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Virtual Reality

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 183–194 | Cite as

Presence in the age of social networks: augmenting mediated environments with feedback on group activity

  • Francesco Martino
  • Roberto Baù
  • Anna Spagnolli
  • Luciano Gamberini
Original Article

Abstract

The present study aimed at increasing behavioral engagement in groups of networked people by providing feedback on the group activity. Each participant logged into an on-line virtual environment for four subsequent treasure-hunting sessions along with other nine players. During the game, all players communicated dyadically through textual chats, and searched for the treasures in the virtual environment. In two conditions, the participants received a visual feedback depicting the communication activity with the group based on social network analysis indices (i.e. ‘centrality’ or ‘reciprocity’). Feedback was not provided in the third condition. The underlying assumption was that if the group activity becomes more visible to the individual user through the feedback, then the behavioral engagement with the group increases. The resulting behavioral engagement was measured with two techniques, one based on the amount of messages exchanged and one based on self-reported measures. The results show that feedback improved the exchange of messages with respect to the control condition and that this effect was only partially captured by self-reported measures.

Keywords

Social network analysis Feedback Social presence Behavioral engagement Multiplayer game Augmented communication 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The study reported here is partially funded by the PASION project (Psychologically Augmented Social Interaction over Networks, reference number 27654 PASION, EU IST program).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Martino
    • 1
  • Roberto Baù
    • 1
  • Anna Spagnolli
    • 1
  • Luciano Gamberini
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Technology Lab, Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly

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