“One of the baddies all along”: Moments that Challenge the Player’s Perspective

Matthew Alexander Whitby, Sebastian Deterding, Ioanna Iacovides,
University of York

Alberto Mora
Oct 2 · 2 min read

Our paper takes a look at perspective challenging moments in games, situations where a player’s preconceptions, understanding, or thoughts were confronted, and asks what sort of impact that had on them.

We gathered our results from a 101 participant study, reporting 131 moments where a game challenged their perspective, and date on what players believe caused these moments, and how they affected them. Our analysis found that perspective challenging moments are reported in a wide variety of games, where these experiences appear to be high in both enjoyment and appreciation, leaving a lasting impression on players. We categorized causes into five types: Narrative, Game Systems, Combination of Game Systems and Narrative, Player Expectation, and External Source. Narrative was the most common cause.

As for effect, we found that players report predominantly instances of ‘endo’-transformative reflection, which is focused on changes that occur in relation to a player’s behavior or conceptual understanding within the context of the game. This is in contrast to previous work in HCI that emphasises the changes that result from reflection outside of an interactive experience, which we term ‘exo’-transformative reflection. Ultimately, this paper provides insight into how reflection manifests in games, and the frequently occurring phenomenon of perspective challenging moments in games.

Contact author: Matthew Alexander Whitby

CHI PLAY session:
Emotions, traits and player experiences
Thursday, 24 October 2019, 14:00–15:30

Please feel free to also write comments or questions for the authors in the space below!


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