The Demographic Distribution and Social Experience of Chinese MMO Players


  • Li Xiong University of Southern California



virtual worlds, China, online games


Nuanced knowledge of who plays and how is necessary for a meaningful understanding of behaviors in the virtual world (e.g. Williams et al., 2008). Despite increasing use of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMO) in China, systematic investigation of the demographic distribution, play patterns and social experience of Chinese players is limited. Based on a large web survey of players of a large Chinese MMO (N = 18,819), this study examines the demographic distribution of Chinese MMO players and its influence on their play patterns and social experience. The results suggest that compared to male players, Chinese females engage in more text chat, are more likely to play with romantic partners and friends, perceive higher salience of social capital, but have a lower sense of community. Older players engage in less chat, adventure and competition activities, but have a stronger sense of community than younger players. Controlling for age and gender, Chinese players

Author Biography

Li Xiong, University of Southern California

Li (Leo) Xiong is a PhD candidate at Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in University of Southern California. He holds a B.A. in English from Beijing Foreign Studies University, China and an MS in Cultural Studies from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2007, he transferred from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to join the Annenberg PhD program. He has worked in China as a producer of TV documentaries and a freelance writer on pop music and video games. Li has co-authored and published journal articles and book chapters on games, location-based services and online communities. His work has been presented at the ICA Conventions (2008, 2010, 2011) and INGroup Conference (2009). Currently, Li is working on his dissertation, which is about the use of geolocation technologies and its impact on information sharing in online communities






Research Papers