Publication: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation through Avatar Identification in Digital Games

Fostering intrinsic motivation with interactive applications can increase the enjoyment that people experience when using technology, but can also translate into more invested effort. We propose that identifying with an avatar in a game will increase the intrinsic motivation of the player. We analyzed data from 126 participants playing a custom end-less runner game and show that similarity identification, embodied identification, and wishful identification increases autonomy, immersion, invested effort, enjoyment, and positive affect. We also show that greater identification translates into motivated behaviour as operationalized by the time that players spent in an unending version of the infinite runner. Important for the design of games for entertainment and serious purposes, we discuss how identification with an avatar can be facilitated to cultivate intrinsic motivation within and beyond games.

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Participants

Max Birk
University of Saskatchewan
Cheralyn Atkins
Jason Bowey Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Birk, M., Atkins, C., Bowey, J.T., Mandryk, R.L. 2016. Fostering Intrinsic Motivation through Avatar Identification in Digital Games. In In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'2016), San Jose, CA, USA. 2982-2995.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {379-chi2016_avatar_cr_final,
author= {Max Birk and Cheralyn Atkins and Jason Bowey and Regan Mandryk},
title= {Fostering Intrinsic Motivation through Avatar Identification in Digital Games},
booktitle= {In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'2016)},
year= {2016},
address= {San Jose, CA, USA},
pages= {2982-2995}
}