"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 article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)

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
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherACM
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Virtual, Online, Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 8 May 202113 May 2021
https://chi2021.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityYokohama
Period08/05/202113/05/2021
Internet address

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