Balancing skills to optimize fun in interactive board games

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Conference Proceeding
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 2009, 5726 LNCS (PART 1), pp. 301 - 313
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Playing games against people with a different skill level can be boring or frustrating, which decreases fun. A solution is to introduce specific rules that balance a game. In this paper we describe a study in which we used an electronic board game with tangible interaction to investigate whether balancing a game indeed increases fun experienced. We also investigate whether balancing skill levels implicitly (players are unaware) or explicitly (players are aware) has an influence on the fun experienced. We found that players who lost a game felt more successful in the balanced game compared to the unbalanced game. The balanced game also offered the players more fun experience than they expected beforehand. Finally, players preferred to play an explicitly balanced game because it increased the feeling of effort and challenge. © 2009 Springer.
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