||Flow Experience and Companionship for Online Pet Players.
||Department of Industrial Design
||Elena Carolina Li
In many online games, players develop a relationship with their game roles or avatars through playing. Some players even develop a companionship with their game roles or avatars. For developing such companionships, players must continue playing online games. Motivation crucially influences the willingness to play online games. The flow experience is a crucial factor that requires a player’s continual playing of a game. However, the relationship among game motivation, flow experience, and companionship is unclear; whether a flow experience affects players’ companionship with their game role is also unclear. Therefore, it is difficult to design an online game for players that effectively connects the game motivation, flow experience and companionship. The purpose of this study is to choose online pet games as study samples, and this study used a game motivation scale, flow experience scale, and the Companionship Scale of Artificial Pets to identify the relationship among game motivation, flow experience, and companionship, and the relationship between flow and companionship levels.
In this study, 216 valid questionnaires were collected, and the results demonstrated that (1) game motivation for online pet game players was primarily immersion and achievement, compared with achievement motivation, immersion motivation had a greater influence on flow experience and the development of player companionship with online pets. (2) Players with immersion and achievement motivation had a substantially enhanced flow experience and companionship with their online pets. (3) A high flow experience enhances a player’s companionship with their online pet, whereas a low flow experience results in low level of companionship. (4) A high level of companionship increases the flow experience, and a low level of companionship results in a low flow experience. (5) The factors of concentration and enjoyment as well as telepresence/loss of self-consciousness and satisfaction had a significantly positive relationship.
According to the results of this study, improvement in the relationship between game motivation, flow and companionship can encourage more players to acquire online pet games and, through an increase in game marketing, designers can amass more resources to assist in developing more online games or artificial companions.
ABSTRACT IN CHINESE i
TABLE OF CONTENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES vi
LIST OF FIGURES viii
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Research Goals 4
1.3 Research Framework 5
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 7
2.1 Artificial Pets 7
2.1.1 Definition and Classification 7
2.1.2 Evolution of Artificial Pets 11
2.2 Online Pets 17
2.3 Game Motivation 22
2.4 Flow 26
2.4.1 Flow Theory 26
2.4.2 Flow Experience and Factors 28
2.4.3 Relevant Scales of Flow 33
2.5 Companionship 36
2.5.1 Establish a Companionship 36
2.5.2 Relevant Scales of Companionship 38
2.6 Summary 42
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 44
3.1 Hypotheses 44
3.2 Experiment Design 48
3.2.1 Questionnaire Design 50
3.2.2 Questionnaire Validity Test 54
3.2.3 Analysis Method 55
CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 60
4.1 Descriptive Statistical Analysis 60
4.2 Questionnaire Reliability and Validity 61
4.3 Effect of Game Motivation on Flow Experience and Companionship 62
4.4 The Relationship of Flow Experience Level and Companionship Level 66
4.5 The Relationship of Flow Experience Factors and Companionship Factors 70
4.6 Discussions 80
4.6.1 Effects of Game Motivations 80
4.6.2 Factors of Flow Experience and Companionship 81
4.6.3 Relationship of Flow experience and Companionship 81
4.6.4 The Relationships of Flow Factors and Companionship Factors 83
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS 85
5.1 Major Findings 85
5.2 Contributions 87
5.3 Future Studies 88
Appendix A THE EVOLUTION OF ARTIFICIAL PETS 104
Appendix B THE GAME MOTIVATION AND FLOW EXPERIENCE SCALE FOR ONLINE PET PLAYERS 111
Appendix C THE COMPANIONAHIP SCALE FOR ONLINE PET PLAYERS 116
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