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Player Experience

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.

Keywords

  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • User Experience
  • Game Design
  • Psychological Model
  • Digital Game

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 9.1
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Recommended Literature

Issues of player experience are addressed at many conferences, ranging from the Games and Serious Games conferences mentioned in Chap. 1 to more specific conferences on usability, user experience, computer-human interaction (CHI) etc. Papers concerning player experience can be found in journals addressing human-computer interaction (e.g., Interacting with computers, Computers in Human Behavior, and International Journal of Human-Computer Studies), as well as journals specifically addressing games and serious games (e.g., Journal of gaming and virtual worlds).

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Wiemeyer, J., Nacke, L., Moser, C., ‘Floyd’ Mueller, F. (2016). Player Experience. In: Dörner, R., Göbel, S., Effelsberg, W., Wiemeyer, J. (eds) Serious Games. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40612-1_9

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