Gender swapping and user behaviors in online social games

Jing Kai Lou, Kunwoo Park, Meeyoung Cha, Juyong Park, Chin Laung Lei, Kuan Ta Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modern Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) provide lifelike virtual environments in which players can conduct a variety of activities including combat, trade, and chat with other players. While the game world and the available actions therein are inspired by their offline counterparts, the games' popularity and dedicated fan base are testaments to the allure of novel social interactions granted to people by allowing them an alternative life as a new character and persona. In this paper we investigate the phenomenon of "gender swapping," which refers to players choosing avatars of genders opposite to their natural ones. We report the behavioral patterns observed in players of Fairyland Online, a globally serviced MMORPG, during social interactions when playing as in-game avatars of their own real gender or genderswapped. We also discuss the effect of gender role and self-image in virtual social situations and the potential of our study for improving MMORPG quality and detecting online identity frauds. Copyright is held by the International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWWW 2013 - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on World Wide Web
Pages827-836
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013
Event22nd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2013 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 13 May 201317 May 2013

Other

Other22nd International Conference on World Wide Web, WWW 2013
CountryBrazil
CityRio de Janeiro
Period13/5/1317/5/13

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Keywords

  • Gender swapping
  • MMORPG
  • Multiplex relations
  • Online social games
  • Quantitative social science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Lou, J. K., Park, K., Cha, M., Park, J., Lei, C. L., & Chen, K. T. (2013). Gender swapping and user behaviors in online social games. In WWW 2013 - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 827-836)