Understanding the “social” nature of digital games

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There is a wealth of academic evidence which points to the role of social gaming on a range of outcomes. Studies have employed a range of methodological approaches to study this, although the majority tend to use experimental methods. The current paper provides a review of the current literature on outcomes of “social gaming” alongside raising debate about the conceptual underpinnings of this term. A taxonomy is presented which draws distinctions for different types of “social gaming”. Namely, this conceptual mapping consists two dimensions of social presence (physical versus virtual) and behavioural interdependence (high versus low). The current review uses this taxonomy as a conceptual tool to map the existing literature in respect of how “social gaming” outcomes relate to these dimensions. This can help establish how much we really know about the outcomes of “social gaming” in respect of a more defined theoretical framework which to date has been unavailable in the current literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100420
JournalEntertainment Computing
Early online date23 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2021


  • Social gaming
  • Gaming outcomes
  • Social presence
  • Behavioural engagement
  • Gaming context


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