Mental State Transition in Gaming Experiences

Wang Hao Sun Chun-Tsai
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Theories about sources of fun from video gaming have been developed, such as challenge, reward, learning, growth, immersion, etc. Currently, there is not much work that integrates them. In this paper, we propose a model that describes the dynamics of gamers’ experiences and behaviors utilizing these theories. Experiences and behaviors are presented as mental states in the model, and we analyze the forces that pulls/repels players into/from each of the states. This study is cross game genre: single player, multiplayer, and team match games are included in the framework. We found that reward mechanics and mental efforts are forces that drives state transition. We also believe that players do not stay in certain states for long: dynamic balances and state transitions are essential in keeping long-term gaming experiences.


Effects of Game Design Features on Player-Avatar Relationships and Motivation for Buying Decorative Virtual Items

Wang Hao Ruan Yu-Chun Hsu Sheng-Yi Sun Chun-Tsai
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Many online game players are developing strong psychological attachments with the avatars they use for gameplay. Player-avatar relationships can affect gaming experiences in terms of enjoyment, immersion, and virtual character identity, among other factors. For this study we tested various propositions regarding the effects of game design features on player-avatar relationships, and the effects of those relationships on decorative virtual item consumption motivation. Participants recruited from 15 online game forums were asked to complete two questionnaires on these topics. Our results indicate significant correlations between player-avatar relationships and both game design features (e.g., death penalties and pet systems) and decorative item consumption motivation. Our results offer insights into how game designers can, to some extent, manage player-avatar relationships by fine-tuning design features, perhaps facilitating marketing objectives in the process.