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Calling all MMO players! Please read!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Off-Topic
Calling all MMO players! Please read!

Meshky's Avatar


Meshky
03.26.2014 , 05:21 PM | #1
Alright, I'm doing a pilot study on social anxiety among online gamers. Don't be alarmed, I'm not pushing to get significant results supporting the claim that there is a link between the two; personally, I'm completely neutral on this. Even if I do find a significant result for social anxiety levels, it still doesn't mean online gaming is what's causing it. In a nutshell, unlike many studies out there, this one is not biased or designed to trash video-games and gamers.

So please participate and answer as honestly as possible. It won't take more than a few minutes of your time and your results will be automatically and anonymously recorded. If, on top of that, you distribute the link to other players, I will adore you forever!

Click here to start!

Saix's Avatar


Saix
03.26.2014 , 05:38 PM | #2
Nice little study, I definitely will take any of these people offer, as I'm glad to contribute to academic pursuits. I'm going to pass this along to my guildies and friends to take.
Qorthon Lertxundi- Corellian Jedi Master - Guardian
Doctor Jurric Lertxundi - Sawbones Scoundrel
Lunix-kai - Sith Lord - Marauder
Lt. Aitor Lertxundi - Helix Squad - Vanguard

Meshky's Avatar


Meshky
03.26.2014 , 06:00 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Saix View Post
Nice little study, I definitely will take any of these people offer, as I'm glad to contribute to academic pursuits. I'm going to pass this along to my guildies and friends to take.
Thank you so much, that's amazing! :-)

Saix's Avatar


Saix
03.26.2014 , 06:05 PM | #4
Incoming post from the wife. She actually has a lot to say about this.
Qorthon Lertxundi- Corellian Jedi Master - Guardian
Doctor Jurric Lertxundi - Sawbones Scoundrel
Lunix-kai - Sith Lord - Marauder
Lt. Aitor Lertxundi - Helix Squad - Vanguard

lhuniellertxundi's Avatar


lhuniellertxundi
03.26.2014 , 06:10 PM | #5
Interesting. I wanted to give you a quick shout to let you know I did take the test and my thoughts about the study.

Having just finished up yet another psychology class (WHY they make finance majors take psychology rather than ethics in its place, I have no idea) I do notice that links between actions and tendencies are a lot stronger than people realize. I also think, though, that maybe the links aren't as direct as some people (i.e., the parents you mentioned in the front explanation page) might perhaps want them to be.

It seems to me that rather than online gaming being the direct contributor to social tendencies in either direction, it's a situation where people are more likely to choose online gaming per their social tendencies, and choose the way in which they play games online per their social tendencies. I can't speak for everyone, of course, but for myself, I'm not completely anti-social, but as a general rule I don't associate with people in my geographical location as a whole. There's only so much narrow-mindedness I can handle before I start getting irritated, and with a temper like mine, I should probably avoid social situations out here. Rural, Small Town USA doesn't really offer me anything on a social level. When I move back into the city, that will probably change. In this area, racism and severe social conservatism run rampant. I'm neither racist nor conservative when it comes to society, and so I don't really relate to the people around whom I live.

So, I game online. It's a means to get a bit of community, and to hang out with people whose company I enjoy. I get the best of both worlds this way: I get to have the social environment without having to bundle up in like, three parkas, scrape ice off the car, drive x amount of miles of country road, just to arrive someplace and have to repeat the process to go back home. Let's face it. Who doesn't want to stay home in their warm pajamas when it's in the negative temperatures outside? Makes sense to me.

For practicality's sake, gas is expensive. Social ventures (bars, clubs, etc) are also ridiculously expensive. Online gaming can get expensive but it doesn't have to be. Also, it's not like I can take care of a household and go club-hopping every night. To me, this is a win-win.

Perhaps the problem we're seeing is a clash between Type A personalities and Type B personalities. The world seems to be more accepting of people who are extroverted than people who are introverted. High school is a great example of that. The extrovert with mediocre grades will often receive more positive reinforcement than the introvert with stellar grades who prefers to speak to no one, or at least to just a select few.

I always reference "Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto" by Anneli Rufus to explain what the difference is between introversion and extroversion from the position of the introvert. I know that in my case, I prefer to be in control of my social situations, and online gaming presents a level of environmental control that otherwise wouldn't exist--like the "ignore" feature for example.

I'm glad that the link between social anxiety and online gaming is being studied. It's high time that raw data is collected and processed to establish both links where they exist and to get rid of false presumptions that likely exist. Maybe then, the parents who have issues with the concept of online gaming will begin to realize that in many cases, it's really not so bad.

(Side note: How is online gaming any worse than being stuck in front of a TV for hours a day? I don't quite get the difference there...)

Saix's Avatar


Saix
03.26.2014 , 06:15 PM | #6
I'm an INTJ personality. I scored 100% introvert. I honestly prefer in many ways to communicate with people in non-physical ways, as I do not enjoy many of the norms of face-to-face contact, such as eye contact, and especially touch. Using text and voice chat options allows me to be a bit more open with people than I usually am. I will honestly say that my aversion to social interactions is based more on annoyance with these "Type A personalities" than anxiety, though.
Qorthon Lertxundi- Corellian Jedi Master - Guardian
Doctor Jurric Lertxundi - Sawbones Scoundrel
Lunix-kai - Sith Lord - Marauder
Lt. Aitor Lertxundi - Helix Squad - Vanguard

lhuniellertxundi's Avatar


lhuniellertxundi
03.26.2014 , 06:26 PM | #7
@Saix: Exactly.

To me it's the fact that I don't like people all up in my face. Yet, so many Type A personalities do indeed seem to think that such behavior is not only acceptable, but mandatory. Society seems to have the belief that if a person wants to be alone, regardless of the situation (over-stimulation or sensory overload are usually my reasons), there's a reason to be suspicious of that person. Look at how the heightened state of paranoia stemming from school shootings and attacks triggered the making of "black lists" by administrators in schools, intended to single out the "loners" who would be "most likely" to attack a school. My ex husband was one of those students who were singled out, years ago, and yet, he's never been harmful to anyone except in the case of self-defense. Why? Because apparently, if anyone deviates from the status quo, they're suspicious, they're hiding something. It's just the way things have become.

It's a shame; introverts do have things to offer the world, too. We just prefer to do so more quietly.

Meshky's Avatar


Meshky
03.26.2014 , 07:16 PM | #8
Thank you everybody for taking time to explain your thoughts, it was very interesting to read! You all touch on quite a few important things, some of which I have mentioned and some that I haven't. I wonít simply repeat everything you said and there is a lot to say, but Iím going to talk about just a little more about my reasons for doing this. First and foremost, in my opinion, online games plus social anxiety does not simply equal online games causing social anxiety; the purpose of this particular pilot study is to find out if a correlation exists in the first place (Iím using the word correlation loosely here; I will be using different statistical methods). Iím also interested in whether or not socially interactive gameplay has a role to play in lower [or indeed higher] anxiety levels. Of course, merely finding the above wonít tell us everything. Iím more interested in what comes afterwards.

Letís assume that there is a positive effect. There will still be questions to answer; perhaps heavy online gameplay does not cause social anxiety, but any isolated and repeated task does (I mean physical social isolation). Perhaps itís the other way around: people who for any reason are uncomfortable in the company of others around them, focus on repeated and isolated tasks (e.g. online gaming, watching TV, reading books etc) to entertain themselves. Or maybe online gaming IS in fact the odd one out, but because it incorporates a virtual world which is an alternative and much more accepting environment to be in, often due to equality between races, genders etc, character (virtual Self) customisability, and indeed the fact that you can Ďignoreí arsehats with a click of a button and get them out of your life; therefore it is a more attractive [or even addictive] thing to do. Maybe online gaming should be seen as a safe haven for people with introverted personality types and/or those with social anxiety, rather than a cause of it. There will be more aspects to it and more views to take into account.

I think as virtual technology develops and the online-gamer age range widens, and indeed more female gamers join their male counterparts, online gaming will become a much bigger force and one that has to be taken more seriously (like television or cinema). Also with the range of social and mental problems manifesting themselves through social media, I think parents, teachers and researchers will find it more and more difficult to blame everything on online gaming.

Itís too early to say which direction the study will take after this pilot, but I can assure you, Iím not looking to please anybody, be it parents, teachers or indeed gamers; Iím only trying to look at things as objectively as possible and without a simple cause=>effect mind-set.

lhuniellertxundi's Avatar


lhuniellertxundi
03.27.2014 , 03:26 PM | #9
Oh my god. Just---oh my god. I cannot love your explanation and your theories enough.

You seemed to hint at the simple truth that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different variables which can dictate the direction of the correlation between online gaming and social anxiety. I like how you mentioned social media and such. It sort of manages to inadvertently drive home what I've been saying for a long time: the world is no worse than it was a hundred years ago, there is simply an unprecedented level of transparency with the advent of internet presence. There is also this vicious thing that happens online--and I've witnessed it firsthand--where people honestly feel safer behind their computer screens, where they can say and do awful things...and then log out and those things are all gone. I've seen it happen in chat rooms, on forums, and yes, even in online games. It lends a very scary glimpse into the average human psyche because (arguably) as a whole, we're seeing more people engage in "cyber-bullying" than face-to-face bullying.

I'm very, very interested in seeing what your results ultimately are and your analysis of that data. Please do keep me posted, this is one of the most excellent social experiments I've ever seen to date.
Co-Founder of the current VNV and VeNoM.

Red_rocks's Avatar


Red_rocks
03.27.2014 , 03:46 PM | #10
You need to a question in there to ask if you had social anxiety issues before you started playing online games. I know I did. Its why I socialize online and not in person.