3rd International Conference

Digital Culture & AudioVisual Challenges

Interdisciplinary Creativity in Arts and Technology

Online, May 28-29, 2021

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How player and opponent personalities influence cooperative gameplay
Date and Time: 28/05/2021 (15:45-17:50)
Konstantina Ntretska, Nikos Avradinis, Georgios Tsatiris, Kostas Karpouzis

One of the most dominant family of theories describing personality is that of traits. A trait can be defined as a (more or less) stable characteristic which results in a person behaving in a specific manner or showing specific responses to situations or stimuli. Allport, one of the first researchers to propose this concept, described traits as building blocks of personality, categorized in three classes: cardinal traits, those that persons organize their life around; central traits, i.e. those that provide the foundation of one’s personality, and secondary traits, behavior patterns that seem to be expressed in specific situations and environments. Eysenck built on this approach to include dimensions of personality (extroversion and introversion) which also include how we approach and deal with or in the presence of other people. The difference of theories based on traits with other theories, such as those by Freud or Rogers, is that they offer means and instruments for measurement. The ‘Five Factor’ model belongs to the trait family of theories and may also be found in literature as OCEAN, after the five main personality traits, Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism, with the last one often being replaced by Emotional Stability, its conceptual opposite. Research has shown that personality can often be correlated with how people prefer to consume digital content. In the case of video games, this has to do with a number of factors, such as choice of game genre, game aesthetics, and playing style. For instance, according to Chory and Goodboy, players with high neuroticism scores tend to choose more violent video game genres, such as first-person shooters, over role-playing games.
In our work, we focused on cooperative video games, or ‘co-op’. These are games where two or more players participate in the same narrative and virtual world, and work together towards a common goal, as opposed to competitive games where every player or group of players play for themselves. This distinction runs across different genres, game mechanics and aesthetics, with puzzle games being the most popular co-op genre. In this framework, we developed a local (i.e. not network-based) co-op game and investigated whether player personalities influence player behavior and experience in terms of interaction, fun and engagement. Player personalities were also considered in terms of game play result, in the sense of identifying which combination of individual personality traits would result in solving the puzzles contained in the game. All participants were millennials and characterized themselves as ‘game players’; they also had no previous acquaintance, so as to eliminate (or, at least, reduce) any social predisposition effects. Before game play, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire from the ‘International Personality Item Pool’, providing individual scores with respect to each of the five factors in the OCEAN model. Then, they played a cooperative game that we developed, called ‘Joint Effort To Escape’, where one of the player is in possession of all the information needed to escape a maze and has to guide the other player to the exit. Our results showed that Emotional Stability was an important factor when it comes to solving the game puzzles quickly or at all.
References
Ferro, L. S., Walz, S. P., & Greuter, S. (2013, September). Towards personalised, gamified systems: an investigation into game design, personality and player typologies. In Proceedings of The 9th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Matters of Life and Death (pp. 1-6).
Lee, Y., & Jung, Y. (2019). A Mapping Approach to Identify Player Types for Game Recommendations. Information, 10(12), 379.
Hart, C. (2016). Getting into the game: an examination of player personality projection in videogame avatars.


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