Collaboration and Emotion in Way

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Book Chapter

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In this exploratory study, four participants were observed playing Way, an online, synchronous, multiplayer game. In Way, participants cannot use verbal or written communication; they use avatars to nonverbally teach and learn from each other and solve collaborative tasks to win the game. Based on an analysis, five themes emerged and recommendations were provided for designing online collaborative games. Shared contexts and goals, a relevant set of nonverbal cues and gestures, and a system that values collaborative success were suggested to enhance learning. Participants tried to name and interpret their partner’s emotions, but did not try to express emotion using Way’s interface. The anonymous nature of Way, and the focus on communication and problem-solving, seemed to enhance the participant’s attachment to the partner, as well as their interest in and awareness of one’s partner’s emotions. All results should be considered directional and descriptive, given the limited sample size.