Digital Play; Understanding

Browser games-mostly persistent game worlds that can be used without client software and monetary cost with a Web browser-belong to the understudied digital game types, although they attract large player communities and motivate sustained play. The present work reports findings from an online survey of 8,203 players of a German strategy browser game (“Travian”). Results suggest that multiplayer browser games are enjoyed primarily because of the social relationships involved in game play and the specific time and flexibility characteristics (“easy-in, easy-out”). Competition, in contrast, seems to be less important for browser gamers than for users of other game types. Findings are discussed in terms of video game enjoyment and game addiction.

 

Digital Play leans mostly towards the gaming community. Although this is something I think I want to move away from in my own work regarding digital play, I wanted to read further into the factor of enjoyment when playing computer games in a more general sense, with a wider understanding that just my own. The above and below quotes were taken from the abstract of papers written on the subject, both available at http://www.mendeley.com

Although the social relevance of digital gaming has been discussed and investigated in cultural and sociological readings, social context has been largely neglected in terms of in-game player experience. In this paper we present a study in which player experience is empirically tested comprehen-sively, with the focus on the interplay between player enjoyment and social context. Self reports on the Game Experience Questionnaire and an aggression state questionnaire were explored for three play configurations: virtual, mediated, and co-located co-play. Additionally, effects of familiarity and winning vs. losing were tested. Results indicate that a co-located co-player significantly adds to the fun, challenge, and perceived competence in the game. Aggression was influenced by familiarity and performance. The effect of social context was mediated by the level of social presence. These findings illustrate that social context is an important determinant of player enjoyment and should be incorporated in models of player experience.

 

The social aspect of gaming greatly increases the chance of enjoyment through play. If I do intend to work into the gaming aspect of digital play I intend to highlight the needed presence of others within the game.

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