Emotional Exploration and the Eudaimonic Gameplay Experience: A Grounded Theory

Cole, Tom and Gillies, Marco. 2022. 'Emotional Exploration and the Eudaimonic Gameplay Experience: A Grounded Theory'. In: CHI '22: ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New Orleans, LA, United States 30 April - 5 May 2022. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Research on the emotional experience of playing videogames has increased in recent years, yet much of this work is focused on the hedonistic player experience (PX) commonly associated with the nebulous concept of ‘fun’ and positive affect. Researchers are increasingly paying more attention to the eudaimonic PX commonly associated with ‘appreciation’, mixed-affect and reflection. To further investigate eudaimonic PX we interviewed 24 games players about ‘significant or memorable emotional experiences’ from their games playing and used grounded theory to analyse their responses. This led to the construction of the concept of ‘emotional exploration’ which is used to help explain (i) why players would seek out a eudaimonic PX, (ii) how eudaimonic PX is constituted and (iii) how developers can design for a eudaimonic PX. We further make the case for the ‘eudaimonic gameplay experience’ to be realised as different and separate to pre-existing notions of eudaimonic entertainment.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

This work was partially funded by EPSRC grant EP/L015846/1 (IGGI).


videogames, gameplay, mixed affect, grounded theory, eudaimonia, emotions

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



1 May 2022Accepted
5 May 2022Published

Event Location:

New Orleans, LA, United States

Date range:

30 April - 5 May 2022

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 May 2022 10:15

Last Modified:

17 May 2022 07:13



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