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Who Wii like to play: Effect of opponent on enjoyment of computer games

Coppins, Emma (2010) Who Wii like to play: Effect of opponent on enjoyment of computer games. University of Portsmouth.

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Abstract

This study examined the differences in emotional expression depending on the type of opponent (computer, opponent face-to-face, opponent in a different room) and certain individual differences, when playing a computer console game. Previous research has focused on the differences a friend or a stranger can cause on different behavioural measures, but have not looked at how where the opponent is can affect behavioural and emotional measures. The present study considers how the type of, and location of the opponent may affect enjoyment and facial and verbal expression during a competitive racing game played on a video games console. Participants played a 15 minute Nintendo Wii racing game and were recorded for facial and verbal expressions as was the player’s enjoyment of the situation. It was found that there was no effect of the gaming situation on enjoyment and that participants smiled and laughed more when playing against the opponent face-to-face. When playing the opponent face-to-face, the worse participants did the lower their rating of enjoyment of the gaming situation. When playing alone, the worse participants did, the more they laughed. The enjoyment of the gaming situations was consistent across the personality variables measured. The study suggests that it is not the opponent which is important in the enjoyment of computer games, but how well the participants do. The study also suggests that computer game players are no longer a stereotype but that all types of people play computer games.

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