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Investigating the Impact of Cooperative Communication Mechanics on Player Performance in Portal 2

Deepika Vaddi, Zachary O. Toups, Igor Dolgov, Rina R. Wehbe, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2016. Investigating the Impact of Cooperative Communication Mechanics on Player Performance in Portal 2. In Proceedings of Graphics Interfaces 2016. Victoria, BC, Canada. ACM.

Abstract

Cooperative communication mechanics, such as avatar gestures or in-game visual pointers, enable player collaboration directly through gameplay. We currently lack a deeper understanding of how players use cooperative communication mechanics, and whether they can effectively supplement or even supplant traditional voice and chat communication. The present research investigated player communication in Portal 2 by testing the game’s native cooperative communication mechanics for dyads of players in custom test chambers. Following our initial hypothesis, players functioned best when they had access to both cooperative communication mechanics and voice. We found that players preferred voice communication, but perceived cooperative communication mechanics as necessary to coordinate interdependent actions.