Bachelor's Thesis

Investigation and cataloging of emotion causing game elements


Marius Grießhammer


Processing Period:

18.05.2020 - 14.09.2020


The emotional experience of players can be influenced by telling a story, different aspects of the game environment, the way of interacting in the virtual world or by virtual characters. Studies have shown that especially virtual game worlds can support positive feelings of the players. Alhargan et al. (2017) created different games that vary regarding different aspects like the game environment, time limitation, input device or camera movement, and show that with these variations different level of arousal (low – neutral – high) and valence (negative – neutral – positive) can be induced. Nevertheless, there is still a need for a clear-cut definition and systematic categorization of those game aspects that can be used universally in different games to influence the arousal level of players. Positive affect and a high level of arousal not only improve the player experience, but a high level of arousal can encourage cognitive benefits  (Gao & Mandryk, 2012).

Therefore, it is the aim of this thesis to investigate the question, which different elements of digital games cause different emotions. To achieve this, different game elements should be identified and classified, so then those elements can be integrated into a game, that will be prototypically implemented. This thesis moves at the intersection between emotion psychology and digital games research with a special focus on the influence of games on the emotional experience of players.