Nick Yee's research while affiliated with Stanford University and other places

Publications (44)

Book
Proteus, the mythical sea god who could alter his appearance at will, embodies one of the promises of online games: the ability to reinvent oneself. Yet inhabitants of virtual worlds rarely achieve this liberty, game researcher Nick Yee contends. Though online games evoke freedom and escapism, Yee shows that virtual spaces perpetuate social norms a...
Chapter
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) occupy a unique position in the videogaming landscape. While multiplayer computer games are certainly not new (Spacewars, in 1962, was already designed for two players), MMOGs have gone much farther than any other genre in their attempts to encourage social interactions between large groups of players. Thi...
Article
Understanding gaming motivations is important given the growing trend of incorporating game-based mechanisms in non-gaming applications. In this paper, we describe the development and validation of an online gaming motivations scale based on a 3-factor model. Data from 2,071 US participants and 645 Hong Kong and Taiwan participants is used to provi...
Article
Full-text available
Examining how in-game behavior preferences map onto real world demographics provides important empirically-derived insights into how to match game-based mechanisms to target demographic segments. Using behavioral and demographic data from 1,037 World of Warcraft players, we use multiple regressions to provide this mapping. Given current interest in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Studies in the Proteus Effect have shown that users conform to stereotypes associated with their avatar's appearance. In this study, we used longitudinal behavioral data from 1,040 users in a virtual world to examine the behavioral outcome of conflicting gender cues between user and avatar. We found that virtual gender had a significant effect on i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Personality inference can be used for dynamic personalization of content or system customization. In this study, we examined whether and how personality is expressed in Virtual Worlds (VWs). Survey data from 1,040 World of Warcraft players containing demographic and personality variables was paired with their VW behavioral metrics over a four-month...
Conference Paper
We studied the extent to which time-on-task is correlated with perception of usability for people who are familiar with a phone model and for those who are not. Our controlled experiment, conducted in Japan, correlated subjective usability assessments with time-on-task for expert and novice users on three different mobile phone models. We found tha...
Article
Full-text available
To examine the expression of personality in virtual worlds (VWs), the authors tracked the behavioral and linguistic output of 76 students continuously over a 6-week period in the VW Second Life (SL). Behavioral metrics in SL were consistent over time, but low stabilities were observed for linguistic metrics. To examine the ways in which personality...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we investigate effects of the content of interruptions and of the time of interruption delivery on mobile phones. We review related work and report on a naturalistic quasi-experiment using experience-sampling that showed that the receptivity to an interruption is influenced by its content rather than by its time of delivery in the emp...
Article
The current study tracked 80 participants who spent an average of six hours per week in Second Life over six consecutive weeks. Objective measures of movement and chat were automatically collected in real time when participants logged in to Second Life. Data regarding the number of groups and friends was self-reported through online questionnaires...
Article
Full-text available
Several hypotheses regarding the importance of gender and relationships were tested by combining a large survey dataset with unobtrusive behavioral data from 1 year of play. Consistent with expectations, males played for achievement-oriented reasons and were more aggressive, especially within romantic relationships where both partners played. Femal...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined problematic Internet use (PIU) among people who play MMO games and sought to determine whether aspects of the MMO experience are useful predictors of PIU. The study sought to determine whether game-related variables could predict PIU scores after accounting for their relationships with psychosocial well-being. Novel metho...
Chapter
In the late 1960s, Mischel (1968) sparked a debate in personality psychology by critiquing the reliance on trait-based frameworks of behavior. While the standard approach had been to measure stable dispositions (such as Extraversion), Mischel argued that behavior was largely determined by situational demands (such as being at a party). In the decad...
Conference Paper
CogTool is a predictive evaluation tool for user interfaces. We wanted to apply CogTool to an evaluation of two mobile phones, but, at the time of writing, CogTool lacks the necessary (modeling baseline) observed human performance data to allow it to make accurate predictions about mobile phone use. To address this problem, we needed to collect per...
Article
Studies in the Proteus Effect (N. Yee & J. Bailenson, 200727. Yee , N. and Bailenson , J. 2007. The proteus effect: The effect of transformed self-representation on behavior. Human Communication Research, 33: 271–290. [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®]View all references) have shown that the appearance of avatars (i.e., digital representations of our...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual environments allow individuals to dramatically alter their self-representation. More important, studies have shown that people infer their expected behaviors and attitudes from observing their avatar's appearance, a phenomenon known as the Proteus effect. For example, users given taller avatars negotiated more aggressively than users given...
Article
Full-text available
Social science research demonstrates that people are drawn to others perceived as similar. We extend this finding to political candidates by comparing the relative effects of candidate familiarity as well as partisan, issue, gender, and facial similarity on voters’ evaluations of candidates. In Experiment 1, during the week of the 2006 Florida gube...
Article
Conversations are characterized by an interactional synchrony between verbal and nonverbal behaviors [Kendon, A. (1970). Movement coordination in social interaction: some examples described. Acta Psychologica, 32(2), 101–125]. A subset of these contingent conversational behaviors is direct mimicry. During face to face interaction, people who mimic...
Article
To be immersed in a virtual environment, the user must be presented with plausible sensory input including auditory cues. A virtual (three-dimensional) audio display aims to allow the user to perceive the position of a sound source at an arbitrary position ...
Article
Full-text available
Online games have exploded in popularity, but for many researchers access to players has been difficult. The study reported here is the first to collect a combination of survey and behavioral data with the cooperation of a major virtual world operator. In the current study, 7,000 players of the massively multiplayer online game (MMO) EverQuest 2 we...
Article
Contemporary virtual worlds tend to insist on employing the metaphor of embodiment and replicating physical reality. We are represented by graphical avatars that in turn sit in virtual chairs around virtual tables. On the other hand, in what ways might this insistence on replicating physical reality constrain the kinds of work that might take place...
Article
As digital communication becomes more commonplace and sensory rich, understanding the manner in which people interact with one another is crucial. In the current study, we examined the manners in which people touch digital representations of people, and compared those behaviors to the manner in which they touch digital representations of nonhuman o...
Article
This article illustrates the utility of using virtual environments to transform social interaction via behavior and context, with the goal of improving learning in digital environments. We first describe the technology and theories behind virtual environments and then report data from 4 empirical studies. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated that teach...
Article
This chapter investigates the nature and structure of social networks formed between the players of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), an incredibly popular form of Internet-based entertainment attracting millions of subscribers. To do so, we use data collected about the behavior of more than 300,000 characters in World of Warcraft (the mo...
Article
We studied the characteristics of hand touch with a mechanical device that approximated a handshake, and we then examined the effect of handshake mimicry on assessment of a partner. Two participants interacted with a force-feedback joystick that recorded each of their hand movements individually. The two participants then greeted one another by fee...
Article
Virtual environments, such as online games and web-based chat rooms, increasingly allow us to alter our digital self-representations dramatically and easily. But as we change our self-representations, do our self-representations change our behavior in turn? In 2 experimental studies, we explore the hypothesis that an individual’s behavior conforms...
Conference Paper
The use of embodied agents, defined as visual human-like representations accompanying a computer interface, is becoming prevalent in applications ranging from educational software to advertisements. In the current work, we assimilate previous empirical studies which compare interfaces with visually embodied agents to interfaces without agents, both...
Article
Every day, millions of users interact in real-time via avatars in online environments, such as massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These online environments could potentially be unique research platforms for the social sciences and clinical therapy, but it is crucial to first establish that social behavior and norms in virtua...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the phenomenon of Virtual Interpersonal Touch (VIT), people touching one another via force-feedback haptic devices. As collaborative virtual environments become utilized more effectively, it is only natural that interactants will have the ability to touch one another. In the work presented here, we used relatively basic device...
Article
An empirical model of player motivations in online games provides the foundation to understand and assess how players differ from one another and how motivations of play relate to age, gender, usage patterns, and in-game behaviors. In the current study, a factor analytic approach was used to create an empirical model of player motivations. The anal...
Article
Empirical research on human behavior in collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) is in its infancy. Historically, one of the more valuable tools social scientists have used to evaluate new forms of media is longitudinal studies that examine user behavior over an extended period of time. In the current study, three triads of participants came to th...
Article
Full-text available
A representative sample of players of a popular massively multiplayer online game (World of Warcraft) was interviewed to map out the social dynamics of guilds. An initial survey and network mapping of players and guilds helped form a baseline. Next, the resulting interview transcripts were reviewed to explore player behaviors, attitudes, and opinio...
Article
World of Warcraft (WoW) is one of the most popular massively multiplayer games (MMOs) to date, with more than 6 million subscribers worldwide. This article uses data collected over 8 months with automated “bots” to explore how WoW functions as a game. The focus is on metrics reflecting a player’s gaming experience: how long they play, the classes a...
Article
The realism of avatars in terms of behavior and form is critical to the development of collaborative virtual environments. In the study we utilized state of the art, real- time face tracking technology to track and render facial expressions unobtrusively in a desktop CVE. Participants in dyads interacted with each other via either a video- conferen...
Article
Online survey data were collected from 30,000 users of Massively Multi-User On- line Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) over a three year period to explore users' demographics, motivations, and derived experiences. Not only do MMORPGs ap- peal to a broad age range (Mage 26.57, range 11- 68), but the appeal is strong (on average 22 hours of usage per week...
Article
Experimental subjects evaluated a political candidate whose face was digitally altered to absorb the subjects' facial structure. For half of the subjects, the photograph of the candidate was morphed such that the image presented was a blend composed of 60% of the unfamiliar Caucasian male and 40% of the subject. For the other half the photograph wa...
Article
In social psychology, perspective-taking has been shown to be a reliable method in reducing negative social stereotyping. These exercises have until now only relied on asking a person to imagine themselves in the mindset of another person. We argue that immersive virtual environments provide the unique opportunity to allow individuals to directly t...
Article
Video games are often framed as sites of play and entertainment. Their transformation into work platforms and the staggering amount of work that is being done in these games often go unnoticed. Users spend on average 20 hours a week in online games, and many of them describe their game play as obligation, tedium, and more like a second job than ent...
Article
Previous research demonstrated social influence resulting from mimicry (the chameleon effect); a confederate who mimicked participants was more highly regarded than a confederate who did not, despite the fact that participants did not explicitly notice the mimicry. In the current study, participants interacted with an embodied artificial intelligen...
Article
Full-text available
Background Over time, our mode of remote communication has evolved from written letters to telephones, email, internet chat rooms, and video-conferences. Similarly, virtual environments that utilize digital representations of humans promise to further change the nature of remote interaction. virtual envi- ronments are systems which track verbal and...

Citations

... As with most aspects of human decision making and behavior (e.g., choice of literature, body language, leisure-time activities, decoration of personal space), personality traits play a central role in shaping how users respond to stimuli and experiences in virtual worlds [70,71]. Therefore, even though players typically assume a fictional identity in video games -in terms of role (e.g., king, soldier, race driver), species (e.g., human, orc, elf), and other attributes (e.g., gender and age, body features, special abilities) -their individual playing styles often contain discernible traces of real-world personality [70,72,73]. ...
... Furthermore, this expressed culture can demonstrate remarkable long-term resilience in the face of significant threats and pressure, which seems to challenge the 'social network'-type descriptions often used to explain the persistent groups seen in many online games (e.g. Ducheanaut & Yee, 2009). ...
... The effectiveness of using VR technology to support educational purposes in general is already widely examined and accepted throughout the last decades (e.g., [4,5,21,24,29,53,66,67]). VR is a suitable medium to present learning content in a vivid and engaging way [54], whereas exclusively text-based activities can lead students to boredom relatively fast [68]. ...
... In other words, it is possible to Transformed Representation 6 specify faces that contain a 20% or 40% contribution from a participant's face. The impact of this facial-similarity manipulation has been tested in a series of studies in voting behavior (Bailenson, Garland, Iyengar, & Yee, 2006; Bailenson, Iyengar, Yee, & Collins, 2006). The results of both studies showed that facial similarity is a powerful cue, changing voting behavior even in high-profile elections where a great deal of other information and partisan biases exist, such as the 2004 presidential election. ...
... Ihde's and Malfouris' homo faber create virtual worlds in the same way they create them. According to Nick Yee [39], MMORPGs became a part of ordinary life for many users, being closer to "second jobs" rather than places detached from reality. They shape them in ways they did not expect. ...
... Available at: http://www.xeodesign.com/research/ Moreover, some would argue that, since Bartle's model was developed without statistical data and has never been empirically tested, the motivations that he suggested may not factor out as proposed (Williams et al., 2008;Yee, 2006). Others would claim that addressing the players' profiles complexity through components and subcomponents can provide more explanatory power than a category-based taxonomy (Yee, 2005). ...
... These studies suggest that avatar customization likely augments the Proteus effect. Similarly, two studies have found that controlling (i.e., feeling embodied in) an avatar-compared to simply watching one-leads to stronger Proteus effects (Yee and Bailenson, 2009;Yoon and Vargas, 2014). Here we note that the comparison of controlling an avatar to watching an avatar lacks ecological validity. ...
... Prior research revealed a phenomenon known as the Proteus efect that explains behavioral, attitudinal and perceptual changes due to the embodiment of avatars and the resulting associations connected with their visual appearance [121][122][123]. Ratan et al. [88] summarized in a meta-analysis that the Proteus efect could be evidenced in various contexts, even in physical exercises. ...
... Moreover, the three motivational factors were positively associated with IGD, especially escapism motivation (Wang & Cheng, 2022). In this study, significantly greater percentages of daily gamers than weekly gamers registered "to escape from real-life troubles", "to immerse in the game world", or "to fulfill socialization needs" as main reasons for gaming, yet, the two groups did not differ significantly in achievement-related motivations (i.e., "to gain a sense of achievement"), perhaps because this study utilized single items rather than dimensional measures to assess underlying motivations (Yee et al., 2012). ...
... For example, repeated exposure to VR has been found to decrease simulation sickness . Collecting such data can occur through long-term field studies with interviews (e.g., Wetsch, 2008) or longitudinal lab studies (e.g., ) that include repeated behavioral measures (e.g., Yee and Bailenson, 2008). However, few longitudinal studies in VR exist (with important exceptions, e.g., Fruchter, 2018). ...