Publication: Influencing Experience: The Effects of Reading Game Reviews on Player Experience

Game reviews are used by game developers for making business decisions and measuring the success of a title, and have been shown to affect player perception of game quality. We conducted a study where players read positive or negative reviews of a game before playing, and show that the valence of review text affected game ratings and that these differences could not be explained by mediating changes in mood. Although we show predictable changes in player experience over the course of the study (measured objectively through physiological sensors), there were no objective differences in experience depending on review valence. Our results suggest that reading reviews does not directly affect play experience, but rather is a post-play cognitive rationalization of the experience with the content of the review. Our results are important for understanding player experience and to the game industry where reviews and user forums affect a game's commercial success.

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Participants

Ian Livingston
Electronic Arts
Lennart Nacke
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Saskatchewan
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Projects

Affective Computing
Evaluation of a user's emotional experience with technology is not well understood, especially when the primary goal of a technology is to entertain (e.g., computer game) or to invoke an emotional experience (e.g., animated film).

Citation

Livingston, I.J., Nacke, L.E., Mandryk, R.L. 2011. Influencing Experience: The Effects of Reading Game Reviews on Player Experience. In 10th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC'11), 89-100.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {226-ICEC-Submission_41_final,
author= {Ian Livingston and Lennart Nacke and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Influencing Experience: The Effects of Reading Game Reviews on Player Experience},
booktitle= {10th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC'11)},
year= {2011},
pages= {89-100}
}