The relationship between character identification and flow state within video games

Alistair Raymond Bryce Soutter*, Michael Hitchens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flow is a concept used to describe the pleasurable immersion that individuals experience, often in recreational activities such as video games. A key component in many video games is the player's avatar; through which the player experiences the game world and game play. Past theory suggests that flow and the identification of a player with their avatar are vital aspects of video games and it is this that differentiates them from other forms of media. However, research on the relationship between flow and avatar/character identification is in its infancy. This study aimed to further examine these two concepts and their relationship within video games. This study consisted of 306 participants, who completed a series of self-report questionnaires online. As hypothesised, it was found that character identification was strongly and positively related to flow. It was also found that only the video game specific characteristics of similarity to character and customisation were negatively and positively related to flow respectively. Furthermore, similarity but not customisation was related to character identification, and that similarity was strongly and positively related to character identification. Other findings include Openness to Experience being positively related to character identification, and Extraversion being negatively related to character identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1038
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between character identification and flow state within video games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this