Master's Thesis

Helping Friends or Fighting Foes: The Influence of Collaboration and Competition on Player Experience in Digital Games


Katharina Emmerich

Processing Period:

04.06.2012 - 03.12.2012


This thesis aims at investigating to what extent the quality of social interaction in digital games influences the perceived player experience. More precisely, a comparison between the two divergent social play forms “collaboration” and “competition” is planned. For this purpose, based on current game models and design principles a digital game (in form of a casual game) will be designed and implemented including both a collaborative and a competitive two-player mode. Varying the quality of social interaction while keeping all other game aspects constant and controlled (basic procedures, rules, the interface etc. remain unmodified) makes the two game modes comparable in terms of the resulting player experience. Hence it is possible to conduct a precise evaluation of effects, which is planned with about 40 subjects subsequent to the implementation of the game. For measuring the player experience, questionnaires and game metrics (logging) will be used. Evaluation results are supposed to lead to a better understanding of player experience and the underlying effects, thus they might be used in the design process of future games in order to systematically induce intended player experiences and to achieve a better adaptation to target groups.