Video games vary in terms of the emotional states they elicit from players. These differences in emotional reactions, in turn, help account for differential preferences of individual games. The three independent dimensions of pleasure‐displeasure, arousal‐nonarousal, and dominance‐submissiveness were used to assess emotional impacts of individual games. In addition, a preference measure was constructed to evaluate attraction toward, versus avoidance of, specific games. In Study One, a group of subjects provided data on emotional responses to 22 common arcade video games and a different group rated their preferences for the same games. The emotional impact of video games was highly unpleasant, moderately arousing, and moderately dominance‐inducing; thus, the predominant emotional response to these games was aggression, anger, or hostility. I n Study Two, subjects visiting a video game arcade were recruited and assigned to play two games each and to report their reactions to each game immediately after playing the game. Results showed that greater feelings of pleasure, and separately of arousal, while playing video games resulted in higher preferences for the games and that greater dominance (significant only for males) also led to higher preferences. It may be beneficial, therefore, to experiment with more arousing and more dominance‐inducing game designs which are not necessarily unpleasant or which definitely yield high pleasure.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1986
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