An Empirical Study on Team Formation in Online Games

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Conference Proceeding

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Online games provide a rich recording of interactions that can contribute to understanding human behavior. One potential contribution is understanding what motivates people to choose their teammates. We examine several hypotheses about team formation using a large, longitudinal dataset from a team-based online gaming environment. Specifically, we test how positive familiarity, homophily, and competence determine team formation in Battlefield 4, a popular team-based game in which players choose one of two competing teams to play on. Our dataset covers over two months of in-game interactions between over 380,000 players. We show that familiarity is an important factor in team formation, while homophily is not. Competence affects team formation in more nuanced ways: players with similarly high competence team up repeatedly, but large variation in competence discourages repeated interactions.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

ASONAM '17: Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining 2017, Sydney, Australia, p. 431-438