Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games

Cole, Tom; Cairns, Paul and Gillies, Marco. 2015. 'Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games'. In: CHI Play 2015. London, United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]

EmoFunc_CHIPlay_CameraReady.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (156kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Digital games are a wide, diverse and fast developing art form, and it is important to analyse games that are pushing the medium forward to see what design lessons can be learned. However, there are no established criteria to determine which games show these more progressive qualities. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse language used in games reviews by critics of both 'core gamer' titles and those titles with more avant-garde properties. This showed there were two kinds of challenge being discussed — emotional and functional which appear to be, at least partially, mutually exclusive. Reviews of 'core' and 'avant-garde' games had different measures of purchase value, primary emotions, and modalities of language used to discuss the role of audiovisual qualities. Emotional challenge, ambiguity and solitude are suggested as useful devices for eliciting emotion from the player and for use in developing more 'avant-garde' games, as well as providing a basis for further lines of inquiry.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



5 October 2015Published

Event Location:

London, United Kingdom

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

17 Aug 2015 07:56

Last Modified:

28 Jan 2021 11:53



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)