Predicting Player Experience Without the Player: An Exploratory Study

Guckelsberger, Christian; Salge, Christophe; Gow, Jeremy and Cairns, Paul. 2017. 'Predicting Player Experience Without the Player: An Exploratory Study'. In: ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY). Amsterdam, Netherlands 15-18 October 2017. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

A key challenge of procedural content generation (PCG) is to evoke a certain player experience (PX), when we have no direct control over the content which gives rise to that experience. We argue that neither the rigorous methods to assess PX in HCI, nor specialised methods in PCG are sufficient, because they rely on a human in the loop. We propose to address this shortcoming by means of computational models of intrinsic motivation and AI game-playing agents. We hypothesise that our approach could be used to automatically predict PX across games and content types without relying on a human player or designer. We conduct an exploratory study in level generation based on empowerment, a specific model of intrinsic motivation. Based on a thematic analysis, we find that empowerment can be used to create levels with qualitatively different PX. We relate the identified experiences to established theories of PX in HCI and game design, and discuss next steps.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


Player Experience; Procedural Content Generation; Models of Intrinsic Motivation; AI Players; Empowerment

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26 June 2017Accepted
15 October 2017Published

Event Location:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Date range:

15-18 October 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

21 Sep 2017 15:09

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:35


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