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Title: Stepping out of the magic circle : regulation of play/life boundary in MMORPG-mediated intimacy.
Authors: Huynh, Kim Phong.
Lim, Si Wei.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media::Media effects
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) have evolved from their original purpose as a form of entertainment to being the latest incarnation in a long line of technologies used to initiate and maintain romantic relationships. This qualitative study explores the perspectives of game players regarding their romantic relationships initiated in MMORPGs. Twenty six in-depth interviews were conducted via instant messaging (IM) with players of an MMORPG called MapleStory. Based on a qualitative data analysis, a three-category typology of players was identified based on their rendering of the play/life boundary permeability in the course of their game-originated romantic relationships: splitters, migrators and blenders. Many MMORPG players blur the play/life boundary, turning the game from a site of play to a space for romance. However, once out of the magic circle, players have to manage the stigmatizing discourse associated with their game-originated romantic relationship using two strategies: concealment and mainstreaming. Findings are discussed in the framework of the magic circle proposed by Huizinga (1950) and further developed by Castronova (2005). The study holds implications for game design and romantic relationship development among the youth.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI/CA)

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