Mastering uncertainty: A predictive processing account of enjoying uncertain success in video game play

Sebastian Deterding*, Marc Andersen, Julian Kiverstein, Mark Miller

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Why do we seek out and enjoy uncertain success in playing games? Game designers and researchers suggest that games whose challenges match player skills afford engaging experiences of achievement, competence, or effectance—of doing well. Yet, current models struggle to explain why such balanced challenges best afford these experiences and do not straightforwardly account for the appeal of high- and low-challenge game genres like Idle and Soulslike games. In this article, we show that Predictive Processing (PP) provides a coherent formal cognitive framework which can explain the fun in tackling game challenges with uncertain success as the dynamic process of reducing uncertainty surprisingly efficiently. In gameplay as elsewhere, people enjoy doing better than expected, which can track learning progress. In different forms, balanced, Idle, and Soulslike games alike afford regular accelerations of uncertainty reduction. We argue that this model also aligns with a popular practitioner model, Raph Koster’s Theory of Fun for Game Design, and can unify currently differentially modelled gameplay motives around competence and curiosity.

OriginalsprogDansk
Artikelnummer924953
TidsskriftFrontiers in Psychology
Vol/bind13
ISSN1664-1078
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2022

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