Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Leadership emerges spontaneously during games

Date:
April 29, 2013
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Video game and augmented-reality game players can spontaneously build virtual teams and leadership structures without special tools or guidance, according to researchers.

Video game and augmented-reality game players can spontaneously build virtual teams and leadership structures without special tools or guidance, according to researchers.

Players in a game that mixed real and online worlds organized and operated in teams that resembled a military organization with only rudimentary online tools available and almost no military background, said Tamara Peyton, doctoral student in information sciences and technology, Penn State.

"The fact that they formed teams and interacted as well as they did may mean that game designers should resist over-designing the leadership structures," said Peyton. "If you don't design the leadership structures well, you shouldn't design them at all and, instead, let the players figure it out."

Peyton, who worked with Alyson Young, graduate student in information systems, and Wayne Lutters, associate professor of information systems, both at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said that the players quickly adopted a leadership structure that resembled the U.S. military's leadership hierarchy.

"One of the surprising things is that although the people in the game were not related in any way to the military, many of the teams organized along military lines, from designations to filing situation reports," said Peyton.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the 2013 Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris today (April 29), examined 54,000 posts of 2,500 players who took part in the I Love Bees game. Microsoft released the game in 2004 as part of a viral marketing campaign to promote the release of the company's Halo 2 video game. The object of the I Love Bees game was to decode messages from a beekeeper's website that was supposedly hacked by aliens. The coded messages revealed geographic coordinates of real pay telephones situated throughout the United States. Players then waited at those payphones for calls that contained more clues.

Because the game did not have a leadership infrastructure, players established their own websites and online forums on other websites to discuss structure, strategy and tactics.

A group of gamers from Washington, D.C., one of the most successful groups in the game, established an organization with a general and groups of lieutenants and privates. The numbers of members in each rank were roughly proportional to the amount of soldiers who fill out ranks in the U.S. military, Peyton said.

The players assigned their own ranks, rather than have ranks dictated to them. The general oversaw the strategy, while lieutenants mostly handled specific tactics for accomplishing the strategy. The privates carried out orders from the lieutenants.

As the game progressed, members researched military terminology and frequently used terms, such as armies, platoons and companies, in their message board posts. Peyton said that the increased militarization after 9/11 may have influenced this choice in terminology.

"The concept of militarization is more of a part of the collective imagination now, post 9/11," Peyton said.

Peyton said the study also shows the power of games to inspire people to work.

"These people did all of this work with no tangible reward, no promise of a free game, or anything," said Peyton. "The strict line between work and leisure is disappearing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Leadership emerges spontaneously during games." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429102413.htm>.
Penn State. (2013, April 29). Leadership emerges spontaneously during games. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429102413.htm
Penn State. "Leadership emerges spontaneously during games." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130429102413.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Free Math App Is A Teacher's Worst Nightmare

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — New photo-recognition software from MicroBlink, called PhotoMath, solves linear equations and simple math problems with step-by-step results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Rate Hike Worries Down on Inflation Data

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inflation remains well under control according to the latest consumer price index, giving the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates low for awhile. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins