The False Dichotomy between Positive and Negative Affect in Game Play

Birk, Max V.; Iacovides, Ioanna; Johnson, Daniel and Mandryk, Regan L. (2015). The False Dichotomy between Positive and Negative Affect in Game Play. In: Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - CHI PLAY '15, ACM, ACM, New York, USA, pp. 799–804.



Most of the time games make us happy, but sometimes they are frustrating or make us feel sad. They allow us to experience pleasure, success and joy, but they can also yield feelings of frustration, failure, or sorrow as a result of darker themes. In games, we can experience the full range of emotions – both positive and negative.

The workshop goals are to: 1) Investigate positive affect, negative affect, and the interplay between positive and negative affect as a means to create powerful gaming experiences; 2) Identify gaps in our existing knowledge regarding the full range of emotional experiences in games and their impact on the player and play experience; 3) Determine directions for research to advance knowledge in this space; and, 4) Create a community of people interested in developing games that involve powerful and meaningful player experiences. The organizers will provide the structure, questions, scaffolding of discussions, and workshop materials; whereas the participants will provide ideas through positions papers and discussion.

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