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Psychological Aspects of Gaming and Virtual Reality Experience

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 2500-EN_F_64 Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.4 / (0313) Psychologia
Nazwa przedmiotu: Psychological Aspects of Gaming and Virtual Reality Experience
Jednostka: Wydział Psychologii
Grupy: Academic basket
Cognitive Psychology basket
Elective courses
electives for 2 and 3 year
Punkty ECTS i inne: (brak)
zobacz reguły punktacji
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Skrócony opis: (tylko po angielsku)

Main objectives of the course is to scrutinize the psychological factors of

gaming that shape our behavior, decision making, cognition and emotion


Why do we play the games? How do we play them? How do they affect

our cognitive and emotional functioning? To answer these questions we

need to enter the broad domain of ‘Game design psychology’ – a

multidisciplinary approach within the studies on new, digital media.

Within the series of classes we will structurally analyze the existing

literature on the psychological effects of gaming and ‘virtual reality

experience’ on our real life performance – and oppositely – how the

factors of reality shape the ‘game experience’.

Pełny opis: (tylko po angielsku)

Nowadays everybody is playing some kind of video game, be it on a

console, computer, Facebook, or phone. Much of the medium’s success is

built on careful adherence to basic principles of psychology, which is

becoming even more important as games become more social and


Understanding the reciprocal dependencies of game features and

the psychological effects leads to a better design as well as getting more

out of a game as a player on his own terms. Satisfaction of certain

psychological needs (e.g., relatedness, autonomy, or mastery) can

certainly increase engagement and playtime in mobile games.

In this course we will also review the learning theories – its

beneficial and hindering influences on the game process development (as

B.F. Skinner’s insights into learned behaviors). We will also focus on

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of psychological flow and a founding

that a person's skill and the difficulty of a task interact to result in

different cognitive and emotional states. We will consider how certain

game design satisfies or doesn’t satisfy the requirements for psychological

flow and how it could be changed. We will also talk about other concepts

as immersion, levels of emotional engagement and the ‘feeling of

presence’. Special attention will be given to the social aspects of gaming,

social cues of attention as well as the co-presence effect.

To provide a complete picture gaming techniques and its effects,

we will speak about multidisciplinary application as the ‘gamification of

musea’, ‘educational and therapeutic gamification’ (VR simulations),

motoric and cognitive training as well as the influence of persuasive

games. Emphasis of the course will lie evenly on the cognitive and

emotional psychology, however involved will be also issues from other

disciplines, as communication science, (cross) cultural psychology, cultural

philosophy and ethics. In addition to the recent articles on game design,

reach audio-visual material will be foreseen - frequently presented videoillustration

will be shown (or requested to see at home) to exemplify

theoretical topics treated in the literature.

Literatura: (tylko po angielsku)

Class 1. Introduction to the topic of the course and to the theory of game

design. Described will be all courses’ topics. Organizational information;

scheduling the individual presentations; description of the final paper and

of the final evaluation.

Class 2. Why do people play games?

- Decision points

- Individual differences


Bers, M. U. (2010). Let the games begin: Civic playing in high tech consoles. Review of General

Psychology, 14, 147–153.

Dongseong Choi, D. and Kim, J. (2004). "Why People Continue to Play Online Games: In Search

of Critical Design Factors to Increase Customer Loyalty to Online Contents". CyberPsychology &

Behavior, 7(1): 11-24.

Barnett, J., & Coulson, M. (2010). Virtually real: A psychological perspective on massively

multiplayer online games. Review of General Psychology, 14, 167–179.

Class 3. Five domains of play vs. The Big 5 Personality Model


VandenBerghe, J. (2012) The 5 Domains of Play: Applying Psychology's Big 5 Motivation

Domains to Games; Ubisoft, GDConference.

Wang et al (2013) Relating Five Factor Personality Traits to Video Game

Preference, HCITR (http://hcil2.cs.umd.edu/trs/2013-08/2013-08.pdf)

Leng, C. (2008). Personality differences between online game players and nonplayers in a

student sample. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(2), 232-234.

Class 4. Motivation of players & hierarchy of needs


Olson, C. K. (2010). Children’s motivations for video game play in the context of normal

development. Review of General Psychology, 14, 180–187.

Przybylski, A. K., Rigby, C. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). A motivational model of video game

engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14, 154–166.

Class 5. Emotional engagement


Ravaja, N., Saari, T., Laarni, J., Kallinen, K., Salminen, M., olopainen , . arvinen, A. (2005).

The Psychophysiology of Video Gaming: Phasic Emotional Responses to Game Events.

International DIGRA Conference.

Cunningham, S., Grout, V., & Picking, R. (2010). Emotion, content, and context in sound and

music. In M. Grimshaw (Ed.), Game sound technology and player interaction: Concepts and

developments, (pp. 235–263).

Freeman, D. (2004). Creating emotion in games: The craft and art of emotioneering™.

Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 2(3), article 15.

Shinkle, E. (2008). Video games, emotion and the six senses. Media, Culture, and Society, 30,


Class 6. Flow state


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (2008), by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, published by

Harper Perennial Modern Classics.

Agarwal, R., & Karahanna, E. (2000). Time flies when you’re having fun: Cognitive Absorption

and beliefs about information technology usage. MIS Quarterly, 24(4), 665–694.

Holt, R. Examining Video Game Immersion as a Flow State. B.A. Thesis, Department of

Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, 2000.

Sweetser, P. and Wyeth, P. GameFlow: A model for evaluating player enjoyment in games.

Computers in Entertainment 3, 3 (July 2005).

Sweetser, P., & Wyeth, P. (2005). GameFlow: A model for evaluating player enjoyment in

games. Computers in Entertainment (CIE), 3(3), article 3.

Takatalo, ., äkkinen, ., Kaistinen, ., Nyman, G. (2010). Presence, involvement, and flow in

digital games. In R. Bernhaupt (Ed.), Evaluating user experience in games (pp. 23-46). London:


Class 7. Levels of interaction


Thalmann, D. "The Role of Virtual Humans in Virtual Environment Technology and Interfaces."

In R. Earnshaw, R. Guejd, A. van Dam, and J. Vince, eds. Frontiers of Human-Centred

Computing, Online Communities and Virtual Environments, Springer-Verlag, London, 2001, 27-


Churchill, E. F., Snowdon, D. N., and Munro, A. J. "Collaborative Virtual Environments - Digital

Places and Spaces for Interaction." Computer Supported Cooperative Work, D. Diaper and C.

Sanger, eds. Springer-Verlag, London, 2001, pp. 316.

Cassell, J. "Embodied conversational interface agents." Communications of the ACM, 43.4

(2000), 70 - 78.

Bowman, D. A. and Hodges, L. F. "Formalizing the Design, Evaluation, and Application of

Interaction Techniques for Immersive Virtual Environments." Journal of Visual Languages and

Computing, 10.1 (1999), 37-53.

Class 8. Immersion

- Measurements of “immersion”


Jennett, C, Cox, AL, Cairns, P, Dhoparee, S, Epps, A, Tijs, T & Walton, A 2008, 'Measuring and

defining the experience of immersion in games' International journal of human-Computer

studies, vol 66, no. 9, pp. 641-661.

Norman, K. (2010). Development of instruments to measure immerseability of individuals and

immersiveness of video games. Tech. Rep. http://lap.umd.edu/LAP/Papers/Tech_Report


Cairns, P., Cox, A., Dhoparee, S., Hong, R. & Jennett, C. (under review). Investigating

Immersion: transferring the positive experience of playing games.

Class 9. Feeling of presence

- Measuring the “feeling of presence”


Wirth, W., hartmann, T., Bocking, S., Vorderer, P., Klimmt, C., Holger, S., Saari, T., Laarni, J.,

Ravaja, N., Gouveia, F., Biocca, F., Sacau, A. Jancke, L., Baumgartner, T., & Jancke, P. (2007). A

Process Model for the Formation of Spatial Presence Experiences. Media Psychology, 9, 493-


Heeter, C. & Allbritton, M. (2015). Playing with Presence: How meditation can increase the

experience of embodied presence in a virtual world. In proceedings of the Foundations of

Digital Games conference . Asilomar, CA

Slater, M., & Steed, A., (2000). A Virtual Presence Counter. ztextitPresence, 9(5), 413–434

Witmer, B., G., & Singer, M.J. (1998). Measuring presence in virtual environments: A presence

questionnaire. Presence, Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 7(3), 225–240.

Class 10. Gaming application in health care

- Games & health and well being

- Therapeutic use of game design and VR

- Gaming as an aid platform or depression, anxiety and

psychosomatic patients.


Ceranoglu, T. A. (2010). Video games in psychotherapy. Review of General Psychology, 14,


Durkin, K. (2010). Video games and young people with developmental disorders. Review of

General Psychology, 14, 122–140.

Kato, P. M. (2010). Video games in health care: Closing the gap. Review of General Psychology,

14, 113–121.

Gross, E. F., Juvonen, J. and Gable, S.L. (2002). Internet Use and Well-Being in Adolescents.

Journal of Social Issues. Accessed June 23, 2009.

Morahan-Martin, J. (1999) The Relationship Between Loneliness and Internet Use and Abuse.

Cyber Psychology and Behavior 2: 431-440.

Petry, N. (2006). Internet gambling: an emerging concern in family practice medicine? Family

Practice, 23(4): 421-426.

Franceschini, Sandro, Simone Gori, Milena Ruffino, Simona Viola, Massimo Molteni, and

Andrea Facoetti. 2013. “Action Video Games Make Dyslexic Children Read Better.” Current

Biology 23:462–66.

Torres, Ana Carla Seabra. 2011. “Cognitive Effects of Video Games on Old People.”

International Journal on Disability and Human Development 10:55–58.

Efekty uczenia się: (tylko po angielsku)

Learning outcomes

Understanding of the fundamental psychological mechanisms behind the

gaming behavior: motivational emotional factors, its beneficial effects

(learning and training) as well as possible negative effects of gaming.

Students will also get to know varied game design approaches –

dependently on the designers’ strategy concerning the gamers’ expected

behavior, attitude and experienced emotions. Students will also

demonstrate skills in identifying specific game design elements to create

different levels of interaction, immersion and its potential use for HCI

research purposes.

Metody i kryteria oceniania: (tylko po angielsku)


 24 hours – attendance

 24 hours – reading literature and watching course videos

 3 hours – preparing class discussions/exercises

 7 hours – preparing a presentation

 10 hours – final paper


There will be a number of points that are required to be obtained in

order to pass this class. The quantity of points determines the


Students will be obliged to fulfill two practical tasks. Each task

will be separately evaluated:

 A PowerPoint presentation based on the in-class practices as

well as the chosen literature

 Final paper – analysis of game design casus

Presentation: There will be one obligatory presentation (15-20

minutes). Students will present their practical, on-going exercises

that they performed in the class. Their task will be also to match

appropriate literature and apply this theoretical background to

their own practice, observations and research. Further details will

be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course. The

presentation will be given by students individually or in groups

(dependently on the number of students) during the second part of

the course. The maximum score for the presentation is 20 points.

Final Paper: At the end of the course students will be asked to write

A final paper – an analysis of a ‘game design status’. It will be based

on material and information provided by the instructor during the

first session. The maximum score for this task is 30 points.

Grading scale:

49 – 50 points = 5!

46 – 48 points = 5

41 – 45 points = 4,5

36 – 40 points = 4

31 – 35 points = 3,5

26 – 30 points = 3

25 or less = failed

Attendance rules

Students will be allowed to be absent from two sessions (1 session

= 1,5 academic hour). In case of missing a bigger amount of sessions

(e.g., because of illness), students will be asked to complete

additional work in order to compensate missed theory and practice.

No more than 8 hours of class can be missed however, irrespective

of reason.

Przedmiot nie jest oferowany w żadnym z aktualnych cykli dydaktycznych.
Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.