This study employed the deindividuation theory to examine the four-category grief play motivations. The measure of players' immersion and anonymity were used as an approximation of the player's deindividuation effect. Data was compiled and analyzed from a survey conducted on 200 university student players. Overall, the results supported the deindividuation theory. Players who enjoyed anonymous identity online reported to enjoy all four-category motivations of grief playing. However, immersed players only reported to enjoy griefer-influenced and self-driven motivations of grief play. The results are presented and implications are discussed.
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... Given the increasing prevalence of multiplayer digital games as a leisure activity, in a context of decreasing social embeddedness, researchers have started to consider whether the social relationships that are established and enacted through digital games help or harm social aspects of wellbeing, including loneliness and feelings of isolation. Recent studies have demonstrated that digital games-played both in-person and online-can facilitate social interactions that are vital for our social well-being, for example, by connecting us to others (Dabbish, 2008;Hernandez et al., 2014), helping us maintain existing relationships (Wohn et al., 2011), facilitating trust development with strangers (Depping et al., 2016;Depping and Mandryk, 2017), and even combating loneliness (Depping et al., 2018); however, the same mechanics, games, and gaming contexts that foster social closeness in games can instead lead to toxic game environments (Chen et al., 2009;Kwak et al., 2015) or displace offline relationships (Zhong, 2011), resulting in feelings of social exclusion (Shores et al., 2014). ...
... Wellbeing can also be harmed through exposure to toxicity in online gaming, especially when players engage in anonymous and impersonal interactions. Toxic behavior in multiplayer games often takes the form of harassment through verbal abuse (Foo and Koivisto, 2004); however, toxicity is also expressed through any behavior that harms team cohesion, such as negative attitudes toward teammates, refusing to help your team, purposefully losing, or not participating (Chen et al., 2009;Kwak et al., 2015). Toxic behavior not only affects a player's game experience (Shores et al., 2014), but has been shown to thwart the development of in-game social capital (Depping et al., 2018), and also harm wellbeing by leading to depression, anxiety, and even suicide (Kwak et al., 2015). ...
Playing digital games can nurture wellbeing by helping players recover from daily stressors, cope with life's challenges, practice emotion regulation, and engage in meaningful social interaction; however, this same leisure activity can also result in problematic gaming (i.e., harmful play at the expense of healthy behaviors), and social isolation that damages wellbeing. Research consistently demonstrates that the value or harm of gaming on wellbeing cannot be determined solely from whether and how much people play, but rather depends on contingent factors related to the player, the game, and the gaming context. In this paper, we aim to model contingent factors that differentiate between beneficial and harmful outcomes within players of the same massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). We model how passion for gaming—defined as a strong desire to engage in a beloved activity that is enjoyed and valued, in which time and energy is invested, and that ultimately integrates into a person's identity—affects loneliness and wellbeing. We employ the dualistic model that divides passion into harmonious passion (HP)—characterized by a balanced and authentic relationship with the beloved activity, and obsessive passion (OP)—characterized by preoccupation and inflexible persistence toward the loved activity. We sampled 300 frequent World of Warcraft (WoW) players, recruited from online forums, and used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate the effects of their passion for playing WoW on in-game social capital, loneliness, and wellbeing. We demonstrate that HP for playing WoW facilitates in-game social capital (both bridging and bonding), combats loneliness, and increases wellbeing, whereas OP also builds social capital, but these social ties do not combat loneliness, and OP is directly associated with increased loneliness. Further, the positive effect of HP on wellbeing is mediated through an increase in bonding social capital and a resulting decrease in loneliness. Our findings highlight that passion orientation is important for characterizing the relationship between gaming and wellbeing. We contribute to the conversation on combating problematic gaming, while also promoting digital gaming as an appealing leisure activity that provides enjoyment, recovery, and meaningful social interaction for the millions of gamers who benefit from its captivation.
... While these components interact with each other to produce a disinhibiting efect, the extent of the efect may be infuenced by personality variables. In the context of video games, studies have focused on the disinhibiting efect of anonymity and invisibility as online gaming environments facilitate high degrees of these interactions [11,26,29]. Previous studies suggest that online disinhibition is a predictor of toxic behaviors in online gaming environments [26,54,55]. ...
... Multiplayer online games (MOGs), and video games more generally, have grown in popularity to the point that they can be considered one of the most popular, profitable, and innovative forms of entertainment . Because of their popularity, complexity and multi-purpose nature, video games have been a major vein of research in Information Systems (IS) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research [3,6,16,26,57] during the past decades. Video games as a contemporary phenomenon can be considered meaningful due to their societal and economic relevance resulting from their increasing popularity and dissemination. ...
Recently several studies have worked towards a better understanding of reasons to play multiplayer online games (MOGs). Despite multiple approaches used, understanding of the topic remains incomplete due to its complexity. This study constructs an explanatory design theory of community identiﬁcation as a predictor of engagement in MOGs. To that end, a structured multimixed-method study was conducted. First, a quantitative survey (N=236) was used to illustrate the explanatory power of community identification in the specific context of our study. Second, a workshop (N=10) was held identifying similarity and mutual influence as the most meaningful design elements of community identification. On this basis, and building off the design science paradigm, and assumptions from the contrast model and interactive richness, an explanatory design theory to foster community identiﬁcation in MOGs is derived. The model features the elements of the design factors similarity (high vs. low) and interactive richness (rich vs. poor) that can be tested in future (experimental) research.
... Re search suggests that anti-social behavior in games is more frequent among skilled, younger male gamers with a decreased sense of responsibility for their in-game character (Bowman, Schultheiss, & Schumann, 2012). Such behaviors are thought to be facilitated by the anonymity that online games afford (Chen, Duh, & Ng, 2009) and may be attrib uted to online disinhibition (Joinson, 1998). ...
and Keywords This chapter focuses on the history of four important types of digital technology, includ ing the Internet, digital games (all types of games played electronically), virtual reality, and smartphones (particularly smartphone apps). The authors present a varied and bal anced view of different digital technologies, introducing their historical developments as well as an overview of potentially positive and negative applications of each of the tech nologies covered. Increased governmental support is required for research into digital technologies and those applications that have been established to have beneficial effects for users, but equal effort is also needed in developing new policy, educational, and leg islative frameworks that are in tune with the needs of a digital society. Research into digi tal technology use and its context may enable better control of how interactions with digi tal technology continue to shape our behavior.
... Relatedly, while anonymity might facilitate 'safer' interactions, it is also creates dissociation and deindividuation, which in online multiplayer video games can enable the proliferation of antisocial, aggressive, and hostile behaviours (Chen, Duh, and Ng 2009). For example, players may harass members of their own teams if they perceive their teammates' performance to be lacking . ...
While online multiplayer games provide an opportunity for players to both maintain and establish new connections, male and female players have been found to experience these environments differently. Interviews (n = 22) and focus groups (n = 14) were used to explore these differences as they impact on creating new social connections, as well as to provide recommendations for the development of new social tools and features that account for these differences. While all participants experienced toxicity and performance pressure as barriers to forming new connections, female players uniquely reported the impacts of misogynistic targeting and stereotype threat. In turn, female players wishing to avoid these stresses would often mask their gender. The common practice of gender misrepresentation by both male and female players impacted female players' ability to create social connections through voice technology, as well as building their distrust of unknown others. Recommendations are made to build social connectedness between players taking into account the specific constraints faced by female players. These include establishing mentoring opportunities as well as profiling players beyond their immediate skill or rank. Additionally, the desire for control of one's online identity presents practical challenges that may be overcome through thoughtful design.
... Conversely, players who belong to perceived outgroups are depersonalized and stereotyped (Postmes, Spears, & Lea, 1998). In brief, a depersonalized player identifying as a gamer would behave according to its perceived social norms, including antisocial behaviors, such as griefing, trolling, cyberbullying, and online harassment (Chen, Duh, & Ng, 2009;Fox & Tang, 2014). ...
Online video games are social spaces for players from around the world. They use this space to form communities, relationships, and identities. However, gaming communities are not always welcoming, and some are even perceived as being “toxic.” A prevalent issue is online sexual harassment, which is keeping many women from participating in the gaming community. Research on the factors contributing to the problem is limited, though. The present study replicates and expands previous research, using a sample of 856 online gamers. The study supports earlier findings that found hostile sexism and social dominance orientation as predictors of sexual harassment perpetration in online video games. In addition, we expanded the previous research with additional predictors: machiavellianism, psychopathy, and gamer identification predicted higher sexual harassment perpetration. Our results have implications for the gaming community's role in curtailing sexual harassment and making itself a more inclusive community.
... Research within cyberbullying has tended to focus on messaging (Moore et al. 2012), email, chat rooms (Smith et al. 2008), online forums (Moore et al. 2012) and traditional social media such as Facebook (Kwan and Skoric, 2013) or MySpace while research within gaming has tended to focus on griefing rather than cyberbullying e.g. (Foo and Koivisto, 2004) have examined the intentions of griefers, while (Chen et al., 2009) have investigated if anonymity and immersion are contributing factors to griefing. The focus on griefing may be a consequence of the very real financial cost to online games generated by griefing behaviour (Mulligan et al., 2003;Pham, 2002). ...
One major problem with cyberbullying research is the lack of data, since researchers are traditionally forced to rely on survey data where victims and perpetrators self-report their impressions. In this paper, an automatic data collection system is presented that continuously collects in-game chat data from one of the most popular online multi-player games: World of Tanks. The data was collected and combined with other information about the players from available online data services. It presents a scoring scheme to enable identification of cyberbullying based on current research. Classification of the collected data was carried out using simple feature detection with SQL database queries and compared to classification from AI-based sentiment text analysis services that have recently become available and further against manually classified data using a custom-built classification client built for this paper. The simple SQL classification proved to be quite useful at identifying some features of toxic chat such as the use of bad language or racist sentiments, however the classification by the more sophisticated online sentiment analysis services proved to be disappointing. The results were then examined for insights into cyberbullying within this game and it was shown that it should be possible to reduce cyberbullying within the World of Tanks game by a significant factor by simply freezing the player's ability to communicate through the in-game chat function for a short period after the player is killed within a match. It was also shown that very new players are much less likely to engage in cyberbullying, suggesting that it may be a learned behaviour from other players.
... A common argument against anonymity is the claim that it will lead to misbehavior such as rude or harsh language  as well as more broadly anti-social behavior [27,30]. Linking to Common Identity, social appreciation plays a role in online communities. ...
Online sexism against female gamers is reportedly common and pervasive, causing serious problems. To help solve these problems, the study identified various predictors of online game sexism, which is hypothesised to predict actual in-game harassment. Different from previous studies, the study approaches the problems from the perspective of perpetrators rather than victims. We proposed a theoretical model that include three groups of predictors: offline sexist beliefs (masculine norms and hostile sexism), game-related factors (perceived territoriality, advancement, and competition), and environmental factors (peer harassment and play time). The model was tested against online survey data collected from a sample of 528 male gamers in South Korea with age range of 14–64 years (M = 34.70, SD = 12.81). The results showed that all the predictors, except competition and play time, were significantly associated with online game sexism, which mediated the relationships between the predictors and online sexual harassment. Perceived territoriality and peer harassment were found to have direct and positive effects on harassment. The findings are expected to contribute to developing more effective measures for preventing the hostility and aggression against female gamers by providing a new and more thorough diagnosis of the underlying causes of the problems.
This article draws on sociological and psychological theory to explore the meaning application of deviance to behaviors observed on the Internet. First, definitions of deviancein online and offline contexts are discussed. Observations of the Internet as a so-called yet-to-be-normalized environment present a conflicting scenario for labeling emergent behaviors as deviant. The question stands as to whether devianceis an appropriate term to apply to some behavior observed on the Internet. The second section examines deviance on the Internet at a macro, cybercultural level and at a micro, communicational level using two key examples to illustrate some of the issues raised earlier in defining deviance. The sharing of mp3 files is used as an example to illustrate problems in definition at a macro level and at a microlevel; psychological approximations to normative and antinormative communication on the Net are discussed, using flaming as an example.
A wide variety of deviant behavior may arise as the population of an online multimedia community increases. That behavior can span the range from simple mischievous antics to more serious expressions of psychopathology, including depression, sociopathy, narcissism, dissociation, and borderline dynamics. In some cases the deviant behavior may be a process of pathological acting out - in others, a healthy attempt to work through. Several factors must be taken into consideration when explaining online deviance, such as social/cultural issues, the technical infrastructure of the environment, transference reactions, and the effects of the ambiguous, anonymous, and fantasy-driven atmosphere of cyberspace life. In what we may consider an "online community psychology," intervention strategies for deviant behavior can be explored along three dimensions: preventative versus remedial, user versus superuser based, and automated versus interpersonal.
This chapter challenges traditional models of deindividuation. These are based on the assumption that such factors as immersion in a group and anonymity lead to a loss of selfhood and hence of control over behaviour. We argue that such models depend upon an individualistic conception of the self, viewed as a unitary construct referring to that which makes individuals unique. This is rejected in favour of the idea that self can be defined at various different levels including the categorical self as well as the personal self. Hence a social identity model of deindividuation (SIDE) is outlined. Evidence is presented to show that deindividuation manipulations gain effect, firstly, through the ways in which they affect the salience of social identity (and hence conformity to categorical norms) and, secondly, through their effects upon strategic considerations relating to the expression of social identities. We conclude that the classic deindividuation paradigm of anonymity within a social group, far from leading to uncontrolled behaviour, maximizes the opportunity of group members to give full voice to their collective identities.
Examines the evidence that behavior on the Internet is characterized by disinhibition, and considers the numerous explanations put forward for such phenomenon as flaming and excessive self-disclosure. It is argued that disinhibition on the Internet has both positive and negative implications for behavior "in real life," education, research, and commerce on the Internet. Finally, a general model of disinhibition on the Internet, that stresses the joint role of both context and self-awareness, is briefly outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A meta-analytic integration reviews evidence for deindividuation theory as an explanation of collective and antinormative behavior. Deindividuation theories propose a subjective deindividuated state that causes transgression of general social norms. Deindividuation research classically manipulates anonymity, self-awareness, and group size. Results of 60 independent studies showed little support for (a) the occurrence of deindividuated (antinormative) behaviors or (b) the existence of a deindividuated state. Research results were explained more adequately by situation-specific than by general social norms. Analyses indicated that groups and individuals conform more to situation-specific norms when they are "deindividuated." These findings are inconsistent with deindividuation theory but support a social identity model of deindividuation effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study explores the social process governing the nature, emergence, application, and consequences of labeling the 'white-eyed' or grief players in massively multiplayer online role playing games in Taiwan. We found that two types of 'white-eyed' players exist in MMORPGs. The explicit type, who come out and organize themselves into griefer pledges, can be understood as players who rebel against game rules. Most of the common players are actually the second type, or implicit griefers. They play grief in an unidentifiable way with weak self-awareness, and put the griefer stigma on other age-groups to alleviate their anxiety in a cross-age co-playing era.
Although considerable academic interest has focused on serious cyber-crimes, more commonplace Internet misuses (e.g., misrepresentation of self, unauthorized downloading, Internet pornography, online plagiarism, and other “cyber-cheating”) have received less attention. Although these transgressions are of minor legal importance, they merit closer academic scrutiny. Based on a self-report study of 1,222 U.K. undergraduate students, this article explores the prevalence, nature, and underpinning facilitators of five examples of Internet-based misbehavior. Although more than 90% of respondents self-reported online misbehavior during the past 12 months, significant differences are evident in gender, Internet expertise, and, to a lesser extent, age. Although respondents portrayed the Internet as a more conducive environment for misbehavior, the survey data report a strong correlation between respondents' propensity to misbehave in online and offline contexts. These data highlight the need to contextualize cyber-deviance in relation to the offline “life world” of the Internet user and the Internet's wider role in everyday life.
Just as with most other communication breakthroughs before it, the initial media and popular reaction to the Internet has been largely negative, if not apocalyptic. For example, it has been described as “awash in pornography”, and more recently as making people “sad and lonely.” Yet, counter to the initial and widely publi cized claim that Internet use causes depression and social isolation, the body of ev idence (even in the initial study on which the claim was based) is mainly to the con trary. More than this, however, it is argued that like the telephone and television before it, the Internet by itself is not a main effect cause of anything, and that psy chology must move beyond this notion to an informed analysis of how social iden tity, social interaction, and relationship formation may be different on the Internet than in real life. Four major differences and their implications for self and identity, social interaction, and relationships are identified: one's greater anonymity, the greatly reduced importance of physical appearance and physical distance as “gating features” to relationship development, and one's greater control over the time and pace of interactions. Existing research is reviewed along these lines and some promising directions for future research are described.
"A group phenomenon which we have called de-individuation has been described and defined as a state of affairs in a group where members do not pay attention to other individuals
qua individuals, and, correspondingly, the members do not feel they are being singled out by others." The theory was advanced that this results in a reduction of inner restraints in the members and that, consequently, the members will be more free to indulge in behavior from which they are usually restrained. It was further hypothesized that this is satisfying and its occurrence would tend to increase the attractiveness of the group. The data from the study tend to confirm the theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)