Game Atmosphere: Effects of Audiovisual Thematic Cohesion on Player Experience and Psychophysiology

Giovanni Ribeiro, Katja Rogers, Maximilian Altmeyer, Thomas Terkildsen, Lennart E. Nacke

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Game atmosphere and game audio are critical factors linked to the commercial success of video games. However, game atmosphere has been neither operationalized nor clearly defined in games user research literature, making it difficult to study. We define game atmosphere as the emerging subjective experience of a player caused by the strong audiovisual thematic cohesion (i.e., the harmonic fit of sounds and graphics to a shared theme) of video game elements. We studied players' experience of thematic cohesion in two between-subjects, independent-measures experiments (N=109) across four conditions differing in their level of audiovisual thematic fit. Participants' experiences were assessed with physiological and psychometric measurements to understand the effect of game atmosphere on player experience. Results indicate that a lack of thematic fit between audio and visuals lowers the degree of perceived atmosphere, but that while audiovisual thematic dissonance may lead to higher-intensity negative-valence facial events, it does not impact self-reported player experience or immersion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2020 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Number of pages13
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2 Nov 2020
Pages108-120
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8074-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020
Event7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: 2 Nov 20204 Nov 2020

Conference

Conference7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020
CountryCanada
CityVirtual, Online
Period02/11/202004/11/2020
SponsorACM SIGCHI

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was made possible by Lennart Nacke’s NSERC Discovery Grant 2018-06576, the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund 35819 “SURGE—The Stratford User Research and Gameful Experiences Lab”, Mitacs, the NSERC CREATE SWaGUR grant, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Grant 895-2011-1014 (IMMERSe).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Owner/Author.

Keywords

  • atmosphere
  • audio
  • dissonance
  • games
  • music
  • player experience

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