Evelyn Tan

Evelyn Tan

Improving matchmaking through team cohesion typologies, player modelling and behavioural analytics

This PhD focuses on improving matchmaking in team-based online games to compose more cohesive teams. Players of cohesive teams are more likely to have positive game experiences, which is important for player retention and for creating a game community that attracts new players. At present, matchmaking relies heavily on player skill rating and does not consider the deeper psychological characteristics that affect team cohesion. Yet previous research has demonstrated a significant relationship between a team’s composition of traits, team processes such as cohesion, and team performance.

In cohesive teams, players display coordinative behaviours, positive social interactions and a willingness to remain in the team. Such teams can maximize the expertise available to the team because they spend less time resolving interpersonal conflict. In contrast, a team that lacks cohesion may exhibit toxicity where players blame and insult each other. Research has shown that such toxicity can leave players with a negative experience despite a positive game outcome. This suggests that teams composed solely on the basis of complementary skill level does not necessitate a positive game experience. By incorporating psychographic profiling in team matchmaking, team cohesion is more likely to develop, leading to better player experiences, retention, growth and ultimately, revenue

 

Evelyn has a background in Organizational Psychology and a keen interest in team-based video games. She has previously worked in the Human Resource Technology industry and has led a diverse range of projects around team assessment, team development and soft skill training in virtual reality. Through the IGGI PhD program, Evelyn hopes to apply her knowledge of psychology to team matchmaking in video games and broaden her skill set within game research. She enjoys a few rounds of Splatoon in her downtime.

Home institution: York

Supervisors: Prof Anders Drachen, Professor Alex Wade

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