The Ideal Social Experience of Online Multiplayer Games

For 10 weeks, a group of students and I conducted contextual research on the ideal social experience of online multiplayer games. We used various methods of research under the guidance of Lextant. Here is what we discovered...


Contextual Research Methods

IDUS 215 Fall 2019


10 Weeks

SEP 2019 - NOV 2019


Derek Amoth

Felix Fah

Baley Firlus

Jordan Huang

Reid Saltzman

Ariana Vallenilla




UI Design


The Goal

For our Contextual Research Methods course we chose to research the ideal social experience of online multiplayer games. We used various methods of research including interviews, cultural probe, sensory cue kit, and affinitization. To conclude the research we created a magazine portraying our discovered data.


Research Insights

3 of 5 users preferred a haptic suit as an ideal equipment while playing.

5 of 5 users wanted full immersion while playing which included touch, smell, and sight.

3 of 5 users preferred a warm ambient lighting for environment while playing.

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Research Methods

Cultural Probe

Cultural Probe is a research gathering method that allows users to self-report about themselves and their activities.

Data Affinitization

After 6 weeks of gathering research we affinitized our data, finding high frequency data from users. 

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What I Learned


Never work on assumptions

Anyone can have assumptions but those lead nowhere. The purpose of gathering data is to gain true and factual insight on the user and their preferences. When it comes to video games, many people assume that users are antisocial and use video games as a way to block themselves from society. However, based on our research, we found that most users play online games for the social interaction, and have made many lifelong friends through these platforms.


Data is unexpected.

After 6 weeks of gathering data in various methods, we affinitized our data and found our highest frequency answers. To our surprise, many users claimed that being anonymous made them feel more confident, be their "true selves", and create deeper connections.


Ambiguity leads to better results.

Throughout the process, we were given ambiguous instructions on building and conducting our data. At first it was slightly frustrating to try to build off of no prior knowledge, but the ambiguity of our tasks actually helped us break out of the mold. Due to us having no solid template to follow, our team was able to build more creative research structures and find new ways to portray our topic.


Time management creates foundation

With such a large team, it was difficult for us to group as a team due to our busy schedules. However, with efficient time management and open communication, we were able to keep everyone on track with our work and find times to meet most of the week.