Leveraging icebreaking tasks to facilitate uptake of voice communication in multiplayer games

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Hicks, Kieran
Gerling, Kathrin
Dickinson, Patrick
Linehan, Conor
Gowen, Carl
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Springer International Publishing AG
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Voice Communication (VC) is widely employed by developers as an essential component of online games. Typically, it is assumed that communications through this mechanism will be helpful and enjoyable, but existing literature suggests that the entry into VC can be problematic. In this paper, we present a study that attempts to mitigate player discomfort when first engaging with VC with strangers, through the use of traditional icebreaking tasks. We integrate these into the game RET, an online cooperative first person shooter which requires effective communication for players to succeed. An online user study with 18 participants suggests that icebreaking tasks can contribute to a positive VC experience, but their inclusion also creates further issues to be considered for successful integration.
Voice communication , Player experience , Game design
Hicks K., Gerling K., Dickinson P., Linehan C., Gowen C. (2018) ‘Leveraging icebreaking tasks to facilitate uptake of voice communication in multiplayer games’, in Cheok A., Inami M. and Romão T. (eds.) Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology. ACE 2017: 14th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, London, UK, 14-16 December, 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 10714. Springer International Publishing AG. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-76270-8_14
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved. The final authenticated version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76270-8_14