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Fun with Death and Failure: An exploration of player experiences in a decentralized open world RPG
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Many modern single-player role-playing games offer the player a power fantasy where the experience is designed to make the players feel powerful right from the start, with enemies and challenges that scale to the player characters level and abilities. This study explores what happens with play when power fantasy is replaced with decentralization and especially how this decentralization affects the player’s experience of failure and death.

To explore this, three experienced The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim-players played the game with the modification Requiem - The Roleplaying Overhaul. After the participants had played at home for at least 8 hours they each participated in individual semi-structured interviews about their experiences. The interviews were transcribed and a grounded theory coding was performed. Finally the results were analyzed to find common themes.

The study found that there was initial frustration due to expecting a power fantasy experience but once players adapted, the increased difficulty of decentralization was enjoyable as long as the player’s agency was not taken away and the world and its difficulty was logical. While the scope of the study is too small to draw generalizable conclusions it nevertheless shows that decentralized, difficult games work well for certain players. Future research is required on how to mitigate the effects of the initial obstacle.

Abstract [sv]

Många moderna single-player-rollspel erbjuder spelaren en maktfantasi där denne ska känna sig kraftfull direkt från spelets start genom att spelets fiender och utmaningar är baserade på spelarkaraktärens nivå och förmågor. Den här studien utforskar vad som händer när denna maktfantasi ersätts med en värld som inte anpassar sig efter spelaren, en så kallad decentraliserad värld. Specifikt undersöks hur decentraliseringen påverkar spelarens upplevelse av misslyckande och spelardöd.

För att utforska detta spelade tre spelare The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim med modifikationen Requiem - The Roleplaying Overhaul i åtta timmar. Efter att deltagarna spelat utfördes individuella semistrukturerade intervjuer och intervjuerna transkriberades. Därefter genomfördes en grounded-theory kodning och analys för att finna gemensamma teman.

Resultatet visar att det till en början uppstod frustration hos spelarna på grund av att de väntade sig en maktfantasi. Men när spelarna anpassade sin spelstil kom det fram att svårighetsgraden i en decentraliserad värld ökade underhållningsvärdet så länge spelaren kände att denne kunde påverka sin situation och att svårighetsgraden är grundad i spelvärldens logik. Emedan omfånget av studien är för liten för att dra några generella slutsatser visar den att decentraliserade spel med hög svårighetsgrad är underhållande för vissa spelare. Vidare forskning behövs på hur spelare lättare ska komma över den initiala tröskeln.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 32 p.
Keyword [en]
Computer games, roleplaying games, difficulty, decentralization, power fantasy, game design
Keyword [sv]
Datorspel, rollspel, svårighetsgrad, decentralisation, maktfantasi, speldesign
National Category
Media Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26378OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-26378DiVA: diva2:787507
Subject / course
Media Technology
Uppsok
Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-02-11 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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