In Control or In Their Shoes? How Character Attachment Differentially Influences Video Game Enjoyment and Appreciation
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In Control or In Their Shoes? How Character Attachment Differentially Influences Video Game Enjoyment and Appreciation

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ABSTRACT: Emerging perspectives in media psychology have begun to focus on enjoyment and appreciation as unique reactions to entertaining media fare. As two types of media effects, one might expect......

ABSTRACT: Emerging perspectives in media psychology have begun to focus on enjoyment and appreciation as unique reactions to entertaining media fare. As two types of media effects, one might expect the constituent elements of each to be rooted in satisfaction of different sets of psychological needs –such as autonomy and competence needs explaining enjoyment experiences (pleasures associated with gameplay and challenge) while relatedness and insight needs explain appreciation experiences (pleasures associated with narrative experiences). The current study expands this logic by suggesting that elements of one’s attachment to their game character might explain unique enjoyment and appreciation experiences. Indeed, increased sense of control over character actions was significantly associated with enjoyment experiences while increased feelings of responsibility for a character’s well-being was significantly associated with meaningfulness experiences.

CITATION: Bowman, N. D., Rogers, R., & Sherrick, B. I. (2013, April). “In control or in their shoes”: How character attachment differentially influences video game enjoyment and appreciation. Top paper in “Media and the Self” research category, Broadcast Education Association Research Symposium “Media and Social Life: The Self, Relationships, and Society.”

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  • Bowman, N. D., Rogers, R., & Sherrick, B. I. (2013, April). “In control or in their shoes”: How character attachment differentially influences video game enjoyment and appreciation. Top Paper in “Media and the Self” research category, Broadcast Education Association Research Symposium “Media and Social Life: The Self, Relationships, and Society.”
  • Surveys were posted in forums such as Gamespot.com and Gameinformer.com, as well as in social media networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) and professional listservs (such as our own CRTNET). Of 512 participants, a majority of were male (67.8%), ranging from 18 to 56 in age (Med = 27, M = 28.98, SD = 7.44). On average, participants reported playing games for over seven years (M = 7.47, SD = 6.41). For more detail on the specific scale item measurements – we measured enjoyment, appreciation, need satisfaction, and character attachment – please contact authors. All measures demonstrated high internal consistency and had been validated in past public research for having construct and concurrent/discriminant validity.
  • For the need satisfaction measures, confirmatory factor analysis revealed all four dimensions to be stable and empirically distinct from each other: competence (α = .72, M = 5.84, SD = 0.94), autonomy (α = .74, M = 5.66, SD = 1.19), relatedness (α = .88, M = 4.26, SD = 1.87), and insight (α = .84, M = 4.29, SD = 1.63). Contact authors for more information about the CFA for this measure.

Transcript

  • 1. IN CONTROL ORIN THEIR SHOES?HOW CHARACTER ATTACHMENTDIFFERENTIALLY INFLUENCES VIDEOGAME ENJOYMENT AND APPRECIATIONBowman, Rogers, Sherrick**Assist by Woolley, Chung
  • 2. VIDEO GAMES• Games are fun, but what is a video game? – Video: medium of content/message delivery – Game: bounded rationality, challenge and skill system• We play games, we process content
  • 3. ENJOYMENT IN GAMES• Fun!
  • 4. APPRECIATION IN GAMES• Insightful!
  • 5. χ2/df = 2.07, p = .02;CFI = .99; RMSEA = .05 .36*** .24*** R2 = .35 .12** .25*** .19*** .25*** .19*** .05* .12** .27*** R2 = .75 .51*** .13*** .11** .30*** .59***
  • 6. CHARACTER ATTACHMENT• A “psychological merging of player and character” in a video game – Identification – Suspension of Disbelief – Control – Responsibility
  • 7. CENTRAL QUESTIONS• RQ1: Do dimensions of character attachment explain unique variance in game enjoyment?• RQ2: Do dimensions of character attachment explain unique variance in game appreciation?
  • 8. METHOD• Online survey (N = 512), randomly assigned to tell us about: – Your most enjoyable gaming experience (n = 249) – Your most meaningful gaming experience (n = 263)• Snowball sampling, 10 participants given $50 USD Amazon.com card
  • 9. DESCRIPTIVES• Enjoyment: M = 6.68, SD = .56, α = ,82• Appreciation: M = 4.48, S = 1.72, α = .84• CA: – Identification: M = 2.79, SD = 1.28, α = .85 – Suspension: M = 4.02, SD = 1.36, α = .75 – Control: M = 5.20, SD = .82, α = .73 – Responsibility: M = 4.22, SD = 1.39, α = .81
  • 10. CA & ENJOYMENT/APPRECIATION Enjoyment Appreciation Step 1: Controls Gender -.05 -.22*** Age -.09 -.10+ ∆R2 .01 .06*** Step 2: Intrinsic Needs Competence .47*** -.02 Autonomy .13* .02 Relatedness .01 .36*** Insight -.05 .58*** ∆R2 .28*** .69*** Step 3: CA Identification -.08 -.01 Suspension of Disbelief .00 .03 Control .12* -.06+ Responsibility -.08 .10** ∆R2 .02+ .01+
  • 11. DISCUSSION• CA dimensions explain unique variance in enjoyment and appreciation – + control  + enjoyment “Pleasure of Control” – + responsibility  + appreciation “Pleasure of Cognition”
  • 12. DISCUSSION• Small contribution to unique variance – Multicollinearity? • No needs = +8% enjoyment, +26% appreciation• Data despite lack of discrete referent character• Need for temporal causal ordering
  • 13. TO READ• Enjoyment – Tamborini R, Bowman N D, Eden A, Grizzard M, Organ A. Defining media enjoyment as the satisfaction of intrinsic needs. Journal of Communication 2010; 60.4: 758-77.• Appreciation – Oliver MB, Raney AA. Entertainment as pleasurable and meaningful: Identifying hedonic and eudaimonic motivations for entertainment consumption. Journal of Communication 2011; 61: 984-1004.• Character Attachment – Lewis ML, Weber R, Bowman ND. “They may be pixels, but they’re MY Pixels”: Developing a metric of character attachment in role-playing video games. CyberPsychology and Behavior 2008; 11.4: 515-8.
  • 14. FOR MORE INFORMATIONPLEASE CONTACT: Nicholas David Bowman, Ph.D. Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu http://nmediatheory.blogspot.com http://ndbowman.info @bowmanspartan