Identification and categorization of digital game experiences : a qualitative study integrating
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. - Harrow, 2004, currens
, p. 107-129
University of Antwerp
Digital game experience is not a one-dimensional concept. Great variety exists in game genres and players, and game experiences will differ accordingly. To date, game experience is studied in a differentiated way, meaning that most studies focus on one specifi c game experience dimension. The objective of our study was twofold. First, we wanted to obtain a comprehensive picture of fi rst-hand experiences of playing digital games. We conducted six focus group interviews including different types of gamers with the aim of eliciting a wide array of lay-conceptualizations of game experience. Second, we aimed to develop a categorization of game experience dimensions. This was established by discussing and integrating theoretical and empirical fi ndings. Our categorization revealed nine dimensions: enjoyment, fl ow, imaginative immersion, sensory immersion, suspense, competence, tension, control and social presence. This categorization has relevance for both game scholars and game developers wanting to get to the heart of digital game experience.