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Pervasive GameFlow: Identifying and Exploring the Mechanisms of Player Enjoyment in Pervasive Games
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. (CMID)
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 [en]
Pervasive games, Playability, Flow, GameFlow
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
människa-datorinteraktion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22051ISBN: 978-91-7264-771-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-22051DiVA: diva2:212510
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
List of papers
1. Pervasive Gaming in the Everyday World
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pervasive Gaming in the Everyday World
2006 (English)In: IEEE Pervasive Computing, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7957 (URN)
Available from: 2008-01-14 Created: 2008-01-14Bibliographically approved
2. Investigating the Applicability of Usability and Playability Heuristics for Evaluation of Pervasive Games.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating the Applicability of Usability and Playability Heuristics for Evaluation of Pervasive Games.
2008 (English)In: proceedings of ICIW'08: Third International Conference on Internet and Web applications and Services, Athens, Greece, 8-13 June, 2008. (IEEE XPlore)., IEEE Computer society Press , 2008Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer society Press, 2008
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20800 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-25 Created: 2009-03-25 Last updated: 2009-04-23
3. Pervasive GameFlow.: Understanding Player enjoyment in Pervasive Gaming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pervasive GameFlow.: Understanding Player enjoyment in Pervasive Gaming
2007 (English)In: ACM Computers in Entertainment, ISSN 1544-3574, Vol. 5, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Player enjoyment is perhaps the most important issue in successful game design, but so far it has not been addressed in the area of pervasive games. Departing from the general gameflow model, this article presents an initial outline for a new model of pervasive player enjoyment, that is, the pervasive gameflow model, which is described and discussed in terms of additions and elaborations to the general gameflow model. It is intended to serve as a departure point for further empirical studies on player enjoyment in pervasive games.

Keyword
Pervasive Games
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7970 (URN)doi:http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1236224.1236238 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-14 Created: 2008-01-14Bibliographically approved
4. Pervasive GameFlow.: A Validated Model of Player Enjoyment in Pervasive Gaming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pervasive GameFlow.: A Validated Model of Player Enjoyment in Pervasive Gaming
2007 (English)In: Concepts and Technologies for Pervasive Games: A Reader for Pervasive Gaming Research vol 1, Shaker Verlag, Aachen, Germany , 2007Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Shaker Verlag, Aachen, Germany, 2007
Keyword
Pervasive Games
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7975 (URN)978-3-8322-6223-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-01-14 Created: 2008-01-14Bibliographically approved
5. Elaborating Eight Elements of Fun: Supporting Design of Pervasive Player Enjoyment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elaborating Eight Elements of Fun: Supporting Design of Pervasive Player Enjoyment
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
Keyword
Pervasive Games, Playability, GamePlay
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
människa-datorinteraktion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21861 (URN)
Available from: 2009-04-22 Created: 2009-04-21 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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