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Elaborating Eight Elements of Fun: Supporting Design of Pervasive Player Enjoyment
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. (CMID)
2009 (English)In: Computers in Entertainment, ISSN 1544-3574, E-ISSN 1544-3981, Vol. 7, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the validation of the Pervasive GameFlow model (PGF), a model for analysing Player enjoyment in Pervasive gaming. The model can be used as both a heuristic guideline for designers and as evaluation criteria in user centred evaluation of Pervasive games, but also as a framework for understanding player experiences in Pervasive gaming on a more general level. The theoretical background and perspective on game design and the design support approach that the PGF model represents is explained, and the concept of the magic circle is discussed. The eight elements of the PGF model (Concentration, Challenge, Player skills, Control, Clear goals, Feedback, Immersion and Social interaction) were validated by evaluation of a Crossmedia game prototype (a sub genre of Pervasive games) called Furiae. The comparative importance of the eight elements in the PGF model when it comes to affecting Pervasive gaming experiences was in focus for the evaluation, where Questionnaires (qualitative) and Focus group interviews were used in order to capture how the players graded the eight elements in terms of their importance for the player experience when playing Furiae. The study revealed that seven of eight elements seem to be of specific importance as they scored relatively high in the validation. The top three elements according to the results here are Concentration (Games should require concentration and the player should be able to concentrate on the game), Challenge (Games should be sufficiently challenging and match the player’s skill level) and Immersion (Players should experience deep but effortless involvement in the game). Finally, some implications for design are discussed in terms of how some of the most important elements present challenges and possibilities for Crossmedia game development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Press, 2009. Vol. 7, no 2
Keyword [en]
Pervasive Games, Playability, GamePlay
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
människa-datorinteraktion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-21861DiVA: diva2:212086
Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Pervasive GameFlow: Identifying and Exploring the Mechanisms of Player Enjoyment in Pervasive Games
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pervasive GameFlow: Identifying and Exploring the Mechanisms of Player Enjoyment in Pervasive Games
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Pervasive games are computer games that build, to various extents, on social interaction as a driving force in the game play, on integration between physical and virtual worlds and on constant access to constantly ongoing games from virtually every existing context (anytime, anywhere gaming). This new genre of computer games presents many challenges for both researchers and industry; one of the most important is how to understand enjoyable player experiences in this new kind of computer gaming.

The purpose of this thesis is to identify and explore the mechanisms in pervasive game designs that are of most importance for creating enjoyable Pervasive gaming experiences, and further to translate the findings of the exploration into a playability model for pervasive games.

My empirical work focuses on the most important aspects for creating enjoyable player experiences when playing pervasive games. Evaluation methods from the usability and playability area have been deployed in order to identify what factors and aspects the players consider of most importance for their experience when they play pervasive games. Three specific pervasive games have been studied; SupaFly, Pervasive Treasure Hunt and Furiae.

Theoretically, the thesis departs from existing knowledge about Playability, and the most prominent and accepted frameworks for understanding player experiences in computer gaming have been considered. Of the existing models and frameworks, the GameFlow model was selected as a theoretical point of departure.

The main contribution of the thesis consists of a model for understanding player enjoyment in pervasive games - the Pervasive GameFlow model. Pervasive GameFlow elaborates the GameFlow model by adding 14 new criteria identified in the empirical evaluations of three pervasive games, criteria of great importance for enjoyable Player experiences in pervasive games.

Further, the thesis answers questions concerning how the players are putting the anytime, anywhere and mobility aspects of pervasive games into practice - how they perceive and handle games that offer constantly ongoing game play. The results also provide insights into the reach or impact of the novel Pervasive aspects of pervasive games and their importance for the players and player experiences. Finally, the thesis provides notes on how evaluation of pervasive games should be performed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, Inst för Informatik, 2009. 250 p.
Series
Research reports in informatics, ISSN 1401-4572 ; 09.01
Keyword
Pervasive games, Playability, Flow, GameFlow
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
människa-datorinteraktion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22051 (URN)978-91-7264-771-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-15, MA 121, MIT huset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-27 Created: 2009-04-22 Last updated: 2009-04-27Bibliographically approved

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