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Engaged by Boos and Cheers: The Effect of Co-Located Game Audiences on Social Player Experience

Dennis L. Kappen, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Jens Johannsmeier, Daniel Buckstein, James Robb, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2014. Engaged by Boos and Cheers: The Effect of Co-Located Game Audiences on Social Player Experience. In Proceedings of CHI PLAY 2014. Toronto, ON, Canada. ACM, 151-160. doi:10.1145/2658537.2658687

Abstract

Little is currently known about the influence of co-located player audiences on gameplay experience. Social player experiences are important to understand in co-located gaming scenarios, because these experiences relate to player performance. Player-audience relationships have been studied before, but prior research focused on player attributes and typology. In our study, we investigated the effect of different co-located audience types (silent, positive, negative) and no audience on player experience. For the study, we contribute a video game specifically developed for two-player, co-located gameplay and findings from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Our findings show that both -- negative and positive audience activity -- drove players to become more engaged in the video game. In contrast, silent audiences made players feel unnerved and less engaged in gameplay. Our paper is the first to study of the relevance of co-located audience influence on player experience, which is important for understanding the design of co-located games.