Does it matter if you don't know who's talking? Multiplayer gaming with Voiceover IP

John Halloran*, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Yvonne Rogers, Paul Marshall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

11 Citations (Scopus)


Voiceover IP (VoIP) now makes it possible for people in distributed online multiplayer games to talk to each other. This might not only influence game performance, but also social interaction. However, using VoIP in multiplayer games can often make it hard to know who is talking, an issue that other researchers have found to be problematic. In a 10-week study of a fixed group of adult gamers, we found that not knowing who is talking affects game performance differently according to the type of game. In team-based war games, it can have a negative effect both on learning and coordination, but in race games, where individuals rather than teams compete, it appears generally not to matter. In contrast, the impact of not knowing who is talking on social interaction is the same regardless of game type: while the social experience can be highly enjoyable, it is difficult for gamers to get to know each other. We consider the design implications for enhancing both game performance and social interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExtended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2004
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004
Event22nd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2004: Connect - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 24 Apr 200429 Apr 2004
Conference number: 22


Conference22nd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2004
Abbreviated titleCHI 2004
OtherWelcome to CHI2004, the premier international conference for human-computer interaction. CHI2004 will be held in Vienna, Austria. Our conference theme is CONNECT, and we've created new opportunities for conference attendees to connect with technology, with each other, and with Vienna, a marvelous central European city of imperial tradition and modern creativity. Please join us in Vienna and take advantage of the many opportunities to network and showcase your research, design, and practice in a top international conference destination. We are pleased to announce five Special Areas for the conference, and we especially encourage you to join us in exploring these topics.
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  • Multiplayer games
  • Qualitative study
  • Social interaction
  • Voiceover IP

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