5 years ago

Social Capital Accumulation in Location-Based Mobile Game Playing: A Multiple-Process Approach.

Sigerson L, Sung HT, Cheng C
In the summer of 2016, the widespread popularization of the game Pokémon Go brought the public's attention to the possible socialization benefits associated with location-based mobile games (LBMGs), yet no studies to date have investigated this issue. LBMGs deserve greater research attention because this type of game provides a unique gaming experience that encourages players to leave their homes and navigate around their neighborhood. This distinctive feature may promote more face-to-face interactions among LBMG players. Grounded in social capital theories, the present study compared the levels of both bridging and bonding social capital between LBMG and non-LBMG players. More important, we formulated a multiple-process model to explain the hypothesized psychological mechanisms underlying social capital accumulation among LBMG players. Participants were 349 U.S. participants (57 percent men; Mage = 32.40, SDage = 7.92, age range = 19-66). Results supported the proposed model by revealing that face-to-face interaction was crucial to the accrual of both bridging and bonding social capital among LBMG players, through enhancing their levels of communication frequency and self-disclosure. The present findings have implications for the utilization of LBMG as a potential tool to promote face-to-face interactions and accumulate social capital.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28806121

DOI: PubMed:28806121

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