“I’m overburdened!” An Empirical Study of the Player, the Avatar, and the Gameworld

Jørgensen Kristine
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper presents the first results of an empirical study of how players interpret the role of the player and the relationship between the player and playable figures in gameworlds. In the following, we will see examples of four genres that situate the player in different positions with respect to the gameworld. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars illustrates a game where the player does not have a playable figure in the gameworld, while Crysis exemplifies a game where player and playable figure viewpoints merge into one entity. Diablo 2 represents a game with a developing figure, and The Sims 2 demonstrates a hybrid combination of named, developing figures controlled by the player from a god perspective. The study shows that players tend to accept all features that aid them in understanding how to play the game, and that it does not matter whether features have a stylistic or naturalistic relationship to the gameworld. Regarding the relationship between player and playable figure, the respondents do not see the dual position of the player situated in the physical world while having the power to act within the gameworld as a paradox, but a necessary way of communication in games.


Emotions about the Deniable/Undeniable: Sketch for a Classification of Game Content as Experienced

Leino Olli
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper deals with the emotions experienced by a player. It problematises the empirical psychological study of players' emotions. The paper suggests emotions to be understood as structured relationships instead of as reactions. It proposes players' emotions to be analysed through their intentionality, by looking at games as constituting the objects of the emotions. The article questions the validity of objective knowledge about games for the purpose of understanding games as experienced. It presents a method of categorizing game content as it appears as objects of the players' emotions. The categorization is further demonstrated by looking at two erotic variations of Tetris.


Cultures of Digital Gamers: Practices of Appropriation.

Wiemker Markus
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This essay will attempt to show that Anglo-American culture research can make a significant contribution to a better understanding of digital games, their production contexts and acquisition processes. A close examination of a game’s production context will shed light on structures, processes and ideologies which influence the development of a game on a conscious or unconscious level. The analysis of the game itself can reveal models of society presented in the game, intrinsic identification potentials and creative acquisition potentials. But the way the game is eventually adopted by the player can only be made clear by a close examination of its acquisition and the various forms of reception and enjoyment it induces.


Exploration in computer games — a new starting point

Egenfeldt-Nielsen Simon
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Space, vast lands and dungeons… It is no coincidence that Space War and Adventure are among the best known of the first computer games. Both clearly appeal to the player’s curiosity, and desire to explore unknown territory. When exploration ceases, the game comes to a stop … For some time it has been clear to me that the importance of exploration has remained largely unexplored by game research. Sometimes it is used as a subset of a larger theory or analysis. However, I believe there are strong reasons for giving it more attention. The case I want to make in this paper is that exploration is an essential part of computer games. I will concentrate my argumentation on exploration as a basic drive for playing computer games. To achieve this I will look at exploration in computer games from two different perspectives: A player perspective and a system perspective. The argument is that each perspective is a different set of optics for the perception of the exploration of the game. The system perspective denotes the rules necessary to play a game, and the player’s exploration of them. The player perspective explains the phenomenological game experience, where meaning is central to the exploration. Succinctly, my argument will be as follows: All computer games start with the player building a state of tension (a conflict), which gradually subsides through the ongoing exploration of the game universe. A computer game is characterized by an ability to support different optics of explorative activities. The primary goal of this article is the description of those two sets of optics.


Enhancing Player Experience in MMORPGs with Mobile Features

Wenninger Christian
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

In this paper, we explore how current Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) can use mobile features for enhancing player experience and increasing pervasiveness of these games. We identify six different categories of how this can be done, and review our findings with MMORPG players and developers.


Player-Character Dynamics in Multi-Player Role Playing Games

Tychsen Anders McIlwain Doris Brolund Thea Hitchens Michael
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper presents the results of a comprehensive empirical study of the impact of integrating complex game characters in multi-player Role Playing Games across tabletop and digital formats. Players were provided with characters that had detailed background history, personality and goals. Player and character personality were assessed using the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire (EPAQ) and further questionnaires administered to measure player enjoyment and the player-character relationship. Results include a high level of player enjoyment across all formats, a high correlation between enjoyment and player engagement with their character and no correlation between enjoyment and similarity between player and character personality.