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Social gaming experiences

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sana
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Joined: 07/31/2010

As promised, I'm back to share my findings with you lovely people who have taken part in my research.

Aims
My study aimed to look at the influence of flow (positive feelings during gaming) on mood after playing videogames. Also, to see the differences in flow and mood between solo and social gaming experiences.I also wanted to look at the role of competitiveness and aspects of aggression on gaming experiences and mood after game-play.

Findings
Positive flow was positively linked to positive mood after game-play in both solo and social gaming experiences. Also, social gaming experiences resulted in higher positive mood following gameplay compared to solo experiences. This suggests gaming to be a highly enjoyable experience but playing with others as opposed to alone leads to heightened perceptions of positive mood after gameplay.
There were no differences in experiences of flow between solo and social experiences and no differences in negative mood following gameplay between the two experiences.

When comparing competitive versus cooperative gameplay and online versus offline contexts, there were no differences in experiences of flow during play, or positive or negative mood after gameplay. (I want to look at this a bit more closely for the future because I think expereinces between these can actually be different and so maybe if I do the study in a different way, I might find something else.....)
Competitiveness was positively related to flow and positive mood for social gaming experiences but not for solo ones. It is also noteworthy that competitiveness did not show to be related to negative mood in neither solo nor social gaming experiences. This suggests competitiveness to be a positive part of the gaming experience, in particular for social gaming.

Those are pretty much the main findings. My future research plans are to do some more focus groups or interviews with gamers to look at any differences in online versus offline gaming experiences because this hasn't really been studied before.
If any of you have any ideas/suggestions you think would be interesting to research, I would be very happy to hear them.
Thank-you once again for your help and support in my research.
Kind regards,
sana

red hare
red hare's picture
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Joined: 11/09/2009
your research sounds positive

Very interesting research project.

So do social people play social games or is it an avenue for unsocial people to have quasi-social experiences?

Kidding aside, I'm curious if your study covered the degrees of interaction between the players in a multiplayer computer game. Is the positive flow the same if a person is playing a game where they just see the avatars of the other players compared to when they can hear the voice/ see the video of the players? What if the other players are displayed as individualistic representations of fantasy people, as in a character in WoW and Everquest? In these cases, is the positive flow the same?

Just curious :)

Thanks for sharing your results!

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