Danger’s less scary togetherI find it true in the game environment as well. People game (or I should say, assess risk) better together than when acting alone. Some people are better at reading non-verbal cues than others and these tend to 'read' the game master and direct play better than others as well.
Emotional security may hinge on nonverbal cues that someone else has our backs. Volunteers walking a cliffside path in a 3D virtual world concentrated better and reported less anxiety when accompanied by avatars of their real-life romantic partners that clapped, waved and looked toward them, versus digitized partners that looked away, say psychologist Heidi Kane of the University of California, Los Angeles and her colleagues. Participants stayed farther away from inattentive than from attentive virtual partners after cliff walks, the researchers report in an upcoming Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Others’ emotional presence matters more than their physical presence, they conclude. —Bruce Bower