For Better or Worse: Game Structure and Mechanics Driving Social Interactions and Isolation

  • Dmitri WilliamsEmail author


Game developers write code that governs and impacts our behaviors. The resulting positive and negative social outcomes are the inevitable consequence of some designs, even when those consequences are unintended. To make this point, the chapter lays out a theoretical groundwork from computer-mediated communication and references a series of empirical research examples. The operating assumptions are that online communities are real, code impacts behaviors, and developers working in the “mechanics-design-aesthetics” framework make this code in an attempt to create experiences. Games have real community effects as the result of what we can call “social architecture.” Games with heavier social architectures have more social interactions and more vibrant communities than those that don’t.


Computer-mediated communication Community Social architecture Code Effects Online community 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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