'I Hear You': Effects of Voice Communication on the Social Capital of Gamers
In the present paper we approached bonding and bridging social capital among gamers (seen as individuals who spend at least an hour a day in games) who use (or don’t use) voice communication while playing. Suspecting that voice communication usage facilitates the social capital formation. We also investigated the role of perceived anonymity as a confounding variable. To test our hypothesis, a quantitative research was carried out. The study focuses on the subsequent elements: voice application usage; perceived anonymity; and the presence of the following forms of social capital: bonding social capital and bridging social capital. Data collection was based on surveys spread in the online environment and resulted in a sample of 102 respondents. Based on quasi-experimental design we obtained data that display higher mean scores on bonding and bridging social capital scales on the experiment group (voice communication users) than in control group (non-voice communication users). Also, control group have a lower score on the perceived anonymity scale. One explanation for our results could be that voice communication reduces perceived anonymity and individuals that consider themselves as having a low level of anonymity engage in more controlled behaviors that in turn facilitate the formation of social capital.
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