Soc essay 2

Gabriel Klug 1006878041 837 Connecting Sociological Theories My story talks about my experience in a virtual community and how I was able to make virtual communities with those near and far. That experience can be connected to sociological theories, such as symbolic interactionism and structural functionalism. My virtual community is around a massive online battle arena game which implements details like roles, communication, structure, customs, and many more. Symbolic interactionism theory is made of three important ideas. Meaning, interpersonal communication, and human agency. (Brym 2020). My virtual community connects to this theory through the underlying roles given to each individual member. It is vital that those aspects are given meaning, and that there is communication between the members and the game. That requires human agency in order to work well. League of Legends has multiple moving parts that make it such a big phenomenon and those parts are reflected onto the community. The game itself has so much meaning to the players and those in the virtual community. When players are interacting with each other on the battlefield; the meaning of each champion, item or objective becomes significantly more important. This is because the roles of the people in the virtual community are intertwined with the roles of those same players in the game. As stated in my first written assignment, I mention that there are ways to communicate within the game which leads to the creation of virtual communities. The game is made more captivating when the players connect, especially in a smaller virtual community of friends. It makes the experience much more meaningful. "People learn norms, roles, and statuses actively and creatively," (Brym 2020) People in the virtual community can communicate by texting in a group, or
voice chat. It brings out the action of socialization, to otherwise antisocial individuals. This leads to the opportunity to create and find new friends. The idea of creating a virtual identity provides a platform for people to create an identity in which they can express themselves in ways that they might not be able to in the non-virtual world. People can connect from so far away over a game. The members of the community can discuss strategies, new plans, when to attack or defend. Whenever an update comes out for the game, people in the community are always discussing, talking about what they liked, what they don't like; and talking about ways it can be improved. The way people interact and socialize within the community is endless. Each game is never the same so human agency is always in effect because each player is in control of their character. "They can change their minds, make choices, and alter their circumstances'' (Brym 2020). Since the virtual community revolves so much around the game, the roles that people have in the community are connected with the roles in-game. There are five roles, that consists of a top laner, a mid laner, an ADC (Attack Damage Carry), support, and a jungler. People talk about their roles in the game to come up with different strategies to improve their playing. There are also different combinations which work best for battles and playing styles that individuals enjoy the most when using the game. This also connects with structural functionalism because there are certain guidelines that make the virtual community more efficient. Structural Functionalism also consists of three important ideas, "social structure, social function, and values." (Brym 2020). It is the concept of having structure, traditions, rules that you follow which carries a community. The virtual community that I am a part of has mostly rules that you find in various other virtual environments. Examples being; treat other players nicely, don't make any rude or
unnecessary comments. This is to help boost player morale and strengthen the sense of acceptance. All the content discussed needs to also be game related. The structure of the virtual community is on forums, chat rooms, and voice chats so it is all heavily built on talking with one another. Each member is expected to play their part of following the norms and traditions that are implemented within the community and in the game. So when those norms are broken, it is not welcome. Members who are toxic in game will be suspended and others who are toxic in the bigger virtual communities usually get banned or muted for a certain period of time. Through my experience as a regular player, the role I play within the game is as a mid laner. The custom is that I win my lane and then rotate to help out my fellow teammates. There are rules that I have to follow to gain success. It is a complex system of parts that work together to maintain stability. If I have teammates that are just trolling or not putting in on their part, it not only breaks the game for me; but also the opponents. There are rules that discourage players from showing bad manners online. That applies in game but more importantly, affects what the virtual community stands for.
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