A Study of Team Cohesion and Player Satisfaction in two Face-to-Face Games

Martin Eleanor Good Judith
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

In this paper we investigate the link between game rules, team cohesion and players’ satisfaction with their teams within face-to-face team-based games. To measure team cohesion, rules from two games were analysed from the perspective of Social Identity Theory in order to form a hypothesis as to which game would be more likely to lead to more cohesive teams, where team cohesion is measured by the extent to which each player identifies with their team. Player satisfaction was measured by looking at three factors: communication within the team, player outcome versus team outcome, and fairness. Significant differences were found in the team cohesion measure suggesting that, as predicted by Social Identity Theory, team cohesion can be fostered by game rules. Team cohesion also correlated positively with player satisfaction. Taken together, this suggests that for games in which team cohesion is an important part, game designers can incorporate game rules in such as a way as to increase the likelihood of both team cohesion and player satisfaction.


The strenuous task of maintaining and making friends: Tensions between play and friendship in MMOs

Eklund Lina Ask Kristine
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

This empirically driven study concerns the creation and maintenance of friendships in online gaming. Social interaction and community building are integral to online game-play, yet maintaining and making friends within a gaming context is not without its conflicts. Through analyses of interview data (n=52) combined from two research projects concerning MMO-gaming this study presents three ideal type portraits of gamers. The portraits illustrate different struggles of balancing friendships, a challenging game experience, and everyday-life. Specifically they look at the relationship between social design and social play; everyday-life and contexts of play; and ‘player burnout’, when players leave the game. Results emphasise how friendships and everyday-life constrains affect how we play, our preferences towards play, and who we play with online. The study concludes that maintaining and making friends in an online game can be a strenuous task limited by both a rational game structure and everyday-life.


“You can’t help shouting and yelling”: fun and social interaction in Super Monkey Ball

Klastrup Lisbeth
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This paper examines the relation between social interaction and fun in multi-player console gaming contexts. It points to the fruitfullness of integrating game studies and game sociology with cultural studies of television and video use in order to explain both the framing and (social) use of console games and the fun of playing them. A prestudy of the relation between social interaction and fun in the playing of the game Super Monkey Ball reveals that there is a close relation between gaming skills, the gaming situation as a pleasurable and relieving social activity and the experience of fun.


Situated Play and Mobile Gaming

Grüter Barbara Oks Miriam
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

There is no other play than situated play. A game becomes situated via play activities. Without playing we have the mechanics of a game, the elements and the relations, the roles and the rules. Situated play emerges within playing when the skeleton becomes alive, the role becomes a person, and the abstract game system becomes a concrete unrepeatable gaming experience. For mobile games having permeable borders questioned permanently by everyday life circumstances the creation and recreation of the magic circle is decisive. At the core of the situated mobile play we found the relation of the player to herself, to the objective conditions, and to others.


Social Play? A study of social interaction in temporary group formation (PUG) in World of Warcraft

Eklund Lina Johansson Magnus
2010 DiGRA Nordic '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International DiGRA Nordic Conference: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players

One of the main components and reasons for the success of the Massive Multiplayer Online Games genre (MMOG) is that these games are seen as arenas for social interaction. The focus of this paper is the phenomenon of “Pick up Groups” (PUGs), a neglected aspect of online gaming. How is the social interaction structured in these temporary groups? The results of a participant observation study reveal a low level of social interaction between PUG players. Communication is held to a minimum and dungeons completed at high speed. Even in the event of downtime, interaction is rare. What little interaction has been observed is divided into instrumental and sociable interaction. A higher level of sociable interaction was found when several players from the same guild played together in the same group. But looking at greetings and goodbyes, normally used to acknowledge an ongoing social situation, we see that the social engagement in most PUGs is low. In summary, social interaction in PUGs, if any, is mainly instrumental, making these temporary groups unsocial game experiences; something not normally associated with group play in the MMOG genre.


Problem Based Game Design – Engaging Students by Innovation

Reng Lars Schoenau-Fog Henrik
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

At Aalborg University’s department of Medialogy, we are utilizing the Problem Based Learning method to encourage students to solve game design problems by pushing the boundaries and designing innovative games. This paper is concerned with describing this method, how students employ it in various projects and how they learn to analyse, design, and develop for innovation by using it. We will present various cases to exemplify the approach and focus on how the method aspires for innovation in digital entertainment and games.


Guidelines to Design Interactive Open-ended Play Installations for Children Placed in a Free Play Environment

Tiemstra Gordon van den Berg Renée Bekker Tilde de Graaf Mark
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

In this paper we describe a study in which we examine how children play with an interactive open-ended play installation. The idea behind open-ended play solutions is that children can create their own game goals and rules. However, what design parameters help children in being able to do this? Challenges include how to get children started with creating games, and develop rules as they play, and how an interactive open- ended installation can be flexible in including different amounts of children and play objects. We processed the observations of children playing with SmartGoals (an open ended play installation) into a series of guidelines that can be used as inspiration for the design of future open-ended play installations.


Playing with the Rules: Social and Cultural Aspects of Game Rules in a Console Game Club

Jakobsson Mikael
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

In this study of a Swedish console game club I have looked at how the rules of the games are connected to the social and cultural aspects of the context that the games are played in. I have devoted special attention to the game Super Smash Bros. Melee and how different contexts of play have formed around this game, for instance the emergence of a professional smash scene and the polarization of console club members into smashers and anti-smashers. My conclusion is that the idea that rules can play a core role in defining a game without the need to take the situated aspects of play into account is problematic. Rules do not inherently belong to the formal aspects of games. Even at the most fundamental level, rules are influenced by, and affect, the social and cultural aspects of the gaming context.