• Katrine Emdal Tscherning Nielsen
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
This master’s thesis conducts an inductive netnographic investigation of a group of players within the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: Online. Through semi-structured interviews and participatory observations, this thesis applies the theories of the Public and Private Sphere, Social Capital and Performativity in order to explain how communities are formed within MMORPGs, how players utilize the communication tools provided to them within the game as well as what these communities mean to their members.

Findings from this thesis indicate that players create online communities for a variety of different reasons, mainly to create strong friendships, have creative needs fulfilled as well as find a place where they can safely explore different parts of their identities. The players utilize communication tools in different ways, mainly using emotes as a form of replacement for body language and using different chat windows to ensure their communication is kept within specific contexts. Finally, the thesis finds that these players hold this game and these communities in high regard as it has had an impact on their self-perception and self-esteem, serving as safe space for minorities, and serving as a platform for friendships to grow even closer than ones that the players have in real life.
The thesis then discusses the implications of unclear GDPR rules, meaning of online friendship and the possibility of utilizing online dialogue in other contexts, such as for therapy.
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages73
ID: 532427298