Stanford-based researcher Nick Yee has marked the second anniversary of his Daedalus Project
with the release of volume 3, issue 1, containing five articles that continue his empirical research on specific aspects of MMORPGs.
- "MMORPG Hours vs. TV Hours"
provides a quantative analysis of just what the title says, with the results broken down by gender and age demographics. Yee's methodology involves exclusively polling MMORPG players, rather than a random sample of those within the age ranges mentioned, but it's still an interesting look at how hours spent in front of the television are slowly being replaced by time online in MMOs.
- "The Transfer of Stereotypes and Prejudice"
examines how social prejudices, including sexism, racism, and nationalism, among others, extend into virtual realms in slightly altered forms. Especially interesting is the account of a post-9/11 session in Ultima Online
that turns into a tug-of-war between American and Palestinian partisans, despite the absence of such issues from the 'normal' game.
- "Engineering Altruism"
discusses the rewards of altruistic behavior in MMORPGs from both sides of the transaction. Yee interviews both those new to the genre who received assistance, as well as veterans who look out for the newcomers, and reprints their in-game anecdotes.
- "Faces of Grief"
purports to explore the similarities and differences of "griefers," those who play MMORPGs solely to annoy other players, and "achievers," those who play mainly to build their character's stats and advance the skill tree -- but turns out to be mostly a collection of griefer-related anecdotes from the point of view of the victims.
- "Police State"
compares the draconian restrictions on free speech and privacy within an MMORPG to those within a real-world police state, and considers the implications of becoming accustomed to willing violations of what Americans consider basic human rights.