Current Issue: Vol. 7-1 (03/09/2009)



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DRAVEN: HOSTILE ARSENAL`Crusade GUARDIANS PierceTheVeins Fenris Mastermind Vengeance LEGION ELITE Imperial SUPERIOR Descendants REVENGE AllStars CONQUEROR CONQUEST Renegades Celestial Beings Enrage ... [go]

Ashraf Ahmed : real-world context can be inserted into a virtual world, effectively turning the virtual world into a forum for real-world contexts. ... [go]

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VoIP Usage

Factors Related to VoIP Use

These three ratings of usage frequency, helpfulness, and enjoyableness actually correlate to a high degree (cronbach's = .86). Because I was interested in exploring what kinds of players were most likely to have enjoy VoIP tools, I created a composite measure out of these 3 variables. Then I ran a multiple regression using the motivation factors as the predictor variables and the composite measure as the dependent variable. The resulting predictive model was somewhat weak (adjusted r-square = .11), but the best predictor of VoIP use was the Achievement factor (goal-oriented, quick progression), followed by a negatively-signed Immersion factor (stories, character, fantasy world), and then the Socialization factor (chat, gossip, help others).

So players who use VoIP tools tend to be those players who enjoy leveling quickly, who care a lot about how powerful their characters are. On the other hand, they do not care about being immersed into a fantasy world. And finally, they enjoy chatting with their online friends. It's interesting that the adoption of a social tool is more strongly driven by achievement factors rather than social factors, but high-level raids do often necessitate tight coordination, so one might expect that high-level guilds would adopt VoIP tools for these purposes (i.e., giving military commands and following orders).

If this is the case, then one interesting corollary is that VoIP adoption would be higher in MMOs where there is easy access to enjoyable raid content. By raid content, I mean content that requires well-coordinated groups. For example, instances in WoW that are easily finished by pick-up groups (i.e., Stockades, SM, ZF, etc.) would not require the tight coordination afforded by VoIP. In other words, we might expect VoIP adoption to be lower in games that had little content that required this level of tight coordination, if that content was accessible to very few players, or if that content was simply not enjoyable.

Of course, once players adopt VoIP tools and become familiar with them, then they do become social in addition to instrumental tools. VoIP then may play a significant role in creating stronger bonds within a guild. In other words, accessible raid content that is enjoyable may indirectly enhance guild cohesion via the pressure to adopt VoIP tools.

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Tribal design by snoopydoo. Crusader graphic by Gravity. All other materials available at The Daedalus Project are copyright 2003-2006 by Nick Yee.