Friend-connecting affordances: playing online games to contact friends

Gen Yih Liao, Tzu Ling Huang, Alan R. Dennis, Ching I. Teng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Online games are popular applications of Internet technology, with over 2.8 billion users worldwide. Many players engage in team gameplay, indicating that online games are suitable media through which players connect with their friends. However, past studies have not examined the ability of games to assist players in connecting with their friends, indicating a gap. To fill this gap, the authors propose a new concept, the friend-connecting affordance, which is the ability of an online game to enable players to contact friends within the game. Design/methodology/approach: The authors built a model to explain how games' friend-connecting affordances influence game loyalty. The authors gathered responses from 1,347 online players and used structural equation modeling to test the model. Findings: The authors found that friend-connecting affordances and team participation influence game loyalty. Gaming intensity and gaming history can moderate the impact of friend-connecting affordances. Originality/value: This new affordance can be realized through various game elements, offering unique and actionable insights to game makers. The authors also compared the friend-connecting affordances among a number of popular online games, providing insights specific to each game and increasing the practical value of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Customer loyalty
  • Social values
  • Survey
  • Video games


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