Flow encourages task focus, but frustration drives task switching how reward and efort combine to influence player engagement in a simple video game

Nicholas David Bowman, Justin Robert Keene, Christina Jimenez Najera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study explores the relationship between perceived cognitive and physical demands of a simple video game, and the balance of reward and efort that results in fow states during gameplay. Cognitive demands and both exertion-based and controller-based physical demands were perceived as lowest in situations where reward was high and efort was low (boredom), moderate when reward and efort were balanced (fow), and highest when the reward was low and efort was high (frustration). Surprisingly, player response times to a secondary task showed the greatest improvement when playing the frustrating video game condition. We interpret this latter fnding as evidence of an observed task-switching efect: players initially tried to master the game's over-challenging primary task before giving up and, instead, diverted attention toward a secondary in-game task that required less efort and thus, gave greater attentional rewards to the player. The implications of this cognitive ofoading are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationMaking Waves, Combining Strengths
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
DOIs
StatePublished - May 6 2021
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: May 8 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period05/8/2105/13/21

Keywords

  • Efort
  • Fow theory
  • Interactivity-as-demand
  • Reward
  • Video games

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Flow encourages task focus, but frustration drives task switching how reward and efort combine to influence player engagement in a simple video game'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this