Exploring Emotional Attachment to Game Characters

Julia Ayumi Bopp, Livia J. Müller, Lena Aeschbach, Klaus Opwis, Elisa Mekler

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Engaging game characters are often key to a positive and emotionally rich player experience. However, current research treats character attachment in a rather generic manner with little regard for the differing emotional qualities that may characterize this attachment. To address this gap we conducted a qualitative online survey with 213 players about the game characters they are particularly fond of. We identify seven distinct forms of emotional attachment, ranging from feeling excited about the characters’ gameplay competency, admiring them as role models, to deep concern for characters’ well-being. Our findings highlight the emotional range that players experience towards game characters, as well as provide implications for the research and design of emotional character experience in games.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY '19 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6688-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 22 Oct 201925 Oct 2019
Conference number: 6


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Abbreviated titleCHI PLAY

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