Evaluating Social Interaction

In the summer term 2016, a group of master students investigated the impact of game design elements on the social interaction and communication between players in local multiplayer scenarios. Player interaction is an integral part of the player experience in multiplayer games and thus highly interesting to study. However, communication and interaction are both abstract constructs that are hard to operationalize and to measure. Hence, in this project we evaluated methods to assess communicative acts during play. We used video recording and gameplay metrics to be able to analyze the behavior of players in terms of communication. A simple puzzle game was implemented for two players and used in a comprehensive study. In different levels, we varied different game design aspects like time pressure, control, and player dependency. All gaming sessions were recorded and player behavior was coded afterwards based on a predefined coding scheme. The project provides valuable insights regarding the impact of game design on social player interaction and the applicability of our coding scheme.


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