From faux-social to pro-social: The mediating role of copresence in developing expectations of social support in a game

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Abstract

Social network games-games that incorporate network data from social network sites-heavily rely on helping behavior between players as a central mechanism of play. Does this "faux social" behavior still generate expectations of social support among players? An experiment (N = 88) was conducted to examine the effect of helping on copresence and perceived social support between strangers playing the Facebook game Cityville. Three types of social support were examined: instrumental support within the game, instrumental support outside of the game, and emotional support. Findings indicate that the simple action of being helped in a game generates copresence, the feeling of proximity in a virtual environment. Copresence was a positive predictor of all three types of perceived social support but had highest explanatory power for instrumental support within the game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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