Control vs. complexity in games: comparing arousal in 2D game prototypes
M. Lankes, W. Hochleitner, N. Lehner, C. Hochleitner - Control vs. complexity in games: comparing arousal in 2D game prototypes - FnG '12 Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games , Toulouse, France, 2012, pp. 101-104
In this paper, we investigate the relationship between the feeling of being in control in a game situation and the interaction complexity in regard to the degree of arousal within subjects. To address this topic a comparative study consisting of two similar prototypes of a 2D jump-and-run game was set up. Both versions of the game were made up of identical art assets and shared the same level structure. The main difference constitutes in the type of interaction. Prototype A offers less control (through an auto-jump ability) and requires input only via one hand (mouse input). Contrary, prototype B enables players to have a stronger influence on the current game situation (manual jump ability) and requires them to use both hands (mouse and keyboard input). In order to assess the arousal of the test subjects, physiological measurements were carried out via galvanic skin response (GSR). Results show that the loss of control creates less arousal than a more complex game situation.