Videogames and the Emotional Diversity


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Talk presented at VI SBGames.
Porto Alegre, Brasil, 2007

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  • Modificar gárfico- para inglês
  • Modificar gráfico
  • Alterar gráfico
  • Finalmente procurou-se estabelecer um quadro de relações teóricas sobre o sistema comunicacional pragmático que ocorre entre o autor, artefacto e o sujeito receptor.
  • Finalmente procurou-se estabelecer um quadro de relações teóricas sobre o sistema comunicacional pragmático que ocorre entre o autor, artefacto e o sujeito receptor.
  • Videogames and the Emotional Diversity

    1. 1. Videogames and the Emotional Diversity Nelson Zagalo Communication Sciences, University of Minho, Portugal | VI Brazilian Symposium on Computer Games and Digital Entertainment UNISINOS – São Leopoldo, Brazil November 7-9, 2007
    2. 2. The debate around games not being as emotional as books or movies , is not consensual. Steven Spielberg (2004), Warren Spector (2003), David Freeman (2004) and others believe videogames are missing some kind of emotion factor. On the other side, Lazzaro, N. (2004), study concluded that persons feel the following emotions during game playing: Fear, Surprise, Disgust, Kvell (sort of Pride), Fiero (sort of Fierce), Schadenfreude (sort of Glee) and Relax The Bowen Research (2005) report on Games and Emotions , states that a third of the 535 subjects reported that games were quite an emotional experience. debate
    3. 3. study goals Test emotion response capacities of Games in comparison with Movies . We followed similar premises as a study made by Gross and Levenson (1995) with movies and then we compared results. The systematic introductions of cutscenes in games alerted us to the difficulty of eliciting Sadness interactively. Thus, the aim of this study is also to test the possibility of eliciting Sadness interactively. Our most ambitious goal is to contribute to the improvement of videogame ’ s storytelling by understanding what emotions have been elicited until now and what are the ones necessary to continue researching.
    4. 4. Circumplex Model of Emotions (Russell, 1980, 2000). Target emotions for this experiment are red highlighted. the spectrum
    5. 5. <ul><li>Solicited suggestions of games that would be effective elicitors of basic emotions ( Happiness, Anger, Disgust, Fear, Sadness, Surprise and Relaxation ) </li></ul><ul><li>14 games sequences were selected from the 200 games suggested on the total of analyzed answers (821) </li></ul><ul><li>33 Subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Two platforms: PC and PS2 </li></ul><ul><li>Pre and Post experimental self rating scale </li></ul><ul><li>Post experimental interview </li></ul>procedures
    6. 6. Notes : Games in bold are the chosen ones. Answers = refers to total number of answers we received for each specific emotion; Games = refers to the number of games proposed for each specific emotion. In front of each game, appears the number of persons that suggested the same game for the same emotion. KH = Kingdom Hearts; BGE = Beyond Good and Evil; FF VIII = Final Fantasy VIII; Max = Max Payne; MOHAA = Medal of Honour Allied Assault; HL2 = Half-Life 2; Unreal2 = Unreal Tournament 2; SH2 = Silent Hill 2; SH4 = Silent Hill 4; RE X = Resident Evil: Code Veronica X; AvP 2 = Alien Versus Predator 2; FFVII = Final Fantasy VII; FFX = Final Fantasy X; MGS = Metal Gear Solid; Zelda = The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; MGS2 = Metal Gear Solid 2 821 answers with 200 games suggested. games
    7. 7. Sadness Problem -> of all the game sequences suggested none were completely interactive. For our experiment, game excerpts should permit any kind of interaction during the entire sequence or representation manipulation in order to have any noticeable difference in terms of communication language when compared to movies. Final Fantasy VII (1997) The Game Final Fantasy VII (2005) The Movie cutscenes
    8. 8. To avoid statistics randomization problematic, we add a pre-requisite to participation in the experience, which was high interest to play and enjoy the experience. A total of 33 persons answered with high interest to our demand and participated in video game-playing 90-120 minutes long individual sessions. All of them played the selected 14 different games. 88% Men and 12% Women With ages between 18 and 40 . study procedures 40 34 32 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 18 Age Female Male Gender
    9. 9. Experimenter in PC Platform Experimenter in PS2 Platform <ul><li>Lights turned off and warmer temperature (lab feeling conditions) </li></ul><ul><li>Games restricted to PC platforms and Playstation 2 (little interface learning) </li></ul><ul><li>Games played in two 19’’ CRT screens and sound delivered through headphones </li></ul>the setting
    10. 10. Too avoid bad labels or bias problems, we used a 32 emotions questionnaire for a target of 7 emotions amusement, anger, agitation, confusion, contempt, contentment, disgust, embarrassment, fear, happiness, interest, pain, relief, sadness, surprise, tension, pride, guilt, calmness, disturbance, comfort, nervousness, confidence, tranquillity, relaxation, affliction, satisfaction, annoyance, restlessness, sympathy, terror in order to evaluate subjective emotional experience questionnaires
    11. 11. <ul><li>Emotions such as Surprise , Anger , Disgust , Fear , and Happiness were successfully elicited. Too a lesser extent some Relax was elicited. </li></ul><ul><li>Sadness was elicited through the non-interactive FF VII and MGS sequences. We found also some Sadness in Max Payne, a game named for Anger not Sadness. This results show similar to the Bowen Research report, which also reports Max Payne as an anger and sadness game elicitor. </li></ul>results
    12. 12. Max Payne (2001) the hybrid
    13. 13. <ul><li>Videogames are then Emotional as stated before by Lazarro (2004) and can even elicit Sadness. The problems we have, are about the emotional diversity of the “ full interactive representations ” . </li></ul><ul><li>As we ’ ve seen - Max Payne, FF VII and MGS - were all able to elicit sadness, however all of them were sequences non-interactive or mixed. Thus, we didn ’ t find any full interactive sequence able to produce Sadness without using cinematics. </li></ul><ul><li>Males had higher emotional scores than female on the opposite of what happen in Gross and Levenson (1995) movie study, that showed Female scoring higher than Male . </li></ul><ul><li>Interest Emotion was lower on the Non Interactive Game sequences </li></ul>results
    14. 14. Circumplex models for our game sequences and Gross and Levenson (1995) movie clips Movie Circumplex Model of the Emotion responses to movies of Gross and Levenson experiment Game Circumplex Model of our experiment the comparison
    15. 15. interactive sadness
    16. 16. In 1982 the Electronic Arts (EA) in order to launch itself in the videogame industry initiated an advertising campaign which was based on the following announcement, “ Can a Computer Make you Cry? ” . To Murray (2005) this procedure led this institution to the interception between videogames and the storytelling old forms. In 2005 the EA contracted Steven Spielberg and announced, “ We're trying to answer the question: Can a computer game make you cry? [..] Partnering with Steven, we're going to get closer to answering it, and maybe we'll answer it together. ” interactive sadness
    17. 17. The emotion of “ interest ” (Tan 1996) “ motivates exploration and learning, and guarantees the person’s engagement in the environment ” (Lang, Bradley et al. 1998). The creation of viewer interest is the capacity of the artefact to have emotional diversity. It is not possible to keep viewers ’ interest and engagement if the narrative environment presents continued levels of tension, relax or euphoria. It is necessary to do emotional balance and to diversify the balance. interest and diversity
    18. 18. The interactivity is generally an actions ’ cyclic process between men and machine. Sadness emotion on its physiological component, is characterised by Motor Inactivity . paradox Emotion Inter(activity) Paradox Natural State
    19. 19. <ul><li>Attachment – development of a bond between the user and the artefact character; </li></ul><ul><li>Rupture – create a situation of rupture of the attachment; </li></ul><ul><li>Passive Interactivity – to maintain sadness briefly at least. </li></ul>Design of Sadness Actions
    20. 20. The attachment is “ the propensity of human being to make strong affectional bonds to particular others ” (Bowlby, 1969:39). Therefore it needs an empathic process “ putting oneself into another's place - not in the sense of identifying with that other, but as an attempt at understanding as much of this other's experiential state as possible [..] and construed by respondents as feeling with or feeling for another individual ” (Zillmann 1994) attachment
    21. 21. The general cause of sadness is Loss (Bowlby, 1967). This means the irreversible break of attachement . A relation ’ s rupture moment is a clear stimulus of the biological answer of sadness specially if it is irreversible (Frijda 1986). Regarding the events usually used to elicit sadness on films, there are a set of them which we can mention but the death event is the most used on cinema and certainly the one which has the strongest impact event that can elicit sadness. rupture
    22. 22. After the creation of the sadness situation it will be necessary to create a situation adjusted to the user ’ s sadness physiological state. Thus it is necessary to create a situation which enables a user ’ s passive behaviour (related to the inertia state usually felt). Somatic Displacement - “ ability of a person to project the mental model of his or her own identity into another physical form, which represents the player in an alternate environment ” (Holopainen and Meyers 2001) If we follow this concept we can distinguish the character of the virtual narrative environment and the user who controls it and see it as a self projection inside the virtual universe. (Gee, 2003) passive interactivity
    23. 23. Harlow (1958) Hertenstein et al (2006) argues they have find evidence that sad moments are coded in touches and strokes and then the decoding is understood as sympathy and love. virtual body touch
    24. 24. The virtual body touch is then our hypotheses to develop effective sad interactive events that will be decoded as sensitive comfort through the somatic displacement. This specific technique imports visual, psychological and aesthetic impact from real situations. The implementation in virtual environments goes beyond film in the sense that the player is not only able to witness the event but also to participate in it trough decisions on duration and frequency of touch. | 36 virtual body touch virtual body touch
    25. 25. As far as the emotions are concerned, the words are less important than non verbal language . The body expressivity and the relation that we may have with it in a virtual world are very important regarding the creation of a wide range of emotions by those who experience the interactive virtual fiction. Despite our solution proposal, the creation of the interactive sadness emotion is a design process which will keep on suffering from different problems. perspectives
    26. 26. In our view and according to our data results, the incapacity of producing Interactive Sadness has raised three big problems to videogame’s storytelling, till now: - low demographics , above all from the female population ; - diminishing of interest because of the non-interactive moments introduction , and so a consequent lower engagement of the overall population. - And the biggest problem, the absence of more in depth themes (e.g. human condition or self-introspection) conclusions
    27. 27. Videogames and the Emotional Diversity Nelson Zagalo Communication Sciences, University of Minho, Portugal | VI Brazilian Symposium on Computer Games and Digital Entertainment UNISINOS – São Leopoldo, Brazil November 7-9, 2007