Socially Inept? Rachel V. Kowert and Julian A. Oldmeadow 9. "There Is No Place Like Home": The Potential of Commercial Online Gaming Platforms to Become Third Places Jeffrey Wimmer 10. It’s a Quest(ion) of Timing Torill Elvira Mortensen 11. Social Interaction Design in MMOs Nelson Zagalo and Aníbal Gonçalves Section IV: Co-located and Console Gaming 12. Get together: Console Playing as a Group Experience Sonja Kröger and Thorsten Quandt 13. Family and Games - Digital Game Playing in the Social Context of the Family Lina Eklund 14. Playing to Win?: Measuring the Correlation between Biometric Responses and Social Interaction in Co-located Social Gaming Steve Bromley, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Graham McAllister and Jonathan Napier 15. Anything but Speechless – Face-to-Face-Communication during Co-located Gaming Judith Ackermann Section V: Risks and Challenges of Social Gaming 16. An Overview of Online Gaming Addiction Mark D. Griffiths 17. Living in a Virtual World? An Excessive Gamer Typology Emese Domahidi and Thorsten Quandt 18. Friendship Quality Matters for Multiplayer Gamers: The Role of Online and Real-life Friendship Quality in the Relationship between Game Addiction and Psychological Well-being in a Sample of Adolescent Online Gamers Antonius J. van Rooij, Tim M. Schoenmakers , Regina J.J.M. van den Eijnden, Ad A. Vermulst and Dike van de Mheen 19. Isolated Violence, Isolated Players, Isolated Aggression: The Social Realism of Experimental Research on Digital Games and Aggression Malte Elson and Johannes Breuer 20. Self-Discrepancy and MMORPGs: Testing the Moderating Effects of Avatar: Identification and Pathological Gaming in World of Warcraft Jan Van Looy, Cédric Courtois and Melanie De Vocht
Thorsten Quandt is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Münster. He is the founding chair of ECREA’s Temporary Working Group ‘Digital Games Research’. His research and teaching fields include online communication, media innovation research, digital games and online journalism.
Sonja Kröger (M.A. in Education, Media Studies and German literature) works as a junior lecturer at the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Hohenheim. Her research and teaching fields include media education, young children & media, and digital games with a focus on advertising.
'This volume is clearly intended to bring modern sociological methodologies to bear in a relatively rigorous manner on material at a meta level. Recommendations for further study are included. Summing Up: Recommended.' - CHOICE
‘Multiplayer offers a deep and sustained investigation of how we play digital games together. Exploring online as well as co-located play, this thought provoking book gathers together recent theoretical advancements, qualitative and quantitative empirical research, and reviews of the latest literature on how we are social in digital games. If you study multiplayer games or want to investigate how we play games with other people, this book is essential reading.’
Mia Consalvo, Canada Research Chair in Game Studies & Design, Concordia University
‘For too long gaming has been considered from the perspective of an isolated, culturally deviant perspective. Multiplayer analyzes gaming in the social universe in which it very often exists. Compiling reports from leading experts in the field, Multiplayer breaks new ground in our understanding gaming as part of our culture and part of the social world of those who play games. Quandt and Kröger have produced a book that will change the way academics look at gaming and behavior.’
Chris Ferguson, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Psychology, Stetson University
‘This volume's innovative scholarship on social dimensions of the video game landscape, presented by a mix of bright new faces and longstanding research stalwarts, adds new energy to a well-trodden research area. With novel findings and fresh conceptualizations, Multiplayer stretches the boundaries of video game research in exciting ways. This is a recommended read for anyone in social science looking to see the newest directions in research on the quickly-evolving video game medium.'
James D. Ivory, Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Virginia Tech