Better Citizenship Through WoW?

February 11, 2009 -

Can playing World of Warcraft make you a better citizen of the real world?

Perhaps.

A study by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Constance Steinkuehler found that WoW players were more likely to listen to and reason things out with their fellow Azeroth residents.

Steinkuehler spoke on the benefits of digital worlds at a museum in Madison last night. As reported by the Capital Times, her remarks included:

Learning how to navigate [the online world's] diversity is "in the big scheme of life" about citizenship, she said...

Video games... push social norms and practices because those things are necessary to succeed at highly complex MMOGs like World of Warcraft, Steinkuehler said...

 

Her work included analysis of message boards where World of Warcraft players get together... She found that 65 percent of the discussion was "evaluative" vs. 30 percent "absolutist" -- "My idea is right and not open to discussion" -- and 5 percent "relative" -- it's just opinion and no one is right.

In contrast, she said studies have found that the U.S. population is only 15 percent evaluative, 50 percent absolutist and 35 percent relativist...

Steinkuehler likened the efforts of gamers to President Obama's neighbor-to-neighbor tool where, for example, volunteers surveyed their neighborhoods and updated the campaign's database.


Comments

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

I can't agree that the official WoW message boards are that hospitable.  It's filled with trolls, flamers and flamebaiters- just like any loosely moderated forum on the Internet.

I also think her analysis is flawed.  She is taking her numbers only from the people who actively participate in discussions- thus, she sees a lot of people willing to talk and listen: the evaluatives, with the only absolutists and relativists she's seeing and using in her study being the vocal ones.

She has to consider that those two latter viewpoints are likely to simply not say anything, especially on Internet forums.  For her study to be accurate, she has to follow up on those who only read through threads without posting anything and try to get their actual opinions.

Furthermore, an MMO like WoW is a naturally evaluative environment.  Most of the discussion is about gameply, strategy, tactics- what works and what doesn't in the game.  Most of the dissent can easily be empirically tested out in the game.  And since it's a computer game, there's also math that can be checked and followed to prove or disprove one's point.

This is a far cry from the full range of human opinion, which includes religion, politics, morality, etc. where such things cannot be determined by experimentation and objective analysis.

As a PC gamer and WoW player, it's nice to hear good news, but even that should be taken with a grain of salt.

As for Barrens and Trade Chat, I just ignore it as much as I can, trying to focus only on stuff that's relevant- helpful info or opportunities for commerce.  But it can be pretty hard not to notice the crap that usually goes on in there.  Even the serious discussions can be painful.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

She apparently hasn't been to the Barrens Chat...or Trade chat.  I mentioned on a previous article the anal epidemic that struck the trade chat (and thus trading stopped...not that there wasn't much trading going on in the first place).

there's also the amount of people complaining about being nerfed or nerfing other classes, the amount of people calling each other names and the amount of useless chat that goes on.

 

This is why i stick to my guild chat.  Much more awesome and fun.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

And again, she used the MESSAGE BOARDS - not ingame chat.

And the former is arguably a much more hospitable place - even for the maturity (or lack of) of WoW's playerbase.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

"analysis of message boards"

So not the in-game chat.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

I agree with the biased comment. Who is back this study I wonder. Not to be overly paranoid, but honestly. This must be a bit of a stretch. From my personal experience studies need to be evaluated from a credibility perspective before they can be considered viable. I mean, I wish video gaming was going to make society a better place, but let's be honest. Well, perhaps the Wii is going to improve our world, but that isn't really a gaming machine. Is it???

I'm new!
My sites Dora The Explorer & Buy Tel Domain & Dot Tel Domain

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

Isn't it possible that WOW just attracts people who listen a little better or intend to work together. I mean most people I talk to who play MMOs join because there's other people there.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

I swore I read it as "Better censorship though WOW".....

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

Guess they don't take into account gen and trade chat spam. Had to turn every public channel off just to enjoy the expansion again.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

WTF? You make mention about Obama in article but if we dare to speak ill of Obama it cannot be posted? If you don't want people to mention your Lord God and Savior then maybe you shouldn't mention him by name of put at the bottom of the screen, thou shall not speak lords name (obama) in vain.

I smell bias

 

 

 

*SNIP*

EZK: Please Don't post off topic comments.

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

No, you were making an off topic post about the lack of obama themed games being reported on the site, while many republican themed games are being reported on.

Had you comment actually been pertenant to the mention of Obama in the article, I wouldn't have cared less if you were mentioned.

But as it stands, your post was a complete "Why aren't you posting what I think you should be posting" type comment.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

i take it she stayed out of trade chat (my guess is shes only talking about group chat)

Re: Better Citizenship Through WoW?

Eh, based on what I've seen, she must ignored 90% of the whining and complaining that normally goes on.

Side note, the title just made catchphrases from Starship Troopers flood through my mind.  "Service guarantees citizenship!"

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will limiting Steam services to accounts that have spent at least $5 eliminate spammers?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Mattsworknamei I hope there is, I love that series.04/25/2015 - 5:59pm
Matthew Wilson@matt I am sure there will never be a armored core game04/25/2015 - 5:24pm
Mattsworknameof From softwares recent games, bloodborne is the best work they have done yet, though they really need to get to work on armored core 604/25/2015 - 5:10pm
Matthew WilsonLost Kingdoms came out in 2002 this day. I played that game. I did not relize it was made by From Software. Lost Kingdoms was a good unique hard game.04/25/2015 - 4:56pm
MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician