Gary & Huang [Abstract]

More than addiction: Examining the role of anonymity, endless narrative, and socialization in prolonged gaming and instant messaging practices [Full text]

Kishonna Gray  [1]
Wanju Huang [2]

Abstract: This ethnographic study explores a user’s prolonged engagement within virtual gaming communities.  Likening prolonged engagement with addiction, this research provides an alternative perspective into virtual addiction focusing on three interrelated themes: 1) anonymity, 2) endless narrative, and 3) socialization. By employing narrative interviews and virtual observations, the researchers examine two different cultural, racial and age groups’ user experience within console and computer-based multiplayer environments. More specifically, they explore how the three factors (i.e., anonymity; endless narrative; socialization) relate to the prolonged and extended use within these virtual communities and highlight the multifaceted uses of traditional chat services, social media, and the convergence of media existing within these chat communities.

Keywords: Computer-mediated communication, video gaming, ethnography, instant messenger, online addiction

[1] School of Justice Studies, Eastern Kentucky University, United States of America,
[2] Social Intelligence and Leadership Institute, Eastern Kentucky University, United States of America,