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The effect of different difficulty adaptation strategies on enjoyment and performance in a serious game for memory training


Nagle, Aniket; Novak, Domen; Wolf, Peter; Riener, Robert (2014). The effect of different difficulty adaptation strategies on enjoyment and performance in a serious game for memory training. Journal of Health Informatics, 6:120-128.

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate two kinds of difficulty adaptation techniques in terms of enjoyment and performance in a simple memory training game: one based on difficulty-performance matching (“task-guided”) and the other based on providing a high degree of control/choice (“user-guided”). Methods: Performance and enjoyment are both critical in making serious games effective. Therefore the adaptations were based on two different approaches that are used to sustain performance and enjoyment in serious games: 1) adapting task difficulty to match user performance by leveraging the theories of zone of proximal development and flow, thus maximizing performance that can then lead to increased enjoyment and 2) providing a high degree of control and choice by using constructs from self-determination theory, which maximizes enjoyment, that can potentially increase performance. 24 participants played a simple memory training serious game in a fully randomized, repeated measures design. The primary outcome measures were enjoyment and performance. Results: Enjoyment was significantly greater in user-guided (p < 0.05), whereas performance was significantly greater in task-guided (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results suggest that a trade-off between maximizing performance and maximizing enjoyment could be achieved by combining the two approaches into a “hybrid” adaptation mode that gives users a high degree of control in setting difficulty, but also advises them about optimizing performance.

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate two kinds of difficulty adaptation techniques in terms of enjoyment and performance in a simple memory training game: one based on difficulty-performance matching (“task-guided”) and the other based on providing a high degree of control/choice (“user-guided”). Methods: Performance and enjoyment are both critical in making serious games effective. Therefore the adaptations were based on two different approaches that are used to sustain performance and enjoyment in serious games: 1) adapting task difficulty to match user performance by leveraging the theories of zone of proximal development and flow, thus maximizing performance that can then lead to increased enjoyment and 2) providing a high degree of control and choice by using constructs from self-determination theory, which maximizes enjoyment, that can potentially increase performance. 24 participants played a simple memory training serious game in a fully randomized, repeated measures design. The primary outcome measures were enjoyment and performance. Results: Enjoyment was significantly greater in user-guided (p < 0.05), whereas performance was significantly greater in task-guided (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The results suggest that a trade-off between maximizing performance and maximizing enjoyment could be achieved by combining the two approaches into a “hybrid” adaptation mode that gives users a high degree of control in setting difficulty, but also advises them about optimizing performance.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:O efeito de diferentes adaptações de dificuldade em estratégias de diversão e performance em serious games para trieno de memória El efecto de diferentes adaptaciones de dificultades en estrategias de diversion y performance en serious games para entrenamiento de memoria
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Video games; Motivation; Psychology; Cognition disorders; Games experimental
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:05 Dec 2014 10:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:34
Publisher:Brazilian Health Informatics Society
ISSN:2175-4411
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:http://www.jhi-sbis.saude.ws/ojs-jhi/index.php/jhi-sbis/article/download/372/212

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