Publication: How Disclosing Skill Assistance Affects Play Experience in a Multiplayer First-Person Shooter Game

In social play settings, it can be difficult for people with different skill levels to play a game together. Player balancing that provides skill assistance for the weaker player can allow for enjoyable play experiences; however, previous research (and conventional wisdom) has suggested that skill assistance should be kept hidden to avoid perceptions of unfairness. We carried out a study to test how disclosing skill assistance affects player experience. We found - surprisingly - that disclosing assistance did not harm play experience; players were more influenced by the benefits of equalized performance resulting from assistance than by their knowledge of the assist. We introduce the idea of attribution biases to help explain why awareness was not harmful - people tend to take credit for their successes, but attribute failures externally. We discuss how game designers can incorporate skill assistance to build multiplayer games that improve experiences for a wide range of players.

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Participants

Ansgar Depping Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Chengzhao Li
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Rodrigo Vicencio-Moreira

Citation

Depping, A.E., Mandryk, R.L., Li, C., Gutwin, C., Vicencio-Moreira, R. 2016. How Disclosing Skill Assistance Affects Play Experience in a Multiplayer First-Person Shooter Game. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016), San Jose, CA. 3462-3472. Honourable Mention Award (top 5%).

BibTeX

@inproceedings {389-AwareAimAssist-2016-CR-final,
author= {Ansgar Depping and Regan Mandryk and Chengzhao Li and Carl Gutwin and Rodrigo Vicencio-Moreira},
title= {How Disclosing Skill Assistance Affects Play Experience in a Multiplayer First-Person Shooter Game},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016)},
year= {2016},
address= {San Jose, CA},
pages= {3462-3472},
note= {Honourable Mention Award (top 5%)}
}