Physiological & behavioural correlates in gaming

vlc-record-2021-03-09-15h57m10s-Safe the diasours-

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The project aims to explore feelings of frustration and their physiological/behavioural correlates in gaming. Students from Bachelor Informatics and Master CS4DM programmes (Norina Marie Grosch, Gissu Valentina Naghavi, Jenny Döring) implemented a computer game featuring a dinosaur that seeks to prevent the earth from getting destroyed by meteors. Task difficulty is gradually increased across five levels. However, without the players knowing, frustrating lags - screen freezes every now and then - are randomy applied during the challenging levels which impedes successful processing (witness a freezing screen in the video after 11 seconds). Also, false information on behavioural performance is reported back after each level, indicating players to range in the lower third among all participants. Control trials are applied that include no lags or fake feedback.

We recorded skin conductance changes as well as heart rate variabilities on basis of a modified computer mouse to monitor changes in bodily arousal. Strength and speed of key presses (left/right dinosaur movements) were analyzed to determine increased motor activity. Also, players reported levels of stress and frustration via 7-point Likert scales after completion of each level.

Findings will provide insight into the emergence of frustration and its functional consequences during competitive situations.