The impact of voice in an online video game (Williams et al., 2007)

This relates to the kotaku article about players using teamspeak. This study is more related to the video games than the Sheeks & Birchmeier (2007) study. On that note from Kotaku about voice being a mood killer, it sounds like a nice hypothesis to check out. I should also check out the mostly-male players reactions to a woman’s voice, I wonder if the males would fight each other in order to court that woman… I’m not thinking straight right now…feeling drowsy.


This paper reports the results of a controlled field experiment in which voice communication was introduced into an existing online community (online gaming guilds within the popular game “World of Warcraft”), comparing a mix of voice and text with text only. Quantitative results suggest increases in liking and trust due to the addition of voice, as well as insulation from unexpected negative impacts of text-only play. The findings are discussed with respect to social capital, cyberbalkanization, and the general computer-mediated communication literature, with special attention paid to social information processing theory.

What’s strange about me is that I like playing video games and watching anime. However, I never played online multiplayer games once in my life and yet I want to study them. Maybe that unknown territory makes it very tempting to see how it looks like. If you’re wondering why, it’s because I’m still on dial-up and I have a fear of MMO addiction (quite the irrational thought).

Williams, D., Caplan, S., & Xiong, L. (2007). Can you hear me now? the impact of voice in an online gaming community. Human Communication Research, 33(4), 427-449.


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