Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SOFOGA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 240864
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Germany

Digital gaming and the social experience

Researchers have taken a unique, holistic approach to studying online gaming, focusing on how virtual life affects real life and vice versa in order to examine the societal impact.
Digital gaming and the social experience
Digital games have become part of the mainstream entertainment industry with the market for computer, video and mobile games surpassing the film industry. The audience for online games has also changed along with the growth of the industry and gaming has become more mobile and versatile. As such, there have been growing public concerns of the negative forms of gaming.

Looking at both the positive and negative aspects of digital games, SOFOGA (The social fabric of virtual life: A longitudinal multi-method study on the social foundations of online gaming), an EU-funded project, focused on networked games in particular. Multiple methods were used to obtain access to the users' world. The aim was to examine the ways that social ordering is generated and sustained as well as how the real world of the gamers is influenced by the online world and the reverse.

Several research steps were involved from the micro to the macro level in a longitudinal study. These included telephone surveys, panel studies, focus groups, network analysis and interviews. A GameLab was built to properly observe the game behaviour as well as the real-life reactions.

Results indicate that the immediate effects of gaming are considerably minor. Health concerns, such as addiction and aggression, for example were neutral. Since they are interactive, they offer options for social experiences, unlike other types of entertainment media that are static.

Theoretical approaches to this research topic are likely to follow.

Related information


Online gaming, entertainment industry, SOFOGA, networked games, social ordering
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