Effect of Playing Factors and Playing History on Game Flow and Companionship Levels for Online Pets

  • Elena Carolina LiEmail author
  • Ding-Bang Luh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10289)


Electronic robots and virtual pets are used for enjoyment and even companionship. Studies have demonstrated that flow experience and companionship can affect whether players continue interacting with their robots and virtual pets. One study also revealed a positive relationship between flow and companionship regarding online pet games. However, the playing factors and elements of playing history (for example game types, playing time, flow factors, or companionship factors) that significantly increase players’ flow and companionship levels are unclear. This study used a questionnaire survey to identify playing factors that may affect players’ flow and companionship levels. This study utilized two scales (flow and companionship) to evaluate the flow and companionship states of online pet game players. A total of 204 valid questionnaires were collected. The results revealed that (1) time distortion and concentration were the crucial factors for increasing flow experience; (2) attractiveness was the crucial factor for increasing players’ sense of companionship with their online pet; (3) spending more playing time with their online pets every day significantly increases players’ levels of flow and companionship; and finally, (4) players who thought themselves to have high flow and companionship levels did actually have higher flow and companionship levels, which indicated that self-reporting of flow and companionship levels was a reliable method. These results can serve as a reference for online pet game designers and in relevant research fields.


Companionship Flow Online game Virtual pet 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information CommunicationYuan Ze UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan (R.O.C.)
  2. 2.Department of Creative Product DesignAsia UniversityTaichungTaiwan (R.O.C.)

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