I did some calculations the other day. I have hopes (very high hopes) to get this research off the ground during the holiday – as in December.
My rationale is simple.
I am doing an experiment in WOW. WOW takes time. I must use experienced players. Since I am interested in looking at emergent leadership in WOW, I need observe players in situations that accommodate leadership. WOW has lots of opportunity there. Easiest is in instances (dungeons) where groups of 10 players or more must work together as a virtual team in order to achieve. There are 30+ dungeons available in WOW now. Some have a 5 player requirements. Most higher level instances have 10 man + requirements. In these settings, the group must organize in order to achieve. So, this is the place for the study.
With a minimum of 10 players required. We must then have at least 15 players in a team for backup (if something comes up and they cant make it into the game). So that is 15. Then because you need some kind of control, you have to examine a treated group and an un-treated group. So, double the number and you have 30. So, I need 30 players to play WOW.
The next hurdle is the amount of time. Players need some time to adjust to each other in a new team. I need time for the process to occur. Thus, a single instance is probably not a good indicator of team achievement. Also, it might take multiple days to "complete" a single high level instance So, if it takes 5 days (playing 3hrs each day) to finish a instance, that is 15hrs. And if we need more than 2 instances. Lets say; 3 min. Then we need players (30 players) to agree to play together for at least 3 weeks (45hrs) in order to complete 3 instances.
During the holiday break, students are not in school. Nor are the majority of them working. If I need 4 weeks of game time, this is prime season, with nothing to do, no where to go, and its cold. Players could do the 3-4 week stint easily during this time.
During the summer…not so much.
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