Gatton Endowed Research Professor
Decision Sciences and Information Systems Area
Gatton School of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky
May 11, 2012
Speakman Hall 200, 1000am – 1130am
Seminar Title : Digital Games and Beyond: What Happens when Players Compete?
Because digital games are fun, engaging, and popular, organizations are attempting to integrate games within organizational activities as serious games, with the anticipation that it can improve employees’ motivation and performance. But in order to do so and obtain the intended outcomes, it is necessary to first obtain an understanding of how different digital game designs impact players’ behaviors and emotional responses. Hence, in this study, we address one key element of popular game designs, competition. Using extant research on tournaments and intrinsic motivation, we model competitive games as a skill-based tournament and conduct an experimental study to understand player behaviors and emotional responses under different competition conditions. When players compete with players of similar skill levels, they apply more effort as indicated by more games played and longer duration of play. But when players compete with players of lower skill levels, they report higher levels of enjoyment and lower levels of arousal after game-playing. We discuss the implications for organizations seeking to introduce games premised on competition and provide a framework to guide information system researchers to embark on a study of games.