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.


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