Digital (e.g., computer and console) games have emerged as one of the most popular forms of mass mediated entertainment in many countries among a range of people. In addition to entertainment, digital games are more and more used for therapeutic, educational, and work-related purposes. However, there are no established methods to measure dynamically changing gaming experience. Being able to measure Game Experience during game play with high temporal resolution will be very important from the perspective of game designers, media psychologists, and those who are concerned with the potential adverse effects of games.

The objectives of FUGA

The main objective of FUGA is to create novel methods and improve existing measures in order to examine how the different dimensions of Game Experience can be assessed comprehensively with high temporal resolution. FUGA will employ a broad variety of innovative techniques based on (a) laboratory and mobile psychophysiological recordings (i.e., facial electromyography [EMG], electroencephalography [EEG], electrocardiography [ECG], electrodermal activity [EDA], and respiration), (b) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), (c) eye movement recordings, (d) the so-called (online) implicit association test, and (e) tracking of behavioral indicators of emotion and motivation. An important objective of FUGA is to establish the construct validity, reliability, and predictive validity of the different Game Experience measures. A further objective is to develop a prototype of an emotionally adaptive game that dynamically changes its behavior based on the player's emotional state as indexed by psychophysiological measures.


A mobile physiological data acquisition system (Varioport-B) used by CKIR to study psychophysiological responses during mobile gaming.

Description of work

In the FUGA project, the very first step is a conceptual clarification and dimensional modeling of Game Experiences, as well as the development of a theoretical framework describing the relationships between the relevant Game Experience dimensions and their potential measures. In the first set of empirical studies, the Game Experience measures will be construct validated against think-aloud and self-report methods as well as against each other (e.g., convergent and discriminant relations between the different psychophysiological measures will be examined). Given that mobile games are played in different contexts, construct validation will be performed in both the laboratory and different real-life contexts (e.g., tram-stop, cafeteria) when using mobile psychophysiological recordings. New ways to extract relevant parameters from the data will be examined and developed, and alternative data analytic techniques will be compared.

In addition to construct validation, both within-session and test-retest reliability of the different measures will be established. To explore test-retest reliability, a new set of studies will be carried out after a 6-month period, in which the same players and games will be involved as in the construct validity studies. This gives information also on changes in Game Experience over time. To explore the predictive validity of Game Experience measures, a set of experimental studies will be carried out in which (a) different dimensions of Game Experience are measured while playing different games and (b) players are allowed to freely play these games for a 3-month period while their gaming behavior is recorded. This will enable the examination of the relationships between the measures of Game Experience and gaming behavior in the long run. These studies will also investigate the potential moderating role of individual differences (e.g., gender, game preferences, playing skill, personality) in the relationship between Game Experience and long-term game playing behavior.

FUGA Impact

The construct validation of the Game Experience measures will significantly advance the foundation of the methodology of game research. The innovative measurement approach provided by FUGA can be applied when designing new digital games for different purposes (e.g., entertainment, education, therapy). Superior tools to measure game products' entertainment value will support European game companies to design games that suit customer requirements most precisely, which will be a unique advantage in the extremely competitive digital game markets of the world. Thus, aside of the scientific impact of cutting-edge methodological research, FUGA is expected to contribute to the rise of the European game industry.

Project Summary (from Annex 1)
Workpackage List (from Annex 1)
Graphical Presentation of Work Packages (from Annex 1)