World of Warcraft could help develop positive traits, study

“Stop playing that stupid video game and do something productive.” A usual phrase heard from concern parents to their youngsters being addicted to that video game. Don’t get me wrong, of course anything that is too much is really bad, and I am not patronizing that game as well, but setting all aside, there was a study conducted to check whether this game, could help develop positive traits among its players.

A new study led by Dr. Nathan Weidner, assistant professor of psychological science at Missouri University of Science and Technology found that World of Warcraft (WoW) gamers who were successful working as a team in the “game raids” had qualities that could be translated from virtual unrealistic game environment to a real world workplaces.

These qualities include what psychologists call the Big Five personality traits – extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism, as well as computer-mediated communication skills and technology readiness.

World of Warcraft is the world’s most-subscribed massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), with over 10 million subscribers. After creating a character, players explore an almost limitless virtual landscape. They complete quests and fight monsters, all while interacting and working with characters controlled by other players key aspect to the study.

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The researchers conducted a survey among 288 World of Warcraft gamers. Those surveyed were diverse in age, race, sex, class, occupation and location. The participants are playing world of Warcraft for eight hours on the average per week and has a regular work. The study asked about 140 questions on motivation, communication skills, preferences for teamwork, and personality, with most questions relating to the Big Five personality traits.

The team surveyed 288 players of the game’s fifth expansion set, Warlords of Draenor. They compared players survey answers to their character’s statistics. A player’s group achievement points indicate how much group gameplay they’ve participated in, and how successful it has been, says a graduate student in industrial-organizational psychology who compiled data for the study. Short’s research team is led by Dr. Nathan Weidner, assistant professor of psychological science at Missouri S&T.

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According to Elizabeth Short, one of the researchers stated in a published press released “What we wanted to look at was virtual teamwork and what kind of characteristics a person had in-game that would translate to real life and to their workplace.”

See also: Videogame power harnessed for positive goals

According to the result of the study, World of Warcraft team player achievements and the personality traits of the players are statistically significant. One of the strongest correlations the team found was in terms of technology readiness.

“The more technologically ready a player is, the more resilient, more adaptable and has higher achievement points in World of Warcraft. You could flip that,” Short says to reflect to their virtual communication teams and workplaces.”

Short was also an avid player of World of Warcraft , she was naturally shy and introvert, but through World of Warcraft it help her figure out the language of life, and her social confidence grew.

“I loved WoW and I played it constantly,” she says. “Then I started college, and being able to use some of the things I learned in World of Warcraft, like talking and communicating with people during raids, helped me socially in school.”

Short hopes that through the study, more gamers will find that their World of Warcraft confidence can be converted into the real world positive traits that help them improve their lives.

“I like the idea that there are aspects of gaming that may help and strengthen a person’s skills, knowledge and abilities, and could be converted to contribute into their real life workplaces,” she says. “If it helped me personally, I wanted to see if the World of Warcraft will also be able to contribute on the player’s workplaces.


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