Are There Too Many Superheroes? Analysis of the Social Distance in Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
40 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2013
Date Written: September 1, 2013
This paper suggests a computational model which investigates the sustainability of MMORPGs from the social distance perspective by considering the major differences of the virtual world in an MMORPG and the real world. The effects of social distance on the actual playtime are empirically tested. The analysis results suggest that social distance can initiate a positive feedback of abandonment, resulting in the rapid collapse of the number of players. Increasing uncertainty in rewarding players’ effort may have better results for MMORPG managers in the long run, since the managers care about profits, not social welfare. Also, a fine-tuned retirement plan may be vital to MMORPG sustainability, because MMORPG players usually do not retire by natural causes such as growing old. This paper offers a relatively new approach by combining characteristics of MMORPG and social distance with both a computational model and empirical support.
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