Bridging the Blank: A Defining from Property Uncertainty to Felt Uncertainty in Games Public

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Recent years have seen a fast growth of design methods for enhancing the attractiveness of video games, such as the use of random number generators or intendedly hidden information. These design methods may result in an engaging play experience for the player, one that they can describe as being intrigued by the unknown. Generally referred to as "uncertainty in games," this builds on a substantial corpus of current ideas and research in human-computer interaction and game studies. Certain studies have proven that the use of uncertainty design elements can contribute to the play experience on the feeling of uncertainty. However, it is not clear in understanding how regulating rule-related uncertainty (the "property" uncertainty) results in dissimilar player experiences with uncertainty (the "felt" uncertainty), and how to define them. This gap is analogous to untouched black box about uncertainty in games existing between mechanics and dynamics to aesthetics that we are attempting to uncover in order to improve the transmission of goal experiences. Thus, the purpose of this study is to formalize and examine an ontological difference between property uncertainty and felt uncertainty, and how they correlated to each other. We further categorize four types of property uncertainty based on several widely read academic publications addressing sources of uncertainty in games: analytical complexity uncertainty (ACU), procedural randomness uncertainty (PRU), information uncertainty (IU), and player uncertainty (PU). We validated the study by using the strategy game, connect-4, with readily modifiable rules to create child games with varied categorized property uncertainties, and comparing the playthrough data gained via recruitment to the feedback received through interviews. Based on our research, we propose that the four categorized property uncertainties are born from the game system, affecting players' learning and mastering progress and ultimately leading to the felt uncertainty of players.

Last modified
  • 02/25/2022
  • etd-44431
Defense date
  • 2022
Date created
  • 2022-01-03
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