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The effects of winning and losing on social presence in team-based digital games

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

JournalComputers in Human Behaviour
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Feb 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Feb 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2016
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Early online date20/02/16
Original languageEnglish


Social play is an increasingly important constituent of the digital game experience. Though there is a growing understanding of how the social context influences the experience of playing, there is little known about how the experience of play influences the social experience. Specifically, it is not even known whether winning or losing affects a player's sense of social presence with their co-players. This paper provides the results of two studies aiming to explore this interaction. The first study is a lab-based study that looked at whether social presence varied in collocated teams playing team-based games depending on whether they won or lost. The second study is a user experience survey which measured how variables in the context of gameplay affected social presence across a number of team-based online games. The results of both studies show that when teams lose, the negative impact on social presence is greater within teams than between the competing teams. This has implications for how studies in this area should be analysed and also, through consideration of individual games, suggests that mechanisms in the games may lead to the reduced social presence.

    Research areas

  • Digital games, Outcome, Social presence, Team-play

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