Publication: Cooperation and Interdependence: How Multiplayer Games Increase Social Closeness

Games have long been used as a bonding activity; however, research on establishing and maintaining social closeness through games uses different terms, different mechanics and controls, and different contexts of use. As a result, designers have little guidance on which multiplayer game mechanics are most effective. We summarize literature on game design for social closeness into a framework with two collaborative mechanics: cooperation and interdependence. We then created four versions of an online game to independently test the effects of these game mechanics on relationship formation between paired online strangers, showing that cooperation and interdependence are two distinct factors that both can be used to improve play experience and increase social bonds. Additionally, we unpack the effect of interdependence, showing that the improved social closeness can be explained by the increase in conversational turns.

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Participants

Ansgar Depping Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Depping, A.E., Mandryk, R.L. 2017. Cooperation and Interdependence: How Multiplayer Games Increase Social Closeness. In CHI PLAY '17 Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 449-461. Honourable Mention Award (top 5%). DOI=10.1145/3116595.3116639.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {514-p449-depping,
author= {Ansgar Depping and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Cooperation and Interdependence: How Multiplayer Games Increase Social Closeness},
booktitle= {CHI PLAY '17 Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play},
year= {2017},
address= {Amsterdam, The Netherlands},
pages= {449-461},
note= {Honourable Mention Award (top 5%)}
}