Is it a sense of autonomy, control, or attachment? Exploring the effects of in-game customization on game enjoyment

Keunyeong Kim, Michael G. Schmierbach, Saraswathi Bellur, Mun Young Chung, Julia Daisy Fraustino, Frank Dardis, Lee Ahern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study presents a model linking character customization and game enjoyment. Two separate studies using different types of customization (functional vs. aesthetic) were employed to test two competing mechanisms that explain the effects of customizing in-game characters: feelings of autonomy and control - rooted in self-determination theory - and perceived attachment to game characters. Additionally, this study investigated how these two divergent mechanisms influence game enjoyment through immersion-related experiences. The findings showed that the feelings of autonomy and control are consistently stronger explanations for enjoyment, regardless of customization type. The results suggest that similar to other entertainment media, games can appeal to individuals through the senses of autonomy, control, and attachment to a character; the first two prove more critical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-705
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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