Combining Personality and Physiology to Investigate the Flow Experience in Virtual Reality Games

Authors: Michailidis, L., Lucas Barcias, J., Charles, F., He, X. and Balaguer-Ballester, E.

Editors: Stephanidis, C.

Volume: 1033

Pages: 45-52

Publisher: Springer

Place of Publication: Berlin

ISBN: 9783030235222

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-23528-4

Immersive experiences are typically considered an indicator of successful game design. The ability to maintain the player’s focus and enjoyment in the game lies at the core of game mechanics. In this work, we used a custom virtual reality game aiming to induce flow, boredom and anxiety throughout specific instances in the game. We used self-reports of personality and flow in addition to physiological measures (heart rate variability) as a means of evaluating the game design. Results yielded a consistently high accuracy in the classification of low flow versus high flow conditions across multiple classifiers. Moreover, they suggested that the anticipated model-by-design was not necessarily consistent with the player’s subjective and objective data. Our approach lays promising groundwork for the automatic assessment of game design strategies and may help explain experiential variability across video game players.

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