Trusted teammates: Commercial digital games can be effective trust-building tools

E Tan, Anna Cox
in CHI PLAY 2019 - Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, Conference paper (text), Barcelona, Spain


Copyright is held by the author/owner(s). Trust is a key component of high functioning virtual work teams. This study investigates the effectiveness of a commercial digital game in developing trust in virtual teams compared to a typical virtual team icebreaker. To achieve this, we outline important trust-building aspects that a game must have and identify the commercial digital game Spaceteam as a suitable candidate. Our results show that Spaceteam is more effective at developing trust in virtual teams compared to social icebreaker, indicated by differences in trusting behaviour. We did not find differences in perception of team trust or moderating effects of dispositional trust. Our findings suggest that digital games with trust-building aspects enable the verification of early trusting beliefs through gameplay, which in turn develops trust among team members. As these games are robust against individual differences in dispositional trust, it is applicable across any team composition. Our findings support the use of digital games as viable trust-building tools for virtual work teams.