The social experience of multiplayer gaming is mediated by the communications tools that are available to use. Until recently, these have been largely text-based, but with the advent of new voiceover IP tools like Roger Wilco and Xbox Live, voice-mediated communication is becoming increasingly common. We present three studies of multiplayer gaming, where we analyse what happens in terms of the social experience when players are given the opportunity of talking to each other rather than texting. To do this we use a conceptual framework called FFIPS, which stands for Form, language Functions, Identity, Presence, and Social protocols. Our findings show that voiceover IP for multiplayer gaming appears to be well-suited to supporting a distinctive and enjoyable social experience, both by providing high ‘presence’ (i.e., increased energy, engagement and vividness), and by revealing information about players’ real identities.
Multiplayer games, social experience, text-based communications, voice-based communications,voiceover IP