Investigating Game Mechanics that Target Players' Self-Control While Maintaining Engagement
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Whenever someone chooses to study instead of going to a party, or forgo dessert after dinner, that person is exercising self-control. Self-control is essential for achieving long-term goals, but isn't easy. Games present a compelling opportunity to engage in tasks that allow a player to exercise and improve self-control, and consequently provide data about a person's cognitive capacity to exert self-control. However, exercising self-control can be effortful and depleting, which makes incorporating it into a game design that maintains engagement and quality of experience a challenge. We present the design of game mechanics for exercising and improving self-control, and an initial study that effectively demonstrates that games can be designed to engage a broad level of self-control processes without negatively affecting player engagement and experience. Our results also show that player performance is connected to trait-level self-control. We discuss how (for example) players with low trait self-control can therefore be identified, and games intended to improve or exercise self-control can dynamically adapt to this information.
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Milad Soroush, Mark Hancock, Vanessa K. Bohns (2018). Investigating Game Mechanics that Target Players' Self-Control While Maintaining Engagement. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17205