Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG’s) and the emotional wellbeing of adults living with a physical disability

Mrs Anca Grobbelaar1

1Melbourne University, Wattle Glen, Australia

Abstract:

Aims:
Discuss the results of a Scoping Review aiming to address the research question: “What is known in the evidence about using Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG’s) to promote the emotional wellbeing of adults living with a physical disability?”.

Methods:
This Scoping Review explored the existing empirical research pertaining to utilising MMORPG’s as an intervention tool to promote the emotional wellbeing of adults living with a physical disability. Suitable papers were located by systematically searching the electronic databases PsychINFO, Medline, CINAHL, WebofScience and SocINDEX) using key search terms derived from internet gaming, physical disability, emotional wellbeing and psychological benefits.  Strict Inclusion and Exclusion criteria; focus being on international, evidence-based literature, peer-reviewed articles reporting original findings (2008 – 2018) and selected grey literature.

Results:
Scoping Review highlighted significant gaps in  using digital gameplay (specifically MMORPG’S) as an engagement tool with physically disabled adults. Pre-existing body of literature regarding the use of internet gaming and digital platforms as intervention tools; however almost exclusively focused on children and adolescents.

Significance of findings:
Future research to be conducted to gain insight into whether MMORPG’s has the potential to enhance the emotional wellbeing of adults living with a physical disability; when applied as a problem-focused coping strategy. Using mixed methodology, investigate whether high engagement of physically disabled adults in MMORPG’s;  could be an effective coping mechanism which allows the physically disabled to feel socially connected.

Biography:

Mrs Anca Grobbelaar is a phd student at the University of Melbourne. She has 15 years experience as a social work in Child Protection; and is keen to explore digital platforms as new intervention tools to enhance the overall quality of life for people living with disabilities.