Examining immersion in a game-based experiment to study extreme behavior

Analysis of behavior in extreme and unfamiliar circumstances

Authors

  • Rudy Boonekamp TNO
  • Tamar Schaap TNO
  • Helma van den Berg

Keywords:

Serious Gaming, Immersion, Game-based experimentation

Abstract

This paper investigates whether immersion in a game-based experiment can be used to observe authentic behavior, for example in the case of studying extreme behaviors under unfamiliar circumstances. A graphic adventure game (Opponent Immersion Game) was developed, in which participants could experience and act on various known risk factors and triggers for violent extremism. We investigated the following topics: 1) The relation between the perceived level of immersion and authentic in-game reactions, 2) the impact of the level of authenticity on the use of (in-game) violent extremist behavior, and 3) the impact of the presence or absence of visuals in the game on resulting game experiences. Results from an experiment with 188 participants show that authentic reactions are positively correlated with the flow experience, a subcategory of immersion. More authentic behavior is related to less violent behavior. Contrary to expectations, there was no effect of the exclusion of visuals on the level of immersion. Response coding shows the majority of participants had positive sentiments towards the game. This study shows that game based experimentation for studying human behavior in extreme and unfamiliar circumstances is a promising approach.

Downloads

Published

2022-03-18

How to Cite

Boonekamp, R., Schaap, T., & van den Berg, H. (2022). Examining immersion in a game-based experiment to study extreme behavior: Analysis of behavior in extreme and unfamiliar circumstances. International Journal of Serious Games, 9(1), 43–58. Retrieved from https://journal.seriousgamessociety.org/index.php/IJSG/article/view/453

Issue

Section

Articles