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The cooperative or competitive attitudes of players in video games can influence their enjoyment of the game. We examined the effects of matched and unmatched attitude pairings of players on their enjoyment within cooperative and competitive game scenarios. We tested the hypothesis that matching individual attitudes to game scenarios would increase game enjoyment. Sixty-two participants (31 pairs) played virtual Bocce and completed a questionnaire that evaluated their level of enjoyment and their competitive and cooperative attitudes. Quantitative results showed that cooperative pairings enjoyed playing together and male pairings enjoyed playing most in a competitive game scenario. Qualitative results showed that enjoyment was evident when players exchanged signs of encouragement and when they experienced winning. Implications for game design could include initiating a survey or engineering interactions to detect a player’s level of competitiveness or cooperativeness in online games to improve game enjoyment.
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Substitutability, attitudes, and inducibility are the three dimensions that Deutsch ( 2006) identified to describe the competitive–cooperative spectrum. All three are necessary for understanding the social and psychological processes involved in creating the major effects of competition and cooperation.
Friends and non-friends could influence the results due to friendship biases. For example, friends could be more supportive or engage in more conversation with each other during play compared to non-friends.
* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.01.
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- Dynamic Player Pairing: Quantifying the Effects of Competitive Versus Cooperative Attitudes