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On the core elements of the experience of playing video games

Calvillo Gamez, E.H.; (2009) On the core elements of the experience of playing video games. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation presents a multi-method approach to study the user experience of playing video games. The motivation is to devise an objective assessment of the concept of user experience. It is proposed that user experience is better understood when it is studied as a two fold phenomenon formed by a process and an outcome. This definition allows the combination of the subjective nature of experience together with the objectivity needed to propose an objective assessment of experience. An experience is personal in the achieved outcome, during the process of forming it there are elements specific to the type of experience common to all individuals. The thesis presents a series of studies to explore and understand the gaming experience as well as to identify the procedural elements of the experience. The outcome of the studies was the formulation of the theoretical framework that we called Core Elements of the Gaming Experience (CEGE), which focuses on the process of the experience. The metaphor of ”puppetry” is used to provide a link to the outcome of the experience. Based on the theorical framework, a questionnaire and model were developed. The model was validated using Structural Equation Modelling, which provided an adequate fit suggesting that the CEGE model is an accurate abstraction of the process of the gaming experience. Lastly, the framework was used to study different gaming experiences under different conditions. The results suggest that the CEGE theoretical framework can be used to assess this type of experience. The contributions of this dissertation are: the methodological approach used to study the user experience of playing video games, a novel approach to understand user experience as a falsifiable concept, a theoretical framework and metaphor to describe the gaming experience, a model that describes the gaming experience, and an instrument that can be used to assess and explore different gaming experiences.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:On the core elements of the experience of playing video games
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > UCL Interaction Centre

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