Apples and Oranges: A Study of “Tend & Befriend” as a Phenomenon in Digital Games

O’Shea, Zoë; Bartle, Richard; Pan, Xueni and Freeman, Jonathan. 2022. 'Apples and Oranges: A Study of “Tend & Befriend” as a Phenomenon in Digital Games'. In: HCI in Games. HCII 2022. Virtual Conference 26 June - 1 July 2022. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This paper describes the process of developing and collecting data for analysis via a Qualtrics survey on “Tend & Befriend Theory” and the Acute Stress Response, i.e. “Fight or Flight Response”. We discuss the constraints and implications of current thinking around “Tend & Befriend”, the descriptive results of our initial study, present a methodology for categorising Tend & Befriend games, frame our results in the context of gaming experience, and outline our next research steps in addition to areas of future interest. Our study suggests that Tend & Befriend can be considered as a concrete phenomenon in games, supported by data. Our findings show some games can be considered as “archetypal” titles, making them useful references for research and discourse.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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Additional Information:

“This version of the contribution has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: Use of this Accepted Version is subject to the publisher’s Accepted Manuscript terms of use”.


Tend and Befriend, Fight or Flight, Stress Response, Video Game Design

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16 April 2022Accepted
16 June 2022Published

Event Location:

Virtual Conference

Date range:

26 June - 1 July 2022

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Jul 2022 09:11

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2023 01:26


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