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Less is More: Analysing Communication in Teams of Strangers

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Title of host publicationProceedings of HICSS 54
DatePublished - 5 Jan 2021
Place of PublicationProceedings of HICSS 54
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Teamwork is challenging in cooperative digital
games, especially between strangers. In many online
cooperative games, teams have a short-lived existence
and ever-changing membership. Our study explores
how short-lived, ad hoc teams of strangers communicate
and investigate its effect on team performance. We
use the commercial cooperative digital game, Portal
2 and analyse 2256 text message instances produced
by teams during a 45-minute interaction. Our
findings show that team communication is negatively
related to performance, and affects performance over
and beyond prior experience. A content analysis
shows that teams generally have higher task-related
communication than socio-emotional communication.
This pattern is consistent throughout the duration of
the interaction period. The results are discussed in the
context of previous research on team communication
and performance, and we draw parallels with
communication patterns in real-world groups such as
aviation crews.

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