Sociable Killers: Understanding Social Relationships in an Online First-Person Shooter Game

CSCW '11 Proceedings of the ACM 2011 conference on Computer supported cooperative work |

Published by ACM

Online video games can be seen as medium for the formation and maintenance of social relationships. In this paper, we explore what social relationships mean under the context of online First-Person Shooter (FPS) games, how these relationships influence game experience, and how players manage them. We combine qualitative interview and quantitative game log data, and find that despite the gap between the non-persistent game world and potentially persistent social relationships, a diversity of social relationships emerge and play a central role in the enjoyment of online FPS games. We report the forms, development, and impact of such relationships, and discuss our findings in light of design implications and comparison with other game genres.