Looking for participants in WoW-Related academic psychology study

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#1 Edited by njwCSUS (5 posts) -

Hello, my name is Nathan Wilts, and I am a psychology graduate student at California State University Sacramento. As an avid PC gamer myself, research into video games has always been something of interest to me. I am looking for participants in a study on the possible social and mental health impact of playing MMORPGs. Hopefully some among you should be able to help!


Participants must be current players of the game ‘World of Warcraft.’   As World of Warcraft is an exemplar of the MMORPG genre, its players would be a good choice for a study on players of MMORPGs.   Participating should be fairly easy and straightforward, won’t take up too much of your time and can be completed online, and all participants will be entered in a drawing to win free pre-paid game time at the conclusion of the research study.


If you are interested, please read the informed consent document below.   If you would like an additional copy of this information, you can either email me (Nathan Wilts) at [b]njw25@saclink.csus.edu[/b], or check the GoogleDocs link below.   Please be sure to read over it so you’ll know all the important information about participating!

Link to consent form on GoogleDocs – (https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1YrX3ThRZpMlpBLyfe5ziLV2zjwPlos-pO2gfJ3CY_54)

If you’ve read all of the info below and would like to participate, please send an email to me njw25@saclink.csus.edu with the subject line ‘WoW study participation’, saying that you’d like to participate!   I will respond to you with PIN number which will be used to organize survey responses, and you will also receive a link to the questionnaires.   Please send your email from the address you want to receive all study-related information at!


After completing your questionnaires you will shown a debriefing to explain the basis of study and your role as a participant, and you’re done!   Your entry into the prize drawing will be automatic.


Thanks for your interest!


-Nathan J. Wilts



Consent to Participate in Research

By consenting to participate in this survey, you will be participating in a research project developed by Nathan J. Wilts at California State University Sacramento (CSUS) at the Department of Psychology.   The purpose of the study is to investigate the mental health and social impact of gameplay for players of MMORPGs.


Procedure –

As a participant, you will be asked to fill out five short questionnaires which you should answer to the best of your ability.   The first will gather some general information about you as a person and also as a player of World of Warcraft.   The rest will consist of several health and social measures.


In total, this survey should take no more than 20-40 minutes of your time and will require no outside resources to complete.   You are only being asked about yourself and your own feelings and behaviors.


Risks –

Risks include the possibility of mental discomfort from considering and answering the survey questions.   This risk is considered minimal, and you may at any time refuse to answer or opt of your participation if you feel uncomfortable.


Benefits of participation –

You may not personally benefit from participating in this research, but resulting findings may reflect positively on MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft or its players.   Such findings might also prompt future research of a similar nature.


Confidentiality –

Your specific responses to survey questions will in no way make you personally identifiable by those responses.   As part of participation you will have been emailed a Personal Identification Number which you will be asked to provide along with your email at the start of the survey.   This is to separate individual participant responses and prevent unscrupulous individuals from entering false or random data with another individual’s PIN number.   It will also be used to contact winners of the random drawing (described below), but will not otherwise be used to identify you.


You will not be asked your name, address, phone number, or any other personally identifiable information beyond your email address.   If you have a received requests for such information claiming to be from the originators of this study DO NOT REPLY.   We will never ask for such information.   We will only contact you to provide your PIN and survey link, to respond to inquiries, or to provide any survey-wide announcement such as notices of completion of the study.


You may at your own option request to receive additional information about results and findings once the survey is complete, but you are not required to do so nor is it necessary to be entered in the prize drawing (described below).


Compensation –

As a ‘thank you’ for participation in this survey, you will be entered in a random drawing for one of several 60-day pre-paid subscription time cards for World of Warcraft, such as the ones listed on Amazon.com.   Winners will be chosen completely at random.   Your responses to questions do not influence your chances of entering, but if you do not complete the survey questionnaires in their entirety, you will not be entered in the drawing.

Contact information –

If you have any questions about this research, the online survey, or any other related matter, you may contact Nathan J. Wilts by e-mail at njw25@saclink.csus.edu

Avatar image for jimi
#2 Posted by jimi (1149 posts) -

Good luck with this. Regardless of what you find it will be hard to generalize the results as many mmo players will not reveal this info and thus not do the survey or give false answers.

Whatever the case I will be interested in what you find.

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#3 Posted by shamroll (159 posts) -

I just stopped playing WoW a month ago or I would be all over this (just got tired of it after 4+ years but I might go back some day).  Psychology and video games is an important topic that needs research. 
I wish you and your study the best of luck and success.  

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#4 Posted by njwCSUS (5 posts) -

Thanks for the kind words.  I'm well aware of the dangers of trolling on the internet, but you have to take what you can get.  In any self-report measure you could be receiving false data, and anonymity on the internet does make this more likely.   You just have to take your findings with many grains of salt.
I too agree that video games needs research, especially beyond its relationship to aggression.  It is a well worn subject and there are so many other interesting things we might be able to say about video gaming that is ignored because it is not popular.

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#5 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2241 posts) -

I would play but I'm not pay for the expansions.

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#6 Posted by njwCSUS (5 posts) -

I'm guessing I'll only be looking for participants for another two weeks or so, maybe three. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to email me. Just giving everyone a heads up for when the cutoff date is!

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