Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Electronic Media, Video Games, Online Games, World of Warcraft, Uses and Gratifications, Virtual Environments
Gibson, Timothy Patrick, "Designed for Play: A Case Study of Uses and Gratifications as Design Elements in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games" (2008). Masters Theses. 29.
The World of Warcraft is a paid electronic experience known as a Massively Online Role Playing Game. Since its creation, this video game has attracted over ten million subscribers. A broad question asked why this massive amount of people would join this online environment. The researcher proposed that developers of the game designed certain uses and gratifications into the online environment and that these elements could be observed through a participant observation methodology. Four uses and gratifications were singled out for observation including interactivity, asynchroniety, demassification, and community. The work reports the observations of the uses and gratifications through the eyes of the researcher within the game’s environment. It also discusses the possibility of something deeper and darker that may attract the player to the game. Finally, it lays the foundation for future researchers to explore these observations in future studies.