Authors: Cody Watts, Ehud Sharlin, Peter Woytiuk
The value of socializing in collocated multiplayer video games should not be underestimated. Inter-player interactions such as joking, bantering and strategizing all contribute towards creating rewarding and memorable gameplay experiences for the players involved. In this paper, we introduce Prism Squad: GO!, a cooperative, three-player video game which is designed to encourage and cultivate these enjoyable social interactions between players. Prism Squad: GO! promotes inter-player interaction through “interpersonal touch” – the physical act of touch shared between two or more players. To succeed in Prism Squad: GO! requires players to work together by interacting with their teammates. In this paper, we motivate the novel application of interpersonal touch in video games, and present a detailed description of Prism Squad: GO!’s gameplay mechanics which are currently based on a non-interpersonal-touch form of collaboration between players. We also present the results of our thirty-player user-study on Prism Squad: GO! Our analysis of these results shows that Prism Squad: GO! was well-liked by study participants, particularly because of the way it encourages teamwork and collaboration amongst players.