Community Managers on MMO communities…
Anyone who has played an MMO or participated in any online forum or service knows that anonymity creates problems — and large groupings of people invites those with psychological issues to act them out on the larger populace. A group of MMO community managers and psychologists from the University of Texas came together at GDC Austin to examine common scenarios — and take a peek into why these problems persist, and maybe come up with new ways to solve them.
The panel was comprised of moderator Sean Dahlberg from BioWare Austin, Troy Hewitt of Flying Lab Software, Meghan Rodberg of Turbine, and Dr. Sam Gosling and Dr. James Pennebaker, of the University of Texas.
Though both of the psychologists admitted that they are not personally gamers, they clearly find the subject of MMO audiences fascinating — and not in a clinical way. They showed empathy for the issues, but worried that some of the tactics commonly undertaken by the community mangers are “just attending to the symptoms,” in the words of Dr. Gosling.
This is a great article. Wish I could ramble. Perhaps later? Cheers and check it out!
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