The Social Relations and Interactions of a First Person Shooter (FPS) Gamer
McQuarters, G. M. (2013). The Social Relations and Interactions of a First Person Shooter (FPS) Gamer (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7958
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7958
Video games have been part of society for over 40 years. During this period, a stereotypical image of a person who plays videogames has formed. Influenced by the stereotypical image (young, loner males, pale, socially inept, overweight, and possibly aggressive or violent), psychological research has focused on the possible negative effects of playing first person shooter video games. Contrary to the stereotype, first person shooter video games can be a medium in which social relationships are formed and maintained. This study aims to explored the social relationships and interactions of players of first person shooter video games in all locations of play, and how these relationships and interactions influenced the game experience, and how players managed these relationships and interactions. This research was done using qualitative interviews with 12 current first person shooter gamers. The study found that between non-persistent game worlds, technological advancements, and the potentially persistent social relationships, a large diversity of social relationships and interactions occur in and emerge from first person shooter video games. These social relationships and interactions play a central role in the enjoyment of playing first person shooter video games. The study found the interactions that are possible, happen in many different forms. The relationships found in the study developed from several different settings with playing together and friends’ friend being the most common start of a relationship. As well, the participants’ reported a level structure for the relationships that are part of their first person shooter gaming. The study also describes the interactions of players while gaming as being seen as mostly good, with a few antisocial acts committed. These findings are discussed in comparison with literature from other game genres on the social interactions and relationships of players. The seemingly “unsocial” and virtually violent first person shooter game world has been shown to encompass surprisingly rich and diverse social relationships.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses