With the rise and popularity of multiplayer games over the last two decades, the industry has created new games that catered to the taste and preferences of game players in different age groups. Likewise, as these games allow players to cooperate and compete against each other from different boundaries, there is now a rising concern of whether the game creates benefits to players or only serves as addiction to those who engage in such activities. Due to this, it is important to determine the scope and challenges surrounding massive multiplayer games to actively decipher appropriate strategies for further development.
Understanding the Concept Looking at it, the term multiplayer games denotes from the ability of one player to actively take part in a video game together with patrons around the world in a simultaneous manner. ). These games allow players to cooperate and compete against each other on a large scale, often with other players around the world. It is a natural evolution to gaming with the widespread use of the internet that has opened up a global community. As far as the overall process is concerned, for players to participate in these games, you must first purchase the game and then pay a monthly fee to play to compete in the game.
MMORP games that make the most money are those that keep people subscribed or buying new items for several consecutive months. The explosion in popularity and sales has drawn a much closer look into the attraction of gaming and its effect on game players. Consequently, there is a renewed interest in finding out the relevant effect of this activity particularly among gamers themselves. This has sparked the interest of researchers and everyone wanting to know what the craze is all about. Is it an addiction, or are there real benefits that draw the player in to these games?
On one hand, we can see that these people to gain experience and recognition for their work. At the same time, it opens up the foundations of reaching out to individuals in different cultures with the game as a medium. However, that is precisely what draws the gamer in; it separates them from the real world. It is easy to understand the allure of MMOG’s on gamers. They take place in a separate universe, and you can create a character for yourself that is exactly the person you want to be. This game universe has it own rules, culture, and society of people with all kinds of interactions taking place.
The possibilities for exploration are unlimited and there are no physical consequences to your actions. What do studies say? Relating this to research and studies, a 2007 Harris Interactive poll of 1,187 youths aged 8-18 gathered detailed data on youth opinions about video game play. About 81% of youths stated that they played video games at least once per month. Furthermore, the average playing time varied by age and sex, from 8 hours per week (responses from teen girls) to 14 hours per week (responses by teen boys).
Teens (8-12 year olds) fell in the middle, with boys averaging 13 hours per week of reported game-play, and girls averaging 10. Harris concludes that 8. 5% can be classified as pathological or clinically ‘addicted’ to playing video games. (Harris Interactive) Dr. Douglas Gentile, Director of the Media Research Lab at Iowa State University and the director of research for the National Institute on Media and the Family, states, “It is important that people realize that playing a lot is not the same thing as pathological play. For something to be an addiction, it has to mean more than you do it a lot.
It has to mean that you do it in such a way that it damages your life. This is why we based our definition on how pathological gambling is diagnosed in the DSM-IV. Almost one out of every ten youth gamers shows enough symptoms of damage to their school, family, and psychological functioning to merit serious concern. ” (Harris Interactive) Lastly, to Dr. Suzanne Martin, Youth and Education Researcher at Harris Interactive, “The prevalence of video gaming in youth culture in combination with this level of pathological video gaming is great cause for concern and highlights the need for further research in this arena.
” Gamers who were surveyed and classified as pathological were receiving lower grades in schools than their peers, were more likely to have video game systems in their bedrooms (65%), were spending much more time playing games each week (averaging 24. 5 hours per week), and were also more likely to have been diagnosed with an attention deficit problem. (Harris Interactive) Analysis The Harris Interactive report seems to indicate a considerable amount of usage among children and tweens; but does not indicate that it is a cause of the games themselves.
A deeper look into other factors associated with gamers needs to be considered. Do these children or tweens spend more time at home because of both parents work schedules? Is there a correlation to the household income and the affordability of the games that makes them more accessible and appealing? Is there a correlation to the popularity of a video/media culture so much more accessible to children now that also plays an influence? There is apparently cause for some concern; but a deeper look in the other factors needs to be considered before a judgment can be Evaluation
Evaluating these studies, it can be argued that there are indeed positive and negative consequences that can be deciphered as far as massive multiplayer games are concerned. Looking at it in a constructive manner, this process creates opportunities for players to discover and enhance their creativity within the specific game and platform. Moreover, it extracts the necessary skills needed in either to solve a quest or achieve a common goal. This in turn allows them to expand on their capabilities and create outcomes that will enhance their cognitive capabilities.
On the other hand, there are also negative consequences of too much exposure in this area. In here, individuals can get addicted in the process and create a world of their own. Seeing this, players alienate themselves towards reality as they become immersed with the game they are involved in. Such idea can generate negative consequences psychologically, physically, and socially. Seeing this, it is then essential that a form of consensus and control be initiated in the process.
This means that parents must actively create methods that will allow their children not only to immerse in such activity but also give them other options to consider. Though we may not be able to take away these things to children, having a specific playing time can encourage them to explore other possibilities available for them. By doing this, players can maximize the benefits of the game they play and limiting the possibilities of addiction that may be incurred during the process.
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