Electronic Friend or Virtual Foe: Exploring the Role of Competitive and Cooperative Multiplayer Video Game Modes in Fostering Enjoyment

Michael Grant Schmierbach, Qian Xu, Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, Francis Erin Dardis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Industry and scholarly sources both argue that multiplayer gaming and competition are important factors in creating enjoyment, but relatively little empirical work demonstrates this claim. This study uses an experimental design (N = 139) to evaluate the effects of different multiplayer modes on enjoyment, allowing participants to interact naturally with a confederate partner and manipulating both game mode and partner behavior in a game of Madden '08. Results show that enjoyment is significantly enhanced by the combination of competitive play and a friendly partner, and demonstrate that the quality of interpersonal interaction only partly accounts for this.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-371
Number of pages16
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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