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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Apr 22nd 2011 8:07PM Twitchy5 said

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#$%^ yea, undead,

Posted: Apr 22nd 2011 9:46PM Amaxe said

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""challenges the rather persistent view of the computer game enthusiast as a lone figure with only a flickering screen for company.""

Not at all true of course. They're perfectly ready to communicate with fellow players with "WTF n00b. L2P FFS!"

;-)

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 1:38AM Faction 3 said

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What better place to research and analyze Social Interaction skills than the bonafide cesspool of the Internet: The WoW Community.

I smell a Pulitzer Prize in this guys future....

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 5:17AM Dril said

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@Faction 3

Yeah, upvote for hating on WoW, man. Way to go! Rocking the foundations!

Also: he could've used 4chan...now that would be interesting.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 4:06AM Titula said

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Am I really reading "social skills" and WoW in the same sentence?

Geezus so that's how a "serious" swedish academic is wasting its time and public funding, by plunging into the most hateful and immature on-line community of all times and writing down his revelations in a thesis.

We absolutely need more scientists like him.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 4:20AM Addfwyn said

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@Titula I've seen way worse social communities than WoW, and it's not the first thesis that has been written about wow or other games. EVE (speaking of hostile communities by the way) has long attracted a lot of academics, particularly for economic papers.

Economic papers have been written about wow and other MMOs as well, and I don't think think this is the first ethnologue on WoW either. As an anthropologist myself, I see nothing wrong with this. It's a community like any other, and worthy of study. Even if it were the most hateful community of all time, that'd actually make the thesis that much more interesting I feel.

I know Umea University, though I've never heard anything from their social science program, but it's a relatively reputable university that wouldn't be tossing around funding for something it didn't think was a worthwhile pursuit.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 5:25AM Dril said

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@Titula

You haven't been around the internet much, have you? There's a huge bevvy of places that are more hateful and ignorant, including but not limited to:

-the MMORPG.com forums in certain threads
-/b/ (that's 4chan)
-every console FPS (apart from MAG)
-League of Legends PvP matches
-F2P PvP MMOs
-The Sun's website

The list goes on.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 4:27PM Faction 3 said

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@Dril How many of those boast the numbers that WoW has to make a proper thesis?

Im sure all those game categories you just named off have less than WoWs subscriber base combined. Individually probably have less than 1 WoW server...

Don't be scared to call WoWs community for what it really is: The Internets Septic Tank. Even if you are a part of it. Which is obvious.
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Posted: Apr 24th 2011 12:26AM mysecretid said

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@Faction 3

There's an old saying "Know your enemy well, for that is what you will become".

You were making a reasonable case for your point of view, but then you had to close out with an ad hominem attack on Dril.

... just like someone on the WoW forums would do.
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Posted: Apr 26th 2011 2:24PM freebase said

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@mysecretid

and you just called him a homo.

pot meet kettle
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 5:40AM michaelg said

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I would say the best game to look into social skills would be eve online, maybe not so much for HS but if you work out in 0.0 or deep WH corp you need to work together with people, you need the skills to interacte and gettin people talking and working together to get the best

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 7:14AM Drunken Irish Sniper said

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I wasn't aware there was much social anything left in WoW.

Blizz took out questing hubs where players meet and spread out the quests so that you will rarely see anyone, and the phasing makes it even harder to see anyone.

Unless you go to a major city and can put up with the children acting out for attention or get a good guild you won't find anyone to even talk to.

I'm curious if he just watched trade chat for his research.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 7:56AM Averice said

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@Drunken Irish Sniper

Yeah, I agree. Just chiming in to join in with the WoW bash.

Besides that, I agree with his findings. It's really not that hateful a place 0_o I don't know why people find it hateful. You have a few loud mouths that are spamming stuff, but that doesn't make the entire game hateful, it's no different from other anonymous internet hate speech that happens outside of WoW.

Online gaming can definitely help people fine tune their social skills (Some people are without hope ofc). Whether or not that's better than just people talking more in general? I kind of doubt.

Social skills development, which is what he was looking at, can occur naturally over time, or can be boosted through increased interaction with other people. It doesn't take a scientist to see that if you put people into a game like WoW, where they're interacting with other people basically throughout most of their free time, essentially interacting with people much more often than a person would without WoW in their lives, their social skills will develop faster. It does take a scientist to write a scientific paper about it though.

Not to mention the benefit of team based communication, as opposed to drunken sports watching communication.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 7:43AM Dumac said

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I think he is just guilty he spent so much time playing the game and wanted an excuse for it so he wrote a paper about the obvious.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 1:36PM PhelimReagh said

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@Dumac

This. WoW was the least social experience I've ever had.
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Posted: Apr 24th 2011 12:30AM mysecretid said

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@Dumac

I wondered this myself. I was in academia myself, once upon a time, and I saw people trying to figure ways to turn their interests into a passable thesis. Killing to birds with one stone, as the saying goes ...
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Posted: Apr 24th 2011 12:30AM mysecretid said

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@mysecretid

"two birds" even. Sheesh.
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Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 7:46AM BenFoard said

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Social ... WOW.....Never! Lol ;)

http://bensgeekythoughts.blogspot.com/

Posted: Apr 24th 2011 1:58PM Sukiyaki said

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Research on the developement of "social skills"

in WoW...?

He could aswell start a reseach on plankton in the outer stratosphere.

Posted: Apr 23rd 2011 10:59AM SgtBaker1234556 said

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Can't be arsed to read the articles, but surely no one would make a social study of the community as whole. It would be as giving as trying to write a paper about the comment sections of any tabloid paper.

There's plenty of "social skills" involved in any MMO when it comes to interactions in guilds/corps/clans etc. Studying those skills are probably worth a paper.


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