Quantitative Task

Your group of 2-3 will be assigned one of the following tasks. Only do the one you were assigned:

  1. Internal Memo, Blizzard
  2. Curious Scholar
  3. Internal Memo, Commonsensemedia

 

 

Qualitative Research Coding Activity

Joey Hector and Miles Purcell

04/15/2019

Research Questions:

Why did people start playing WoW?

Why do people continue playing WoW?

(Note: We didn’t use previous data in our counting)

 

People who Play WoW (Stage 1 and 3):

Why people started:

  • Friends/Family already played it. (ex. “i had a friend that played the game a lot” “I started playing in Kindergarten because my older brothers played and it looked cool”) (7)

Why people continue to play:

  • Lore/World (ex. “I like the thematic of the actual races and creatures in azeroth, the game has this cartoony-fantasy style to the creatures and I always liked that.” “What made you keep playing? Lore. Is there anything specific about the lore? The depth of the characters and their effect on the world.”) (2)
  • Gameplay/Mechanics (ex. “I really enjoy the PvP” “The quest system in the game was very fun.  I also like exploring the world and getting loot.” “It’s a great game and the expansions are fun”) (11)
  • Social Interaction (ex. “…i chat with friends” “I also play WoW because the people, they’re so nice and friendly. Heck even th mean people. I love everyone! What’s not to love about this community?”) (3)
  • Stress Relief (ex. “I play because it is a good stress reliever” “I play WoW because it’s a nice release from the real world”) (4)

People who don’t Play WoW (Stage 2):

Why they think people start playing WoW:

  • Friends told them about it. (ex. “all their friends are playing it.” “They start because someone else that they know already plays the game.”) (3)
  • Gameplay/Mechanics (ex. “For entertainment.”) (4)

Why they think people continue playing WoW:

  • Social Interaction (ex. “They think they will find people with similar interests.” “Because their friends are playing it and they don’t want to feel left out.”) (5)
  • Entertainment/Gameplay (ex. “Because its interactive” “Because it’s fun and a challenge, which they enjoy.”) (4)
  • Stress Relief (ex. “it’s probably a release from the stresses of everyday life” “To escape reality”) (3)

 

  • Addiction (ex. “I think it’s because once they start, you get to keep having progress throughout the game and there’s never an end so you keep playing.”) (2)
  • Story/Lore (“Because the storyline and quests are cool”) (1)

 

Our motivation for asking our research question was spurned by an interest in whether or not perceptions of WoW player motives aligned with the reasoning of actual players. Are the recorded assumptions correct? So, we asked “are there discrepancies between self reported and speculated reasons for why people play WoW?”

 

We used an inductive coding and human analysis to categorize the responses into three main categories: “social”, “gameplay”, & “health”. Categories were chosen if the appearance of data was greater than two. We used a mix of in-game and out-game interviews totaling at 15.

 

Predicted reasons for playing WoW were much closer to self reported, however, some predicted reasons varied more widely, with many of the predictions not appearing frequent enough to be counted as categories in their own right.

Self reported reasons for playing WoW by category are as follows: Social = 10, gameplay = 11, health = 4. Predicted reasons gave us the following results: Social = 8, gameplay = 8, health = 3. It should be noted that the total value of both predicted and self reported is great then the number of interviews (15), because more than one question was asked per interview and often responses qualified for more than one category.

 

Here are some exemplar quotes for each category:

Social – “I also play WoW because the people, they’re so nice and friendly. Heck even the mean people. I love everyone! What’s not to love about this community?”

Gameplay – “It’s a great game and the expansions are fun”

Health – “I play because it is a good stress reliever”

 

Using the three main categories we found you could possibly attempt to survey a wider population about why they choose to play the game. This would help better understand the proportions of why people play the game and could also serve to check that this data does apply to the general majority of WoW players and not just to the small sample size that was interviewed.

Qualitative Research Blog Post

     Grant Anderson

     Duwei Xiang

4/15/2019

        1/2. “What made you start playing WoW?”

        To see why players perceived to play the game and what factors affected their decision.

 

  1. We used flat coding as our main method. Our coding scheme was inductive.
  2. The total dataset we used was 15 interviews. 

 

  1. Ads that were made by Blizzard were found interesting and it had a very strong effect on player’s choice of whether they want to try the game. In one interview, the player says, “The ad was cool and it looked like fun so I tried it.” 3 out of the 15 interviews exclusively mentioned ads as the reason they make their decision to play WoW.  Another reason was players saw their friends playing the game, either they found the game interesting or they played the game because of their social needs of being more interactive with their friends. 7 out of 15 interviews exclusively mentioned friends as the reason they started playing.

 

  1. What players and characters still populate WoW?

 

Research Coding

Logan Sack & Jing Dong

 

Both researchers had the personal experience of beginning to play WoW due to the influence of friends and wanted to observe if outsiders perceive the same motivation for playing. We set out to observe the opinions of individuals who do not play World of Warcraft to observe a pattern of those who believe that the primary draw of the game is a social aspect. The data was coded through keyword matching, using words such as “social” and “friends” as well as synonyms of those words. There were two datasets that we compared; one with 8 responses gathered recently and the other with 12 responses gathered some extended period of time ago. We were looking at personal interview responses between various interviewers and a variety of individuals who did not play World of Warcraft.

People appeared to have a similar, consistent opinion as to why people play WoW, which was some sort of social appeal. Both datasets had responses that explicitly pointed to social interaction. In the recent data, 3 responses cited social appeal, 2 were focused on “socializing” in general or meeting new people while one specifically mentioned playing with existing friends.

Socializing in General:

“For entertainment. To communicate with people through an online social game.”

Playing with Friends:

“They start because someone else that they know already plays the game. They are looking for a community-based interaction. So that they aren’t playing all alone in a dark room.”

In the older data, 2 responses cited social appeal with both focusing on general socialization and none mentioning friends specifically.

Socializing in General:

“To find a community – somewhere they fit in. Also maybe to pretend to be someone else for a bit, sometimes that’s nice”

Future research could utilize a survey as opposed to an interview to make coding through keyword matching more uniform and accurate.

 

Qualitative Research Blog Post

Aracely Portillo, Ethan Graupmann, Kent Snodgrass

In a blog post, answer your research question (this could be, simply, “why do you WoW?”). You should have the following parts in your blog post:

  1. Motivation for a research question. Besides “the professor told us too,” why would it be interesting to ask the question you ask?

Understanding why players begin and continue to stick by World of Warcraft and similar MMORPGs can give us insight into what players want out of a game, what experiences they may go through to end up playing these games.

 

  1. Research Question that you looked at.
  • Why do you play WoW?
  • Why do you continue to play WoW?
  1. Coding scheme/process. E.g., “We used an inductive coding scheme using keyword matching. Our primary keywords were “family” and “friends” and derivatives of those words. In addition…”

We used inductive coding based on the frequencies or patterns within the data. We used keywords in an attempt to locate relevant data in order to be sorted into categories. We combed the data with keywords like “stress” “friend(s)” and various others. Some of the categories that we created in response to the data for question 1 was:

Family/Friends // Advertisements // Distraction // Stress Relief

Categories for the Data in Question 2 included

Competitive Aspects // Social Interactions // Environment, Beauty // Stress Relief // Time Investment // Cost efficiency

In order to keep our data points organized, we also recorded the level, class, race, and name of the character or person interviewed, when possible. While some data points lacked proper records of these, we kept them categorized, but held them to a lower credibility to properly recorded data points.

  1. How large was the total dataset? E.g. how many forums did you code? How many in-game interviews? How many outside-of-game interviews?

-Total data set was 17

-We had 12 in game interviews that we coded.

-7 forums coded

-1 out of game coded

  1. Key findings from your analysis
      1. Pattern claim. E.g., “People appeared to like WoW because they like games that begin with World”
        1. Most players in-game appeared to have been introduced to WoW by an outside aspect, whether Family and Friends (4 Interviews), or through advertisements online (3 Interviews).
        2. Most players continue to play World of Warcraft because of the beauty and admiration they hold for the game (4 Forum, 1 Interview), because they enjoy socializing (2 Forum, 1 Interview), because of the time that was invested (1 Forum, 2 Interviews), and because of the competitive aspect of playing the game (2 Forum, 1 Interview).
      2. Pattern number (of the 15 interviews, 5 people mentioned x). What constitutes a pattern in a sample of 15 or 30 or 100? It’s up to you to make the case. Note: Qualitative research will always have lower consensus because of its open-ended nature.
        1. Of the 17 interviews, 5 people mentioned that they enjoy/play the game because of the amount of beauty and admiration they have towards it.
        2. 4 out of 17 players said they were first introduced and began playing WoW either through family or friends.
      3. Exemplar quote or quotes.

 

  • “I have a friend who started playing in vanilla, the game always seemed interesting to me. I decided to start playing during the Warlords of Draenor expansion.” – Kieleronys, lv24 Blood Elf Warlock
  • “Warcraft III and The Frozen Throne were still fresh in my memory back then. Logging in for the first time I got a sense of anticipation for when I would finally see first-hand the battlefields and environments in which that epic story unfolded. I quickly became overwhelmed by the massive world they had created, so much so that I didn’t even recognize Org when I first saw it. I thought it was a high-level dungeon crawling with uber-powered mobs waiting to stomp me to dust. And I will never forget the first time I walked into the Undercity throne room and heard the whispers of Arthas’ betrayal. Back then, just being in Azeroth post WC3 was fun.” -Venjin, Lv120 Troll Warrior
  • “I’ve been playing for 5 years I continue to play it because I have a lot of time invested to it and it’s a cheap form of entertainment.” -Nyalmi 120 Void Elf
  • “I also play WoW because the people, they’re so nice and friendly. Heck even the mean people. I love everyone! What’s not to love about this community?” -Arrudek 110 Tauren Death Knight

 

  1. Now that you know this, make a suggestion for future research (and possibly name a method that would capture that). e.g., Blizzard asked the question “how do you WoW?” Is that a question that could follow from your current research?

A few possible avenues for future research could be trying to answer the questions:

“What makes the World of Warcraft aesthetic so appealing to its player base?”

“Why do experienced WoW players sometimes feel entrenched by the amount of time they have invested in the game?”

Qualitative Research Blog Post

Josh Foreman

Joel Weiss

15 April 2019

The motivation for our research question was to figure out why experienced players who had been playing the game for years still had the drive to keep going, even after multiple years and characters. Therefore, our research question was not just “Why do you play WoW,” instead it was “Why do you still play WoW.” We used inductive coding based off of human analysis of the responses we received to categorize both reasons for initial playing of the game and continued playing.

To solve our research question, we mainly focused on looking at the responses of more experienced players. To do this, we looked at two sources of data: interviews with characters in starting areas and forum posts. The populous starting areas were filled with experienced players starting new characters and the users active on the forums are experienced in the game, having played for multiple years.  We coded 13 forum responses and 3 player responses from the data. We found that the forum responses were typically more useful, as they were more detailed and nuanced than the in-game responses. This also allowed the forum responses to be coded into multiple categories.

Through our coding we found reasons for continued playing to be following certain themes. We organized these responses based upon the themes and further upon the coding. The most common theme found was Escape, that it, using the content, communities, or challenges found within the game to distract the players from real world problems or stresses. Similar to the Escape theme, we found players enjoying the Sense of Progress they found within the game. Some players enjoyed leveling up multiple characters, while others liked to explore the world with just one.

 

“Q: Why do you play World of Warcraft instead of other video games?

        A: -ive played forever

                    -why stop now

Q: Why create a new Priest now?

        A: -lol

                    -for the giggles n !@#$z”

                    [Chat filter was turned on; likely “giggles n shitz”]

–          Alengery-Hyjal, Level 1 Human Priest, Male

 

(Silvermoon, Azshara, Daywalker-Winterhoof, Lvl 19 Tauren Priest)

-What aspects of the game have kept you playing the game?

Wow is a skinner box lol

Accomplishing minor achievements releases dopamine to my brains

 

Narthexia – Level 110 Orc Death Knight

I play it because:

1.It smooths out my brain giving me excellent serotonin boosts, it’s a real moodmellower and improver.

 

Based off of our initial research, coding, and further analysis, we believe that there is ample opportunity for further research within the bounds of motivations for repeated playing. As the lifespan of MMOs increase, the sense of commitment to the game that players have tends to grow as well. Despite this, MMOs are losing active players every month. Through finding the factors that led to inactivity researchers will be able to find reasons for repeated activity.

Qualitative Research Blog Post

Why do you WoW?

In a blog post, answer your research question (this could be, simply, “why do you WoW?”). You should have the following parts in your blog post:

  1. Motivation for a research question. Besides “the professor told us too,” why would it be interesting to ask the question you ask?
  2. Research Question that you looked at.
  3. Coding scheme/process. E.g., “We used an inductive coding scheme using keyword matching. Our primary keywords were “family” and “friends” and derivatives of those words. In addition…”
  4. How large was the total dataset? E.g. how many forums did you code? How many in-game interviews? How many outside-of-game interviews?
  5. Key findings from your analysis
    1. Pattern claim. E.g., “People appeared to like WoW because they like games that begin with World”
    2. Pattern number (of the 15 interviews, 5 people mentioned x). What constitutes a pattern in a sample of 15 or 30 or 100? It’s up to you to make the case. Note: Qualitative research will always have lower consensus because of its open-ended nature.
    3. Exemplar quote or quotes.
  6. Now that you know this, make a suggestion for future research (and possibly name a method that would capture that). e.g., Blizzard asked the question “how do you WoW?” Is that a question that could follow from your current reserach?

Final note: this is the info that you should consider in your solo and group projects in this class. Revisit this page as a reminder.

Qualitative Research

For this activity, I decided to observe the chats of two different areas in the Silvermoon server. I was interested in knowing if there was any kind of common rhetoric that was shared by both chats, keeping in mind that one area is a very populated “starting area” and its counterpart is a lesser known location.

My process was simple, I would wait ten minutes and collect everything I could from the game chat in the starting area called Goldshire. What I found was that the chat became flooded with “e-rhetoric.” That being a sort of quasi-text language that consisted mainly of “GG” and a few less appropriate terms. Fortunately, being a video game enthusiast myself, I came into this activity with a rough estimate of the type of language that I would encounter. Due to that fact that World of Warcraft’s in-game chat is just a series of text messages that are public to the local players, it is easy to get lost in its disjointed nature. Insults are considered commonplace in this environment, however when I went to another location, I found quite the opposite. My second subject was in a smaller town called Moonbrook. I found that in this location, there was far less activity in the chat. This could likely be attributed to the smaller population of players in the town. In this chat, as opposed to Goldshire’s, the individuals who inhabited the area tended to not engage in the chats frequently. In the rare case that the players in Moonbrook actually type in the chat it tended to be the same type of rhetoric.

 

 

 

Qualitative Observation and Analysis of the Post-Cataclysm Gnome Starting Area in World of Warcraft

Josh Foreman

Joel Weiss

Research Question:

How are introductory areas designed to introduce players to the game?

 

Introductory Area Studied:

Gnome Starting Area (as of 4/10/2019)

 

Field Notes (taken by Joel Weiss):

Notes taken in italics are recorded after observation and cross-checked with video recording of the starting zone.

    Intro cinematic, skippable

First start with interacting with npc to get quest, teaches player basics of interacting with other

Have to return to quest giver to complete quest

characters (looking at stats, accepting quests, etc.)

Start out with combat, learn how to use sword(warrior) and fight easy to beat enemies

Next start “rescue” of others, teaches player how to navigate map, find objectives, and use items

(teleport stone)

Must use a vehicle to decontaminate yourself

Then navigate your way through to where you need to be cleaned off for a virus, then teleported to the surface

Once on surface you must look for spare parts to build a robot

Forces you to explore surface to see scope of world and learn to navigate a larger map

Once you find your objective, more combat

Multiple quest givers in the area at the same time.

Must explore “toxic airfield” to find objective

Must look for certain items and return them to specific npcs

Then do two quests at once for a single npcs

Two quests were from same person at same time instead of having to find 2 separate npcs.

 

Summary of Findings:

Our research question was: how does an introductory scenario such as the gnome starting area teach players how to deal with advanced game concepts that will come up later? We gathered our data by creating new gnome characters and going through the game introduction.

Each introductory area begins with a skippable cinematic. This is done to expose the player to the current situation within the area as well as the characteristics of the Gnome race. The Gnome area is notable as the player starts en media res as the player escapes the contaminated area. The ambiance in the area is therefore hectic and adds a sense of urgency to the introduction.

The player starts in a cramped room, with a quest giver and some other non-dialogue NPC’s, non-player-controlled characters. This makes it clear that the player should now talk to the quest giver, who tells the player to clear the enemies blocking the path out of the room. This action introduces the player to a few simple elements: simple linear movement and single enemy fighting. The player is also assisted by a few of the NPC’s in the room. The quest gives more information to the player than the action, however. It begins a very simple introduction to the minimap as well as the quest tracking interface, both of which will be explored in the very next quest. The most important concept shown to players here is backtracking. Once the player finishes the objective for the first quest they must return to the quest giver to complete it, something that comes up very often in World of Warcraft.

The second quest given requires the player to go into a larger room and use an item to rescue other gnomes, which allows the player to learn how to explore and use quest items on objectives as well as become more familiar with the minimap. When this is completed and the player returns to the quest giver they are once again sent on another quest, this time to find a Gnome quite a bit away from the player. Here a player unfamiliar with minimaps or 3D environments can accustom themselves to the experience without combat constantly keeping most of their attention. This quest leads to another, which requires the player to enter a vehicle, in order to sanitize the character. This is done quite comedically, with the character being strung along a car wash inspired cleaning mechanism. The game mechanics involved are not complex, with the player only needing to click on the vehicle to enter then press W to move forward down the ‘car wash’ line. Later on in World of Warcraft, this mechanic is expanded heavily, such that players must combat enemies, dodge attacks, seize objectives, and even siege objectives. After the player is cleaned they finally leave the introduction area by teleporting out after talking to another NPC, thus ending the Gnome starting area.

Qualitative research 1

The question I collected data for was what type of people are around the Thunder Bluff bank and auction area. The data collected was level, if they were riding a mount, approximate time spent at the location. The most common characters to enter these areas seemed to be high level players, almost every player that came to the auction house were over level 100. In conjunction with this all but 2 of the characters either where on amount during their time spent at the auction house or used one shortly after finishing business. During most people’s stay they seem to be rather intrenched in their individual game, not even really paying attention to their surrounds such as other players. However, as an outliner a couple of the level 120’s who noticed that my character wasn’t moving and decided to gawk. They did not move, with their characters pointed at, until just after I jumped making it a relatively safe bet that the investigating me. This may be because I was the one person around the auction house and really the area around (except for the standing NPC’s) and even though the rest of the players didn’t notice much around them these two seemed to recognize something out of the ordinary.

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