The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation

Daniel Svejstrup Christensen, Mette Jakobsen, Martin Kraus

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

Abstract

Story-rich games are increasingly popular, and with this popularity comes the demand for more engaging narratives in games. This paper investigates how the players’ engagement is affected by providing them with agency over the player character’s motivation through a game mechanic, which we call Hover-text. An experiment was conducted in which a test- and control group played through a visual novel with or without the Hover-text. Using questionnaires to measure their engagement in the three categories of agency, empathy and roleplay, it was found that players who were exposed to the Hover-text reported that they felt more involved with the player character’s feelings. These findings suggest an alternative to the way games can encourage empathic engagement. More research is necessary to clarify the role of the player character’s personality, and whether using the Hover-text on a blank-slate character differs from using it on a fully-fleshed character.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings : 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings
EditorsEva Brooks, Anthony L. Brooks, Nikolas Vidakis
Number of pages10
PublisherSpringer
Publication date2018
Pages184-193
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76907-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76908-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event6th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation - Heraklion, Greece
Duration: 30 Oct 201731 Oct 2017

Conference

Conference6th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation
CountryGreece
CityHeraklion
Period30/10/201731/10/2017
SeriesLecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST)
Volume229
ISSN1867-8211

Fingerprint

empathy
mechanic
popularity
personality
narrative
questionnaire
demand
experiment
Group

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Character motivation
  • Engagement
  • Narrative
  • Player character
  • Video games

Cite this

Christensen, D. S., Jakobsen, M., & Kraus, M. (2018). The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation. In E. Brooks, A. L. Brooks, & N. Vidakis (Eds.), Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings: 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings (pp. 184-193). Springer. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), Vol.. 229 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_18
Christensen, Daniel Svejstrup ; Jakobsen, Mette ; Kraus, Martin. / The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation. Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings: 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings. editor / Eva Brooks ; Anthony L. Brooks ; Nikolas Vidakis. Springer, 2018. pp. 184-193 (Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), Vol. 229).
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Christensen, DS, Jakobsen, M & Kraus, M 2018, The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation. in E Brooks, AL Brooks & N Vidakis (eds), Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings: 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings. Springer, Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), vol. 229, pp. 184-193, 6th EAI International Conference: ArtsIT, Interactivity & Game Creation, Heraklion, Greece, 30/10/2017. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_18

The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation. / Christensen, Daniel Svejstrup; Jakobsen, Mette ; Kraus, Martin.

Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings: 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings. ed. / Eva Brooks; Anthony L. Brooks; Nikolas Vidakis. Springer, 2018. p. 184-193 (Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), Vol. 229).

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

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Christensen DS, Jakobsen M, Kraus M. The Engagement Effect of Players’ Agency over their Characters’ Motivation. In Brooks E, Brooks AL, Vidakis N, editors, Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation - 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and 2nd International Conference, DLI 2017, Proceedings: 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings. Springer. 2018. p. 184-193. (Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering (LNICST), Vol. 229). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_18