2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

The Online Social Experiment
Evan M. Wright
Dr. Natalie Alexander, Faculty Mentor

As technology continues to revolutionize the world that we live in, more and more people are not satisfied with only face-to-face interactions. Through the Internet, a new social phenomenon has developed in the form of Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. These games provide a multitude of unique interactions that cannot be experienced in the physical world. Through an MMORPG a child can overcome their autism or Aspergers and actively participate in a real social life and education, unhindered by disabilities. These games often mirror physical reality. EverQuest supports a virtual economy comparable to the 77th wealthiest nation on Earth. These games are no longer simply a teenagers indulgence; almost 50% of MMORPG players work full time, and 36% support families. This new social phenomenon has developed its own culture that has legitimate effects upon the physical world.

Keywords: Online Interactions, Social Phenomenon, MMORPG

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 44-6
Location: MG 2090
Time: 4:00

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