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5 Conclusions and Discussion

Emotional responses are changing between the stages of the game when the density of asteroids is increasing. More challenging tasks evoke higher levels of frustration but at the same time generate higher engagement and excitement. Frustration and engagement/boredom signals are changing in larger extent than excitement and spaceship manoeuvring speed signals.

Analysis of changes in emotional responses in sub-intervals before, around, and after collisions with the asteroid supported the idea that collision experience has significant impact of player's emotional response. Although collision might be considered as negative and unpleasant event, data of this study show increase of excitement after collision. The highest level of frustration was before a collision and it shows tendency to decrease just after a collision. This data supports the idea that excitement and frustration during the game play are correlated phenomena and some level of frustration is needed for game to evoke excitement. Trajectories of changes in frustration an excitement let us speculate, that high frustration before collision is replaced by decrease of the tension just after collision, when player understands that he or she could not change this situation and followed by increased excitement and motivation to play.

Changes in spaceship manoeuvring speed and acceleration in sub-intervals before, around and after collision with the asteroid reflect expected players behaviour – significant increase in speed and acceleration were observed after the collision because they where decreased by the collision incident. However speed and acceleration of the spaceship were related to player's emotional responds as well. Analyzing the precollision, collision and post-collision sub-intervals, weak inverse correlations were found between all three subintervals of speed and post-collision subinterval of excitement. Weak direct correlations were found between pre-collision and collision sub-intervals of frustration and collision sub-interval of speed as well as pre-collision subintervals of acceleration. These results indicate that players who experience higher levels of frustration might be linked to higher manoeuvring speed and acceleration during computer game; however this does not directly convert to higher level of excitement. Although small sample size and very simple statistical procedures do not let us draw very strong concussions, these results are in line with Yerkes–Dodson law of optimal emotional arousal [22] indicating that optimal balance between challenge of the task and level of frustration must be found for player to feel excited. This is the place where HCI might make impact. Personality traits were not strongly related with emotional responses to a computer game. The strongest relationship was found between extraversion and excitement. Extraversion was positively related to excitement during experiment. These results are in line with psychological theories because it is known that extraverts are in general more prone to experience positive emotions. Extraversion is found to be related to more frequent technology use [20]. However not all studies find relationship between extraversion and gaming behaviour [23].The study showed that higher neuroticism is related to a lower frustration what contradicts with usual psychological rules, but this result could be explained by a sample of the experiment as the most experienced players had the highest neuroticism scores while the gaming experience had inverse correlation to frustration signals. Positive correlation between neuroticism and hours spent gaming are in line with studies that report positive relationship between expressed neuroticism and game addiction [24]. There were no correlations found between personal characteristics and manoeuvring speed, manoeuvring acceleration was related to consciousness as well as to extraversion.

Although sensation seeking is found to be related to gaming behaviour in other studies [6], [15], this study failed to replicate these results. Contrary to expectations, sensation seeking was negatively related to hours spent gaming and did not correlate with excitement during experiment.

The gaming experience was not statistically significantly related to excitement signal, but there is a tendency that more experienced players experience less excitement and less frustration especially in the second stage of the game (2 asteroids/s are generated). There was no correlation between gaming experience and engagement found. These results support our speculations about importance of frustration-excitement relationship for enjoyment of a computer game. Although more experienced players showed less frustration during the game, their excitement was lower.

The gaming experience and acceleration was strongly negatively related in the second stage of a game and strongly positively related in the third stage of a game. That means that more experienced players accelerated less where the density of asteroids was smaller (two asteroids per second were generated) and accelerated more where the density of the asteroids was larger (ten asteroids per second were generated). These results indicate that more experienced game players get used to certain levels of stimulation and it becomes harder to achieve higher levels of excitement. Small sample size does not let us to perform more precise analysis where various personality traits and level of game experience were controlled. However our data supports the idea that the player contributes to the game experience and personal factors may impact excitement and frustration levels during the game.

Game properties' relations with user's personality traits and physiological signals lead to the development of emotion-oriented adaptive computer games. Objective information about the preferences and reactions of the payers would allow constructing game scenarios of continuous engagement without using excessive elements.

Acknowledgements. Postdoctoral fellowship of Aušra Vidugiriene is funded by European Union Structural Funds project ”Postdoctoral Fellowship Implementation in Lithuania” within the framework of the Measure for Enhancing Mobility of Scholars and Other Researchers and the Promotion of Student Research (VP1-3.1-ŠMM-01) of the Program of Human Resources Development Action Plan.

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