Can Playing Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) Improve Older Adults’ Socio-Psychological Wellbeing?
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This study examined whether playing Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) improves older adults’ socio-psychological wellbeing. We analyzed the relationships of older adults’ social interactions in MMORPGs to three socio-psychological factors: loneliness, depression, and social support. Social interactions in MMORPGs were conceptualized into four components: communication methods, network level, enjoyment of relationships, and quality of guild play. A total of 222 respondents aged 55 years or more who played World of Warcraft (WoW) were recruited through an online survey. It was found that the biggest effect sizes of loneliness, depression, and social support were associated with enjoyment of relationships and quality of guild play. In addition, amount of gameplay had a little impact on older adults’ socio-psychological wellbeing. Therefore, the socio-psychological impacts of playing MMORPGs on older adults are much dependent on the enjoyment of relationships and quality of guild play.
KeywordsMMORPGs World of Warcraft Social interaction Older adults Wellbeing
We wish to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for the financial support to conduct this study.
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