Social Networks and Success in Online Games

Winter Mason

In this talk, I will discuss empirical work on the effect of social networks and social network structure on success in online games. In experimental work, we manipulated the social network structure to see the effect on a homemade exploratory game in which participants had to make a choice between exploiting known solutions and exploring for new, possibly better solutions. This game models many contexts in which collectives are operating semi-independently in a search task. This research is complemented by observational research on friendships and team success in the massive multiplayer first-person shooter game, "Halo: Reach." In this work we infer friendships for millions of players based on small sample and observe the effect of those friendships on team play and team success. I will highlight similarities and differences between the research and preview research that extends this work.

Presentation (PDF File)

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