[Video Game] Supported Non-Verbal Communication in EverQuest

Yes I just kissed a frog: Supported Non-Verbal Communication in EverQuest (.pdf) by Tommy Nordkvist.

With the use of the ethnographical tool participant observation I have studied the mssive multi-player online game EverQuest. Through Erving Goffman’s descriptions on the importance of a well functioning non-verbal forms of communication (Erving Goffman, Behavior in Public Places, The Free Press, New York 1963 and Erving Goffman, Interaction Ritual, Pantheon Books, New York 1967) and through Mikael Argyle’s works on social behaviour (Michael Argyle, The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour, Penguin Books, London, 1994) I have constructed a theoretical framework that then is used on the findings from EverQuest. The result proves that there exists a very varied and fruitful use of non-verbal social communications in the game. Not only do the players use the channels that are designed for the communication, but they also use the text chat for the expressions they seem to lack in the pre-designed features. My concluding suggestion is that games in the future should work on getting nonverbal communication better integrated in the games, but at the same time not expect that the players because of that would seize using the text chat.