Dr. Irfan Kanat gave the first SMART Dialogue Series presentation for the spring semester on January 23. Dr. Kanat is an assistant professor at the College of Business, Ohio University.

During his presentation, entitled “Digital Platforms and My Research: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”, Dr. Kanat shared his research findings on the relationships between user-generated content (UGC), developer-generated content (DGC), and user engagement in the realm of video games.

He emphasized that content and interaction are two major factors that drive users to engage. Based on the data collected from 7,323 products and 398,201 observations during the period of January 1, 2015 – February 25, 2016, Dr. Kanat and co-researchers found that about 1% UGC stimulated .029% engagement, while 1% DGC stimulated 2% engagement. However, due to the vast number of UGC, it led a higher level of user engagement overall than DGC did.

They also found that multiplayer games were not necessarily always more beneficial in a developer’s pursuit to garner greater engagement. Dr. Kanat suggested that if game developers attempt to develop multiplayer games, they should provide a single-player option, as this could help avoid users’ frustration due to the lack of activity within certain servers.

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