Group play: Determining factors on the gaming experience in multiplayer role-playing games

Association for Computing Machinery, Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Computers in Entertainment, 2008, 5 (4), pp. 1 - 29
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Role-playing games (RPGs) are a well-known game form, existing in a number of formats, including tabletop, live action, and various digital forms. Despite their popularity, empirical studies of these games are relatively rare. In particular there have been few examinations of the effects of the various formats used by RPGs on the gaming experience. This article presents the results of an empirical study, examining how multi-player tabletop RPGs are affected as they are ported to the digital medium. Issues examined include the use of disposition assessments to predict play experience, the effect of group dynamics, the influence of the fictional game characters and the comparative play experience between the two formats. The results indicate that group dynamics and the relationship between the players and their digital characters, are integral to the quality of the gaming experience in multiplayer RPGs, with the first being of greater importance to digital games and the latter to the tabletop version. © 2008 ACM.
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