Communication in Prediction Games
Gabriel Dzodom (Texas A&M University)
Co-authors: Frank Shipman (Texas A&M University), Meghanath Junnutula (Schlumberger)
Research suggests that social interaction in web-based games like fantasy sports leads to greater player commitment and engagement. Yet, little is known about how players employ different type of communication tools, and which communication mode (asynchronous versus synchronous) is more engaging in particular contexts. This paper investigates the roles and effects of different communication mechanisms and their influence on the player experience in the data-driven web-based game, Fantasy Climate. The game features direct messages between players, a comment wall, a forum as asynchronous tools, and an instant messaging application as the synchronous tool. 27 participants played the Fantasy Climate game for approximately two weeks with the different communication mechanisms available at different times. Results indicate that (a) although players used different communication tools for different purposes, the forum emerged as the preferred communication system where most of the discourse occurred, and (b) Fantasy Climate was most engaging when coupled with asynchronous communication.