The Nexus of Group Dynamics and Personality in FPSG

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Serials Publications Pvt. Ltd.

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International Review of Comparative Sociology





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The exponential growth of computer technology in the past decade has given rise to highly complex, immersive video games. In recent years, there has been growing concern over the effects of these games. Unfortunately, there is relatively sparse research on the social groups that form around these games. For our study, we conducted an Internet survey (n=70) of online players in a First Person Shooter Game (FPSG). Our initial results are similar to previous studies which examined this genre of video game. The majority of our smaple can be describes as young men (90 per cent male; mean age 22.4) who invest at least several hours a day for gaming (about 2.25 hours). With regard to group dynamics, 84 per cent of respondents identified themselves as members of a clan (i.e., a primary group of FPSG), and 72 per cent of respondents play in leagues (competitive tournaments). We found that participation in thes virtual groups is a significant predictor of social interaction. We also found that the level of social interaction significantly predicts the amount of daily time investment (compared to other motivational factors). The second part of our study examined subjective well-being. We were unable to find any evidence that time investment leads to a reduction in global life satisfaction. However, we did discover that personality (extraversion-introversion) does predict life satisfaction. This is contrary to the psychological literature where introversion is correlated with a lower life satisfaction. We theorize that introverts (in our sample) score higher due to their participation in virtual groups of FPSG. Our data does offer some support for this conclusion. The level of introversion was strongly correlated with community involvement and group homophily.

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