You may need to open a free account at www.gamasutra.com but these papers provide some pretty good academic analysis of key topics in the gaming field.

 

Understanding addiction in multiplayer games 

Game Spaces and Worlds 

Spatial Principles of level design in multiplayer shooters 

 

While on the subject of gaming in China, this was a pretty cool interview by one of the research houses covering China gaming

What doesn't the average person on the street know about China?

They don’t know that consoles are illegal, they don’t know that pirate stores sell a lot of packaged games that have been pirated, to the point where 30 or 40 percent of gaming is still done off-line. I think the press would have all the gaming community believe that online games are the only things that happen in China, and that’s just not true. There are a lot of packaged goods purchased form pirates, also a lot of BitTorrent downloads.  

What do single-player games reach sales, in China?

Well, interestingly enough, four years ago, the number one offline, legitimate game sold 450,000 units. In 2005, the number one legitimate offline game sold 50,000 units.  So the illegal downloads are usurping the available market. But that doesn’t mean the gamers are playing those games less frequently. It just means they’re acquiring them for free.  

And they’re still playing single-player games?

Yeah. They’re still playing them, a lot. They even play them in the Internet cafes.  

Rock on !

-frank yu