Serious Games pp 243-271 | Cite as

Player Experience

  • Josef Wiemeyer
  • Lennart Nacke
  • Christiane Moser
  • Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
Chapter

Abstract

In computer science, the concept of user experience has proven to be beneficial in order to improve the quality of interaction between software and its users, by taking users’ emotions and attitudes into account. In general, user experience focuses on interaction. As not only interaction (e.g., good usability) is of importance for players, this chapter discusses how the concept of user experience can not only be applied to serious games, but also how it can be extended in order to cover the characteristics of games as a special software. For this refined concept, the term player experience has been coined. First, the concept of player experience is introduced in this chapter. The adequate conceptualization of player experience requires differentiating specific dimensions like (game-) flow, immersion, challenge, tension, competence, and emotions. Because of the individual nature of player experience, psychological models need to be used for the conceptualization as they are able to reflect this multidimensional structure. In addition, interdisciplinary models are needed in order to address the various factors influencing player experience. This ensures a holistic approach. Second, the question how to measure player experience is discussed. Here, different levels have to be distinguished: Behavior, physiological reactions, and subjective experience. Finally, it is shown how knowledge about player experience can be employed to develop serious games systematically and to improve their quality.

Recommended Literature1

  1. Bernhaupt R (ed) (2010) Evaluating user experience in games – Concepts and methods. Springer, London—This book addresses both game researchers and developers. The book provides an overview of methods for evaluating and assessing player experience before, during, and after playing games Google Scholar
  2. Bernhaupt R (ed) (2015) Game user experience evaluation. Springer International Publishing, Cham—This book is an update of the previously mentioned edition. Current developments in the assessment and evaluation of player experience are covered Google Scholar
  3. Fairclough SH (2009) Fundamentals of physiological computing. Interact Comput 21(1–2):133–145—This article gives a comprehensive overview of psychophysiological methods used for assessment of the current state of users and players, as well as their integration into adaptive systems. In addition, selected ethical issues are addressed Google Scholar
  4. Kivikangas JM, Chanel G, Cowley B, Ekman I, Salminen M, Järvelä S, Ravaja N (2011) A review of the use of psychophysiological methods in game research. JGVW 3(3):181–199—This article gives a comprehensive overview of the psychophysiological measures typically used in game research. It also provides valuable information about the theories behind psychophysiological measurement Google Scholar
  5. Mäyrä F (2008) An introduction to game studies. SAGE Publications, London—This textbook introduces students to the research field of studying games. The book delivers historical facts about (digital) games as well as basic knowledge concerning research methods for game studies Google Scholar
  6. Nacke LE (2009) Affective ludology: Scientific measurement of user experience in interactive entertainment. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Doctoral Dissertation Series No. 2009:04—This dissertation is a comprehensive example of how the player experience can be investigated in practice. Various methods are thoroughly discussed concerning their research quality and systematically applied to selected research issues Google Scholar

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josef Wiemeyer
    • 1
  • Lennart Nacke
    • 2
  • Christiane Moser
    • 3
  • Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
    • 4
  1. 1.Technische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.University of SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  4. 4.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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