Enjoyment or Engagement? Role of Social Interaction in Playing Massively Mulitplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGS)
Based on data collected through 40 in-depth interviews, it is found that (a) the balance between perceived challenges and skills, and (b) the types of in-game social interactions can both facilitate and impede the enjoyment of game playing. Through these two factors, a conclusive link was also found between game enjoyments and a gamer’s engagement level. Engaged gamers experience optimal enjoyment more frequently and value the importance of social interactions more than non-engaged gamers. In addition, game enjoyment can be enhanced through game design and it can also be adversely affected by real world contextual factors and technical difficulties. More importantly, the study underlines the importance of social interaction. Social interaction is the key factor that determines the level of engagement of gamers. For engaged gamers, social interaction is essential in this gaming experience. For non-engaged gamers, social interaction is not important and they have little tolerance of negative social interaction within the game.
KeywordsMMORPG engagement enjoyment
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