The Effect of Team Choice in Ingress and Pokémon GO for Players' Social Circles and Attitudes Towards Game Slang

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Laato, Samuli
Inaba, Nobufumi
Paloheimo, Mauri
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Player communities in the location-based games Pokémon GO and Ingress differ from most online multiplayer game communities in two major ways: (1) Interaction between players occurs mostly face-to-face and (2) teams are static, for example, currently in Pokémon GO, changing teams is possible only once a year. In addition, much of the interaction between teams is non-verbal and occurs in the game world. The current study investigates how these characteristics affect the forming of player communities and friendships, and how the team of Pokémon Go and Ingress players can be used to predict the usage and attitudes towards a slang-word “jym” i.e. gym. Five Pokémon GO chats (242852 messages) from South-Western Finland were analyzed. In addition, a questionnaire (N=178) was sent to players in the case community, asking about their opinions and attitudes towards the word “jym”. The results highlight the importance of the team in location-based games for the forming of friendships and raise an issue that the lack of verbal communication and cooperative opportunities can lead to negative attitudes and prejudice towards players on the opposing team. The study shows the influence of exclusive team chats on players’ attitudes and draws parallels to the polarization of opinions due to personalized search results and social media. Game mechanics which encourage players from different teams to cooperate with one another are proposed as a solution for the polarization.
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Games and Gaming, language, location-based games, player communities, polarization, social interaction
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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