Date of Award

Fall 12-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Cynthia Hoffner

Second Advisor

Edward Friedman

Third Advisor

Ann Williams

Abstract

This thesis aims to find out the relationship, if any, between playing multi-player online games and developing teamwork qualities. Online multi-player games involve thousands of players who play in teams (or solo, as the preference may be) in sophisticated gaming environments. As gamers team together to complete missions within the game, teamwork concepts such as communication skills, leadership, coordination, negotiation and other similar qualities come to the fore. The research component of this thesis consists of a survey where respondents answered questions about their online gaming behavior. They also answered questions about their experience working in teams in the offline environment. A total of 202 responses were collected and analyzed. There was a significant negative association found between autocratic leadership ability and hours spent per week playing online games in teams/groups. Team communication skills and leadership communication skills were significantly related to the degree of involvement in the gaming community, but only for individuals with low leadership-work experience. A significant relationship was also seen between democratic leadership skills and the degree of involvement in the gaming community. In addition, a significant negative relationship was found between autocratic leadership ability and degree of involvement in the gaming community.

Included in

Communication Commons

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