Death of a guild, birth of a network : Online community ties within and beyond code

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-202
Journal / PublicationGames and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


To explore what helps and hinders long-term online community cohesion, a once strong but now withered 7-year-old guild in the online game EverQuest 2 was studied using mixed methods. It was found that the guild faced stresses on five distinct yet interrelated levels: personal, subgroup, guild, game, and company level. Strong intragroup ties can aid group cohesion but can also cause fragmenting along weaker ties if a strong subgroup leaves the guild. Continual leadership is vital, in part due to the game mechanics that give guild leaders most of the structural power over the guild. Communities may leave their space of origin but maintain ties across several other mediated spaces simultaneously. Game companies and guild leaders can control or influence some, but not all, of the stresses guilds face. © The Author(s) 2014.

Research Area(s)

  • EverQuest 2, guilds, MMO, online community, social ties