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Highlight the Path Not Taken to Add Replay Value to Digital Storytelling Games

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 13138)


Branching narratives are interactive storytelling formats that present players with moments of decisions that create ramifications within the narrative. However, it is after delivering the consequences that they get a chance to reflect upon them. Through ‘actions’ and ‘inactions’, feelings of regret are created within the player, which makes them want to replay the game. Based on the Psychology of regret, this study tests the possibility of conveying more replay value to an interactive storytelling game by providing feedback to those irreversible ‘inactions’. To evaluate our approach, we asked 64 participants to play one of two game versions (with the feedback system or without) and report their experience. Results show the feedback of inaction had a positive impact on the players’ affective reaction, encouraging players who would not usually do so to replay the game at the expense of players finding it less challenging. Overall, highlighting the path not taken improved the game experience without provoking remorse by hinting at what could have happened and increased the replay value.


  • Regret
  • Inaction
  • Replayability

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    Independent t-tests were used when comparing distributions that both passed the Shapiro-Wilk normality test and a Mann-Whitney U test were used when one of the distribution did not. The test were performed with IBM SPSS 26.


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This work was supported by national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) with reference UIDB/50021/2020.

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Correspondence to Susana Gamito .

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Gamito, S., Martinho, C. (2021). Highlight the Path Not Taken to Add Replay Value to Digital Storytelling Games. In: Mitchell, A., Vosmeer, M. (eds) Interactive Storytelling. ICIDS 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 13138. Springer, Cham.

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