Functional or social? Exploring teams in online games

Yun Huang*, Wenyue Ye, Nicholas Bennett, Noshir Contractor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations


Team collaboration in multi-player online games provides opportunities for players to interact with each other. Facilitating teams has become one of the main design principles to increase social activities. However, there is no research evidence that collaborating on tasks in game teams can produce the desired relational outcome. This paper examines more than half a million solo and team activities during a week in Dragon Nest, an MMO game. We measure the degree of team engagement using the percentage of time played in teams and the percentage of play with repeated teammates, and we then identify different types of players using this. The results show that solo players and team players are two distinct populations and they are highly predictable based on players' in-game status. Moreover, we find that spending more time in teams does not always lead to more social interactions. The interviews with players are conducted to validate the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Mar 18 2013
Event2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2013Feb 27 2013


Other2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX


  • Network sociality
  • Online games
  • Solo player
  • Team collaboration
  • Team engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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