Author Archive

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.


Darnassus Observations

I decided to observe the behavior of characters in Darnassus because it was the only major city around my area but it is usually relatively empty, so I wanted to know what it was that players did when they would visit.  The first player I observed was a level 17 night elf mage that I first noticed when coming out of the Temple of the Moon. She went directly to her guild box and spent about three minutes there. Next, she went to the bankers and spent approximately four minutes with them. Then she ran to the inscription trainer, interacted with him for a few seconds and logged out of the game.

The second player that I observed was a level 24 worgen druid. He spent approximately three minutes to repair his armor in the Craftsman district of the city and then logged out.

Both players that I observed were only taking care of basic housekeeping type actions.

Night Elf Ideology

The race of night elves in World of Warcraft is ancient and steeped in tradition. Night elves are very in-tune with nature and magic, ignoring much of the technology that is prominent among the other races in the Alliance. Their armor, even when at higher levels, is primarily leather and cloth, reflecting their reliance on magic and the natural world as opposed to industry and metalworking. In ancient times, the night elf empire dominated most of the world, but a faction of Highborne started to become obsessed with arcane magic and expanding their empire. They invited the Burning Legion to Azeroth to “bless” their race and eradicate the others. Other night elves, including the first druid, banned together to stop the Burning Legion. Later, the uncorrupted night elves, humbled by their experience, lived in relative peace and isolation, embracing druidism and nature. They are polytheistic, but revere Elune, the moon goddess, above all others. The focal point of their capitol city, Darnassus, is the Temple of the Moon, dedicated to Elune and occupied by the Sisters of Elune priestesses. The night elves enjoy peace and slow to anger, but are a fierce and unforgiving enemy once provoked.



World of Warcraft Addiction

There is evidence that would suggest that the popular MMO, World of Warcraft, can cause addiction. In a 2010 study that surveyed World of Warcraft players on the addictive nature of the game, addiction is defined as “games’ interfering with other activities, especially socializing or work” (Oggins, Sammis, p. 210). Oggins and Sammis (2010) make the claim that addiction correlated positively with playing to escape problems in real life (p. 4). The results of the study found that “over 40% [of the 438 respondents] reported being addicted to video games” (Oggins, Sammis, p. 223). A related study based on the MMO EverQuest found that players who were addicted to gaming exhibited similar behavior to individuals addicted to alcohol or gambling (Chappell, Eatough, Davies, Griffiths, 2006, p. 205). According to Carol Pinchefsky in her article on Geek and Sundry, MMO games such as World of Warcraft along with FPS games are the most addicting and that people “play MMOs four times more often than other games” (“Uh-Oh: Science Says MMO And FPS Games Attract More Addictive Players”). The evidence makes a strong case that World of Warcraft is a game that has the potential to be addictive to some individuals.


Oggins, J., & Sammis, J. (2012). Notions of video game addiction and their relation to self-reported addiction among players of World of Warcraft. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction10(2), 210-230.

Chappell, D., Eatough, V., Davies, M. N., & Griffiths, M. (2006). EverQuest—It’s just a computer game right? An interpretative phenomenological analysis of online gaming addiction. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction4(3), 205-216.

Pinchefsky, C. Uh-Oh: Science Says MMO And FPS Games Attract More Addictive Players. Geek and Sundry, 2016,


What server are you on/planning to be on?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...