Advertisement

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)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Companionship Flow Online game Virtual pet 

References

  1. Aguiar, N.R., Taylor, M.: Children’s concepts of the social affordances of a virtual dog and a stuffed dog. Cogn. Dev. 34, 16–27 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. App Store: App Store iTunes (2016). https://itunes.apple.com/tw/genre/ios/id36?l=zh&mt=8. Accessed 20 Dec 2016
  3. Bernabei, V., De Ronchi, D., La Ferla, T., Moretti, F., Tonelli, L., Ferrari, B., Forlani, M., Atti, A.R.: Animal-assisted interventions for elderly patients affected by dementia or psychiatric disorders: a review. J. Psychiatr. Res. 47(6), 762–773 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bressler, D.M., Bodzin, A.M.: A mixed methods assessment of students’ flow experiences during a mobile augmented reality science game. J. Comput. Assist. Learn. 29(6), 505–517 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Byrne, S., Wagner, E., Gay, G., Humphreys, L., Retelny, D., Pollak, J.: It’s time to eat: Using mobile games to promote healthy eating. IEEE Pervasive Comput. 9(3), 21–27 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chang, C.-C.: Examining users’ intention to continue using social network games: a flow experience perspective. Telematics Inform. 30(4), 311–321 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, H.: Exploring web users’ on-line optimal flow experiences. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY (2000)Google Scholar
  8. Chiou, H.: Quantitative Research and Statistical Analysis in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Wunan Publishing, Taipei (2006)Google Scholar
  9. Choi, D., Kim, J.: Why people continue to play online games: In search of critical design factors to increase customer loyalty to online contents. Cyberpsychol. Behav. 7(1), 11–24 (2004). doi: 10.1089/109493104322820066 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M.: Beyond Boredom and Anxiety. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco (1975)Google Scholar
  11. Csikszentmihalyi, M.: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harpers Perennial, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  12. Dabritz, H.A., Conrad, P.A.: Cats and toxoplasma: implications for public health. Zoonoses Public Health 57(1), 34–52 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Finneran, C.M., Zhang, P.: Flow in computer-mediated environments: promises and challenge. Commun. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 15, 82–101 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. Ghani, J.A.: Flow in human computer interactions: test of a model. In: Carey, J. (ed.) Human Factors in Information Systems: Emerging Theoretical Bases, pp. 291–311. Ablex Publishing Corporation, New Jersey (1995)Google Scholar
  15. Hoffman, D.L., Novak, T.P.: Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: conceptual foundations. J. Mark. 60(3), 50–68 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Larriba, F., Raya, C., Angulo, C., Albo-Canals, J., Díaz, M., Boldú, R.: Externalising moods and psychological states in a cloud based system to enhance a pet-robot and child’s interaction. BioMed. Eng. OnLine 15(1), 72 (2016). doi: 10.1186/s12938-016-0180-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lawson, S., Chesney, T.: The impact of owner age on companionship with virtual pets. In: Proceedings of the 15th Europe Conference Information Systems (ECIS 2007), St. Galen, Switzerland, pp. 1922–1928 (2007a)Google Scholar
  18. Lawson, S., Chesney, T.: Virtual pets: great for the games industry but what’s really in it for the owners? In: Proceedings of the 19th Women in Games 2007, Newport, Wales (2007b)Google Scholar
  19. Li, E.C., Luh, D.-B.: From real to virtual pets- the evolution of artificial companions as pet. In: Proceedings of IASDR2011 the 4th World Conference on Design Research, pp. 1–12 (CD format) (2011)Google Scholar
  20. Li, E.C., Luh, D.-B.: The relationship of flow level and companionship level for online pet games. In: 2015 The International Conference on Applied System and Innovation, Japan (2015)Google Scholar
  21. Li, E.C., Luh, D.-B.: Effect of game motivation on flow experience and companionship: the online pet games as the example. Interaction Studies (In press)Google Scholar
  22. Li, J.-S.: Exercise is no longer alone, virtual pets with you! (2016). http://udn.com/news/story/7266/1535044-運動不再孤單-虛擬寵物陪你!. Accessed 10 Jan 2017
  23. Li, P.-Y.: Interpersonal theory. Test. Couns. 152, 3152–3156 (1999)Google Scholar
  24. Libin, E., Libin, A.: New diagnostic tool for robotic psychology and robotherapy studies. Cyberpsychol. Behav. 6, 369–374 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lorenz, T., Weiss, A., Hirche, S.: Synchrony and reciprocity: key mechanisms for social companion robots in therapy and care. Int. J. Soc. Robot. 8(1), 125–143 (2016). doi: 10.1007/s12369-015-0325-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Luh, D.-B., Li, E.C., Dai, C.-C.: Game factors influencing players to continue playing online pets. IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (In press)Google Scholar
  27. Luh, D.-B., Li, E.C., Kao, Y.-J.: The development of a companionship scale for artificial pets. Interact. Comput. 27(2), 189–201 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Novak, T.P., Hoffman, D.L., Yung, Y.-F.: Measuring the customer experience in online environments: a structural modeling approach. Mark. Sci. 19(1), 22–42 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Park, S., Chung, N.: Mediating roles of self-presentation desire in online game community commitment and trust behavior of Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Comput. Hum. Behav. 27(6), 2372–2379 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Skadberg, Y.X., Kimmel, J.R.: Visitors’ flow experience while browsing a web site: its measurement, contributing factors and consequences. Comput. Hum. Behav. 20(3), 403–422 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Su, Y.-S., Chiang, W.-L., Lee, C.-T., Chang, H.-C.: The effect of flow experience on player loyalty in mobile game application. Comput. Hum. Behav. 63, 240–248 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sweester, P., Wyeth, P.: Game Flow: A model for evaluating player enjoyment in games. ACM Comput. Entertain. 3(3), Article 3A (2005)Google Scholar
  33. Tsai, Y.-F., Kaufman, D.: Interacting with a computer-simulated pet: factors influencing children’s humane attitudes and empathy. J. Educ. Comput. Res. 51(2), 145–161 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wood, L., Martin, K., Christian, H., Nathan, A., Lauritsen, C., Houghton, S., et al.: The pet factor - companion animals as a conduit for getting to know people, friendship formation and social support. PLoS ONE 10(4), e0122085 (2015). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122085 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zasloff, R.L.: Measuring attachment to companion animals: a dog is not a cat is not a bird. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 47(1), 43–48 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhao, Y., Wang, W., Zhu, Y.: Antecedents of the closeness of human-avatar relationships in a virtual world. J. Database Manage. 21(2), 41–68 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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.)

Personalised recommendations