"Whatever the Emotional Experience, It's Up to Them": Insights from Designers of Emotionally Impactful Games

Alena Denisova*, Julia Bopp*, Thuy Duong Nguyen, Elisa Mekler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Emotionally impactful game experiences have garnered increasing interest within HCI games research. Yet the perspectives of designers have, to date, remained largely overlooked. We interviewed 14 indie game designers regarding their values and practices in designing emotionally impactful games. Counter to the focus of recent player experience (PX) studies, we find that while designers typically have a clear vision for the intended emotional impact, they aim for their games to provide a space for players to have their own personal experiences and interpretations. Despite this player-centric orientation, players were rarely involved before and during the production to evaluate the emotional experience. Based on these findings, we identify gaps between design practice and PX research, raise open questions around the design and evaluation of emotionally impactful game experiences, and outline opportunities for HCI games research to more productively support game designers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherACM
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

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