Personal narratives of gamers : sense of community, social identity, and social support of gaming communities.
Online communities play a significant part in an individual’s social wellbeing, so it is important to understand how these communities manifest positive change. The present study utilized qualitative semi-structured interviews with 10 World of Warcraft (WoW) players to examine their experiences in their respective communities. The goal of this study is to contribute knowledge and provide a greater understanding as to how gamers develop social capital in online communities. Analysis of this study revealed that participants did report feeling a sense of community, identity, and support within their WoW communities. Findings indicated that certain gaming environments influenced these relationships. Continued exploration of the player experience could help identify effective strategies to promote positive changes to a gamer’s social capital.