Norms, practices, and rules of virtual community of online gamers: applying the institutional theoretical lens
In this chapter, the author addresses a key question rooted in an institutional perspective: What norms, practices, and rules are evident in online gaming that facilitates the development of a virtual community of online gamers? Available studies have so far examined the institutional influences on organizations but not on virtual community. Thus, there is a compelling need to bridge fields such as IS and sociology in order to understand virtual communities of online gamers. The chapter comprises five sections: (1) examination of online gamers as an example of a virtual community; (2) brief description of institutional theory to illustrate the theoretical lens applied; (3) presentation of the methodology of the study; (4) discussion of the findings based on four different aspects: social roles and social positions, interaction rules, social control systems, and leadership; and finally (5) presentation of some implications and suggestion of future directions for study of the rapidly-growing phenomenon of online gaming.