Good morning fellow TAY-ers! It's time again for this week's For Science!!! Last week, we explored the social aspect of MMOs and the effects they have on players. This week, we will be delving into your character, toon or avatar in which you use in MMOs and why it lends itself to the addictive nature of these games. Grab your clipboards and lets get right to it! You can read the first part here and the second part here.
Have you ever wondered why subscription games eventually allow for trials that allow you to play to certain levels? For example, you can play to the first 20 levels in World of Warcraft. That's rather generous of them, don't you think? I mean, your average good-natured (read: entrepreneur) drug dealer will always give you your first taste free, right? Wrong! These companies know for a fact that you as the consumer will begin to associate yourself with your in game persona normally around level 10 and will become much more devoted towards level 20. There have been studies on this subject for quite some time. Normally, it's a mixture of time investment, self-portrayed character quirks and enjoying the class that you are playing.
There is also the question of gender reassignment for your avatar. While many male players will play female characters, the same is not always true for the real-life female counterpart. Why is this? Well, for starters, males are more visually inclined for association and since you'll be staring at the backside of your avatar for the remainder of your play, some feel the need to stare at something that pleases them aesthetically, i.e the behind of a female character.
That wraps it up for the multi-part session of MMO Addiction. There's other factors of course that were not discussed in this series, but I feel I touched on the main driving points.
As always, feel free to leave your comments below. Also, if you have any suggestions on articles you would like research done on let me know.