Publication: The Effects of Graphical Fidelity on Player Experience

Graphical assets in video games have become increasingly complex over the last couple of years, but little is known about their effect on player experience. In this paper, we present results of a controlled study with 48 participants comparing how abstract and stylized graphics influence player experience in casual games. Our results show that high-fidelity graphics result in a more positive impression of the game. However, we also show that many effects are only present in the game with a more challenging mechanic. This shows that casual games can be compelling and enjoyable to play despite simplistic graphics, suggesting that small game developers and researchers need not focus on elaborate visuals to engage players.




Kathrin Gerling
University of Lincoln
Max Birk
Eindhoven University of Technology
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Andre Doucette


Gerling, K.M., Birk, M., Mandryk, R.L., Doucette, A. 2013. The Effects of Graphical Fidelity on Player Experience. In Academic MindTrek 2013, Tampere, Finland. 229-236.


@inproceedings {316-camera-ready-MINDTREK-FINAL,
author= {Kathrin Gerling and Max Birk and Regan Mandryk and Andre Doucette},
title= {The Effects of Graphical Fidelity on Player Experience},
booktitle= {Academic MindTrek 2013},
year= {2013},
address= {Tampere, Finland},
pages= {229-236}