AAAI Publications, Eleventh Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment Conference

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NPCs as Social Mediators in Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Nicole Crenshaw, Bonnie Nardi

Last modified: 2015-09-23


Previous research demonstrates that social experience is a key motivation for continued play in online games. We argue that there is an untapped potential for NPCs to act as social mediators in online games by stimulating social interaction between players. For example, a social mediator NPC could ask in chat, “How is everyone’s day?” to encourage conversations between players. We suggest two potential applications for social mediator NPCs in online games by examining social experiences in two contemporary massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOs): Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft.


online game; social experience; massively multiplayer online game; social mediator NPC

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