A Study On The Escapist

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Hi, my name is Westin and I am currently a student at DePaul University. I am currently enrolled in a class about online communities. As part of a group project, one of the sites our group is studying is the community on the Escapist.

I am looking for members of the site (18+ due to the research protocol we follow for this class) who would be willing to participate in an interview about their experiences/views within this community. These interviews would be conducted using Skype voice chat and would not collect any usernames or personal information.

With my schedule this week, any time after 10:30pm GMT would work best Mon-Thurs, and I am open almost any time Fri-Sun. If you would be willing to participate in these interviews, I would appreciate posting availability in this thread so I can follow up through PM's with those that would work the best schedule-wise. If there are any questions about this study, feel free to ask in the thread and I will try to answer them as soon as I have a chance.

So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Well, sing me in. But be prepared for some wicked accent.

Hey, the Escapist draws in a very geographically diverse crowd. You'll want to put that time in GMT so the rest of us can understand it without having to check out time zones. "Central" is also an awful descriptor for which you're talking about, because many countries use the term for their time zones. For example, I live in the Australian Central Standard Time Zone. I'm assuming it's an American one, considering it's only ever Americans who list the time like the world revolves around them.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Also, I think this is important. I've seen this kind of thing come up a lot, on various forums, and I'm never sure why they are doing it. Genuinely curious in the answer.

I should be good Monday-Wednesday in that time slot.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Thats actually a good question as well.

spark03:
As part of a group project, one of the sites our group is studying is the community on the Escapist.

Sounds interesting but is anyone in your group an Escapist regular or how did you find this site and decide you need to study our community?
And what is it you're trying to figure out here?
Also "central" time zone? Sory mate but I'm from Finland and that could be 7 hours in any direction different from my time... So a GMT would be nice.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Yup, this is a legit question.

Daft Time:
Hey, the Escapist draws in a very geographically diverse crowd. You'll want to put that time in GMT so the rest of us can understand it without having to check out time zones. "Central" is also an awful descriptor for which you're talking about, because many countries use the term for their time zones. For example, I live in the Australian Central Standard Time Zone. I'm assuming it's an American one, considering it's only ever Americans who list the time like the world revolves around them.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Also, I think this is important. I've seen this kind of thing come up a lot, on various forums, and I'm never sure why they are doing it. Genuinely curious in the answer.

Agreed, just because a lot of Escapists are American, that doesn't mean us dirty Europeans don't make up a sizeable chunk of members. Give us multiple time-zones, because as it stands, you're alienating a good few people (such as myself).

Daft Time:
I'm assuming it's an American one, considering it's only ever Americans who list the time like the world revolves around them.

I must admit, this made me chuckle far more than it should have.

Are you looking for people with an early join date? A high post count? For women and other, smaller, groups? What's the point of singling out the Escapist community? What makes us different to, say, a bunch of middle aged women discussing bringing up teenagers on a blog, as happens on my mum's blog?

I'm not trying to be difficult here, I am just genuinely interested. I guess I could help out if you wanted, being a female lurker with an early join date and a relatively low post count, if that's the sort of thing you're looking for. I do live in Western Australia though, so good luck with finding times suited to people around the globe!

1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (no to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

3) I'm with agreement with the other posters that the 'Central' time is rather nebulous and the proper term of CDT (or even better GMT) would help as the Escapist is quite diverse in terms of posters and location.

Other than that, I'm game. However I reside in New Zealand (the current time is NZST or GMT+12) so it could be interesting trying to set up a skype call.

Ed130:

1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (no to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

These and. Credentials please - information fishing is the go to profession on Internet. Information is the gold of Internet and very valuable. Specially about SPECIFIC communities.

I am not going to say anything until you clarify the study a bit. Give us the abstract, methods, usage and the purpose. because if you are working with a lab to do a study that has commercial purposes then I think we and the site administrators should know about this.

After all you are using their site as board to contact people for your uses. Should you check if it is OK with them? Specially if the study has commercial value attached.

Ed130:
1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (no to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

3) I'm with agreement with the other posters that the 'Central' time is rather nebulous and the proper term of CDT (or even better GMT) would help as the Escapist is quite diverse in terms of posters and location.

Sums it up better than I could.

I find it pretty suspicious that someone who just signed up would wanna conduct interviews here...

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. -_o

Guys, guys, relax. He's given us his name, AND you've got to over 18, like in real science, what else could he possibly do to prove that this is real. Don't worry random person on the internet who joined for the specific purpose of carrying out this "study", I trust you.

Ed130:

1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (not to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

Seriously, I agree with this, pretty much, not that I have a problem with people carrying out studies on certain kinds of communities, but why the hell did you pick this one, and if you heard of it, why didn't you get someone who was a member/the guy who knew about us to ask.

Also I'm 17, so I can't participate anyway

Using Google, I've found out that DePaul University is a Catholic private uni situated in Chicago. From that I can extrapolate that when you say central time you mean US central. I can make it Mondays and Wednesdays, and most times Saturdays and Sundays.

But then I'd like more information regarding you. For example these questions

Ed130:
1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (no to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

would be nice of you to answer, even if only in a PM.

giving our skype information IS personal information, besides there's nothing you can do in skype that you can't do here, just post your questions and we may answer it.

Well, I sure hope the poor guy didnt get scared away...
i do think though, that if you are studying online communications, you should be aware that you cant just approach one randomly without being attacked. Well, same goes for any sociological studies really..

Daft Time:
Hey, the Escapist draws in a very geographically diverse crowd. You'll want to put that time in GMT so the rest of us can understand it without having to check out time zones. "Central" is also an awful descriptor for which you're talking about, because many countries use the term for their time zones. For example, I live in the Australian Central Standard Time Zone. I'm assuming it's an American one, considering it's only ever Americans who list the time like the world revolves around them.

Dirty Hipsters:
So why exactly would you want to do a study on this community when you obviously aren't even a part of said community?

Also, I think this is important. I've seen this kind of thing come up a lot, on various forums, and I'm never sure why they are doing it. Genuinely curious in the answer.

Sorry, not putting the time in GMT was an oversight on my part, I've updated the post with the new time. For this class, we were meant to choose sites that we were not already a member of primarily to help eliminate potential bias's about the communities.

The reason I personally chose the group is that I have been somewhat familiar with some of the video content provided by the Escapist, but never knew anything about the community on the site. I figured this would be an interesting community to learn more about.

ExtraDebit:
giving our skype information IS personal information, besides there's nothing you can do in skype that you can't do here, just post your questions and we may answer it.

I probably should have been more clear in this regard too. By that statement, I meant that neither names or usernames will be used in any of the resulting work for the class to ensure anonymity. We are intended to use vocal interviews, as they allow for better follow up questions based on what is said in the interview.

I have to leave for class soon, but I'll try to answer more questions in a few hours.

People got hostile crazy fast.

Jeebus, some of you people need to take a chill pill.

What harm is there answering a few questions for a guy? Sure, on the internet information is gold, but as long as you aren't stupid about what you reveal/tell, what is he gonna do?

Tons of people on here link to either Facebook/Twitter/XboxLive/Steam/PSN, or give out a personal website. Anonymity and security isn't exactly a huge concern here

sky14kemea:

Ed130:
1) How did you find the Escapist?

2) Why should we participate? (no to be rude but you have zero presence on the site, and I have seen several 'researchers/students' like yourself breeze and leave.) I personally dislike the practice and view similar to telemarketers who like to ring up during dinner.

3) I'm with agreement with the other posters that the 'Central' time is rather nebulous and the proper term of CDT (or even better GMT) would help as the Escapist is quite diverse in terms of posters and location.

Sums it up better than I could.

I find it pretty suspicious that someone who just signed up would wanna conduct interviews here...

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. -_o

What is there really to be suspicious about? I mean we don't even know what questions he's going to ask, and automatically it's assumed to be bad?

Lionsfan:
?

Tons of people on here link to either Facebook/Twitter/XboxLive/Steam/PSN, or give out a personal website. Anonymity and security isn't exactly a huge concern here

What is there really to be suspicious about? I mean we don't even know what questions he's going to ask, and automatically it's assumed to be bad?

I don't think security is the issue here, at least not from where I'm standing...

I'm just saying, it strikes me as odd that a guy who's only just joined wants to interview people over skype.

I'm not saying everyone else has to be suspicious. I'm just a naturally paranoid parrot. =P

Edit: Also, one thing that I keep meaning to post for the OP:

Why not just ask about the community here? In a thread? Makes a lot more sense than asking random users to talk over skype.

Lionsfan:
Tons of people on here link to either Facebook/Twitter/XboxLive/Steam/PSN, or give out a personal website. Anonymity and security isn't exactly a huge concern here

Also tons don't, hence privacy is a concern. Wait what?

People are always going to avoid being defensive in these sorts of situations. It's just how things are. In other words

Angie7F:
Well, I sure hope the poor guy didnt get scared away...
i do think though, that if you are studying online communications, you should be aware that you cant just approach one randomly without being attacked. Well, same goes for any sociological studies really..

that is correct. Having conducted sociological studies both on phones, and in person, I can say that is true. Now, not all people are against answering some questions but enough are.

Also relevant - "Sure, on the internet information is gold, but as long as you aren't stupid about what you reveal/tell, what is he gonna do?" without accusing anybody of anything malicious, I don't think you are aware what information is valuable and what isn't. Because all information can be used against you. You've seen those on Facebook: "What's your porn name" (some combination of your mother's name pet and something else, if I recall), "Answer these questions and what those answers mean" (stuff like favourite colour etc with some crappy explanation for them) and similar ARE dangerous. Yeah, the little weird games you could fill in for, like, half a minute for laughs that would last for another half a minute are potentially dangerous information you're giving to who knows who. 1. it's Facebook, the audience is huge. 2. It's answers to the most common security questions - mother's (maiden) name, pet's name, where were you born. And it's also self-perpetuating - people love posting these as their status. People simply don't know how to value the information given out, so why do you think one has to be stupid to do a mistake? Smart people do mistakes all the time - there was this one time where it was revealed that employees of a company would give out their password for a free pen. Heck, really smart people who should have known better - people who went specifically to visit InfoSec (security conference) were asked to answer some simple questions for a chance to win a theatre ticket

100% provided their names upon request

94% provided pet's names (common passwords) and their mother's maiden name (common second form of authentication) when told actors frequently use both to create stage names.

98% gave their address in order to receive a winning voucher.

96% divulged the name of their first school. Combined with mother's maiden name, the two are key pieces of information used by banks for verification.

92% provided their date of birth and the same number supplied their home phone number.

People going to a security conference and there to talk and learn more about this same sort of stuff. I do not think one has to be "stupid" to tell something valuable.

Again, I'm not accusing anybody of having malicious intentions, I'm just pointing out things shouldn't be brushed aside as lightly.

Wasn't there a virus going around on Skype? This sounds very suspicious. Privacy is a big deal. No one needs to know about me. I like to keep my personal info safe. It's why I'm not on facebook or twitter. My steam is private. I use fake names and a spare email address when opening forum accounts and such. My personal train of thought is that digital security needs to based on something uniquely created from the individual's mind, not a real-world connection like your mother's maiden name.

Angie7F:
Well, I sure hope the poor guy didnt get scared away...
i do think though, that if you are studying online communications, you should be aware that you cant just approach one randomly without being attacked. Well, same goes for any sociological studies really..

Lionsfan:
Jeebus, some of you people need to take a chill pill.

What harm is there answering a few questions for a guy? Sure, on the internet information is gold, but as long as you aren't stupid about what you reveal/tell, what is he gonna do?

Tons of people on here link to either Facebook/Twitter/XboxLive/Steam/PSN, or give out a personal website. Anonymity and security isn't exactly a huge concern here

We aren't scaring anyone away nor does anyone here need to take a chill pill, no one attacked him. All we are looking for is clarification about what we would be getting into. He provided basically no details about what his study is, and considering that was his first post on this site, it's rather suspicious. Data mining is a huge business on the internet, and even if he isn't data mining, there is still the question as to why any of us should help him. We aren't on the escapist to provide free labor to people, and while we often help other members of this community with their various projects this guy isn't a member of our community.

Because he isn't a community member we know nothing about him or his values, and again, he hasn't posted anything regarding what his project is actually about. Considering he goes to a private Catholic University he could very well be one of those conservative Christians actively trying to prove how evil video games are, or this could be one of any number of studies we may not want our community to be a part of.

We haven't attacked him about anything, we just want clarification about what he's looking for before we decide to help him. Is that really too much to ask, to know what the study is about and what it's purpose is?

Lionsfan:
Tons of people on here link to either Facebook/Twitter/XboxLive/Steam/PSN, or give out a personal website. Anonymity and security isn't exactly a huge concern here

Giving your Skype is literally giving your address, name and IP to anyone with a decent amount of computer knowledge. I would NEVER give my skype to anyone I wouldn't give all those tree to, and I certainly won't give them to the OP, nothing against him, but it's basic net security not to.

Bear in mind that Skype is also the least secure VoIP in the market, mumble, vent, google or any other VoIP doesn't have this vulnerability, as such it's the program of choice for scammers and it has given many a headaches to net celebrities that know shit about security, enabling DDoS and net harassment.

Also hi spidymod! <3 U!!!

Dirty Hipsters:

Because he isn't a community member we know nothing about him or his values, and again, he hasn't posted anything regarding what his project is actually about. Considering he goes to a private Catholic University he could very well be one of those conservative Christians actively trying to prove how evil video games are, or this could be one of any number of studies we may not want our community to be a part of.

Not really the religious type, and working towards a degree in the game development program offered at my school, so no hidden agenda there :) I feel the skepticism is warranted, as it is generally better to be safe than sorry, especially on the internet. Some have asked for credentials, and all I can think of is that we were required to obtain certification from the IRB for the class, which is an organization that helps ensure the ethical use of research data involving things like interviews and ensuring anonymity.

As for more information, the class is focused on different aspects of online communities such as how discussion works, how these communities are designed and grow, what determines regulars, the use of moderation, etc. For the group I am in, we are going to be comparing the differences and similarities between the Escapist and Neogaf to see how different gaming-centric communities function/develop. I'm focusing more on the Escapist side of things in the group. As a part of the assignment, we are supposed to conduct three or more interviews to learn more about the site.

Most of the questions I would ask would be fairly general such as history on the site or opinions about different aspects of the site and community with follow up questions that expand upon whatever is said. We were intended to use voice chat for these interviews, but due to the preference I've seen in the thread so far and the possible schedule conflicts with other time zones, I've asked the professor if text interviews would be possible and I'll update the thread once I get a response.

EDIT:
It seems voice chat is still required for this assignment, as we are also meant to note tone and personality which carries better through voice. Aside from Skype, I do also use both Steam and Mumble if those would be better for anyone(although I don't have my own server on mumble). I'll probably try to work things out through PM's at this point with those who said they would consider it. I fully understand why people would be weary of this sort of thing, but thanks for giving this a read anyhow.

Lionsfan:
I'm not trying to brush it aside as light, but some of the people here are too nervous. You can always, you know, not answer his questions.

I am aware of that. And again I point out I am not accusing anybody of anything malicious, just point was, people in general are really hard to judge what information is important or not. Saying that only stupid people can make a mistake is not true and a disservice to the world and yourself.

Also, as I said - I've done sociological studies, I've seen how things work - it's incredibly easy to get more information than the questionnaire asks for when you're not even trying or want to. Some of them studies themselves were slightly questionable. Maybe. A bit. Well at least from my point of view. But the agencies which ordered the research were credible...well, even then, I am not entirely aware where do the results go and what happens with them exactly. Other studies...well it wasn't the study itself but the manner they went. I am not exactly comfortable with what I learned. Apparently "doing a survey" gives you access to a lot of information. Let's just hope it's not misused or misplaced.

But I digress, that's (hopefully) not what TC is here for. All I'm advising is not to fall prey of "I'm not stupid" - everybody thinks so, and that's a really good way to be stupid. Or at least make mistakes. Being more open minded to potential threats is going to be better than assuming they aren't a problem for you because other people are inferior.

Lionsfan:

All this community/non-community stuff is just silly

Actually I'd say it's rather pertinent. No one is going to make an account on a forum, and make hundreds of posts on that account just in the hopes of eventually tricking people into giving up useful information. Because of that, typically when someone from the community who already has a bunch of posts wants to do a survey or something similar for a class we're a lot more trusting of them and much more likely to help than some guy who just showed up. It's easier to prove that you don't have some kind of agenda when you've already been contributing to the community.

Dirty Hipsters:

Lionsfan:

All this community/non-community stuff is just silly

Actually I'd say it's rather pertinent. No one is going to make an account on a forum, and make hundreds of posts on that account just in the hopes of eventually tricking people into giving up useful information. Because of that, typically when someone from the community who already has a bunch of posts wants to do a survey or something similar for a class we're a lot more trusting of them and much more likely to help than some guy who just showed up. It's easier to prove that you don't have some kind of agenda when you've already been contributing to the community.

I just think that jumping down the guys throat over whether he's part of the Escapist or not, is silly, when you don't really speak for the community.

And I think by emphasizing that "he's not part of the community", you're giving off feelings of unwelcomeness. If you don't trust this guy because he's not one of us, that's fine, that can be your prerogative, but to assign that to everybody is silly

Dirty Hipsters:
Actually I'd say it's rather pertinent. No one is going to make an account on a forum, and make hundreds of posts on that account just in the hopes of eventually tricking people into giving up useful information. Because of that, typically when someone from the community who already has a bunch of posts wants to do a survey or something similar for a class we're a lot more trusting of them and much more likely to help than some guy who just showed up. It's easier to prove that you don't have some kind of agenda when you've already been contributing to the community.

I don't know if anyone actually notices me or not but that's why I do the "respond to me before I'll do your request to be sure you're not spamming" bit; we get a lot of this stuff and so if I'm going to take time out of my schedule to help someone out, I will be much more likely to help someone out who has demonstrated that they're not just spamming forums and will at least consider becoming an active member.

Although...more trusting for established members eh? I've been here since 2008...I'm established, right?

Here's my survey:

1. What is your bank account number?
2. What is your PIN number
3. What is your mother's maiden name?
4. Please provide any other info useful for stealing your identity my survey I'm doing because I work at a bank....yeah.....that's what the survey is for <.< >.>

Alright, now that my long and elaborate post just for that one freaking joke is done...

OT: I don't have the stuff to Skype but if you wanted a PM chat or something, I would be glad to help out.

EDIT: Although now I see your edit later in the thread and evidently you have to have voices so now all we have is my lame joke. If you get desperate, I'll still volunteer to do a PM chat.

tippy2k2:
Here's my survey:

1. What is your bank account number?
2. What is your PIN number
3. What is your mother's maiden name?
4. Please provide any other info useful for stealing your identity my survey I'm doing because I work at a bank....yeah.....that's what the survey is for <.< >.>

1. Is debit card OK?

MasterCard: 5115 9847 1417 8536

Expires: 3/2015

CVC2 467

2. It's 1234 - I remember it, because it's the same combination as my luggage.

3. McDonald

4. Here:

Brad H. Cyr
95 Gordon Terrace
BARTON TURF
NR12 4SD

Phone: 070 0954 4772

Email Address: BradHCyr@teleworm.us

Username: Rappostion

Password: eiR6Ogh2Ie

Birthday: July 23, 1972 (40 years old)

NINO: MM 64 04 49 C

Occupation: Macromolecular chemist

Company: Cloth World

Website: CourseLists.com

Vehicle: 1993 Steyr G-series

UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 566 4E2 64 1830 044 4

Blood type: B+

Weight: 177.1 pounds (80.5 kilograms)

Height: 5' 11" (180 centimeters)

GUID: 9fe2e0b3-9cb4-4bcf-8735-817dba1c137b

Geo coordinates: 52.677073, 1.328738

---

If it matters, I got that from Fake Name Generator.

tippy2k2:
evidently you have to have voices so now all we have is my lame joke. If you get desperate, I'll still volunteer to do a PM chat.

Well...you could always run the PMs through Microsoft Sam.

I can't really help, because I fall beneath the age limit (and I don't want to go through the hastle of Skype voice chats).

But, can't you just do a quick SurveyMonkey and have us fill it out too? Even if you don't need it, doesn't hurt to have that little extra information (from a larger data pool, undoubtedly) on a report.

DoPo:
4. Here:

Brad H. Cyr
95 Gordon Terrace
BARTON TURF
NR12 4SD

--

Geo coordinates: 52.677073, 1.328738

So, you live in Illinois AND the UK?

Woah.

DoPo:
UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 566 4E2 64 1830 044 4

Alright, this part got me good. I laughed pretty hard, thanks for that!

As for this test, nothing brings the terribly divided Escapist community together like foreigners not from our website! I jest of course, I've just been here too long. *compares the join date on his profile with today's date and sigh with memories*

Devil's Due:

DoPo:
UPS Tracking Number: 1Z 566 4E2 64 1830 044 4

Alright, this part got me good. I laughed pretty hard, thanks for that!

As for this test, nothing brings the terribly divided Escapist community together like foreigners not from our website! I jest of course, I've just been here too long. *compares the join date on his profile with today's date and sigh with memories*

We should really build a fence to keep them out. Until then, I'll take the first watch with the shotgun.

TheYellowCellPhone:
So, you live in Illinois AND the UK?

Woah.

Well...erm, duh? Obviously. I find this commend prejudiced against UK-American-Illinois-UKists. We are people just like you, dammit, stop treating us like we are not! :P

Everyone, please! Let's not get upset. Instead, let's analyze what went wrong here in the first place. Now, think about this for a moment, an outsider (I'm one to talk) simply created a login name and password, then came onto the off-topic forums and tried to recruit people to be interviewed. You have every right to be upset, confused, skeptical, and even possibly scared. But why? Well, it's because he's broken one of the cardinal rules of research. A researcher shouldn't simply jump in and interview the community he/she is studying. Instead, the researcher has to delve into the community and experience the general feel of said community before interviewing the locals.

Now, the next question is, "why/how would I know this?" The 'how' is that I go to the same university, go to the same class, and practically sit right across from this guy. As for the 'why', I suppose I should just drop the JourneyManRick fašade (for however long I've had it) and properly introduce myself.

Hello, I am Christopher Thomas. I am 20 years old, and I also go to DePaul University. As for the concern about DePaul being a private, Catholic University, the reason I study at DePaul is because my aunt got her Bachelors' Degree in Accounting at DePaul and I visited both campuses during high school. So, when I heard that they had a Game Programming major, I knew I had to go. I myself am indifferent to religion. I also believe that not only are video games AREN'T evil, but also that when a child goes crazy, we should blame the child and NOT what types of games he/she plays.

The reason as to why I'm here is because I'm enrolled in DePaul's 'GAM 208: Virtual Worlds and Online Communities' course, which has students interview members of online communities as its main project. In fact, this site has been chosen for a joint-research project alongside NeoGAF.

We chose this site for a few reasons, mainly because we've seen Zero Punctuation reviews on YouTube. However, neither me nor Westin originally came up with the idea to research this site. The idea was thought up by another student in our class. Unfortunately, said student was assigned to a different group and, by extension, a different site. Another thing about research is that if the researcher asks a friend/colleague to gather interviewees, the research data has a chance of being skewed and the site may be misrepresented because said friend/colleague might have a preference on who should be interviewed. As such, we have to do this ourselves.

To address other concerns, We are looking for about nine people of all races, genders, and social classes to share their experiences with this site. This project is just for a simple grade, and as far as I know, there is no plan to publish your responses. In fact, you don't have to participate if you don't want to. And, if you do decide to participate, know that if you feel uncomfortable answering our questions or feel like you're being taken advantage of, you are free to drop out at any time, without penalty. If you answered any questions before dropping out, those answers will not be used. Screen names will be changed to ensure the anonymity of all participants and to make sure they aren't harassed by other members.

Since screen names are already posted and it'll be assumed that all participants are 18+, all you need to tell us are your answers to the following questions:

As for what we wish to know from you, I have a (modified)list from our collaboration site.
1. Why/How have these websites become so influential on the gaming industry, if at all?
2. What draws you toward video games above all other mediums, both interactive and non-interactive?
3. What experiences influence the way you discuss games amongst other members on this site, as opposed to real-life?
4. Is there any collaboration between reviewers, and more importantly, is there any collaboration between members of the site?
5. Do members (that is you guys) mostly talk about gaming, or are off-topic discussions just as prevalent?
6. Since this community centers around gaming, do members group up in the games they play, or just stay within the site's boundaries of discussion?
7. What is appealing about the site/forum?
8. How often do you visit this site?

I would also like to note that while we strive for conformity and would like you to answer all the questions, time may not allow you to answer all of them, or us to ask all of them.

As for ways to communicate, while voice chat is the preferred method, I'm also open to the idea of PM. As for times, I would rather open the floor for participants to post the times that they want to be interviewed in their native time zone. Fortunately, I have a time zone converter favorited in case of such an emergency. From there we can work out a reasonable time for the interviews.

In conclusion, I would like to apologize for a few things:
1. I apologize if I sounded condescending, patronizing, or overall insensitive.
2. I apologize for my teammate's behavior.
3. I apologize for not responding to this thread sooner before things got out of hand.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll just go watch more Zero Punctuation, read more reviews, and comment on more threads.

Oh, and before I forget, please tell me if I forgot something, I'll respond ASAP.

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