A Palette of Deepened Emotions: Exploring Emotional Challenge in Virtual Reality Games

Xiaolan Peng, Jin Huang, Alena Denisova, Hui Chen, Feng Tian, Hongan Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Recent work introduced the notion of 'emotional challenge' promising for understanding more unique and diverse player experiences (PX). Although emotional challenge has immediately attracted HCI researchers' attention, the concept has not been experimentally explored, especially in virtual reality (VR), one of the latest gaming environments. We conducted two experiments to investigate how emotional challenge affects PX when separately from or jointly with conventional challenge in VR and PC conditions. We found that relatively exclusive emotional challenge induced a wider range of different emotions in both conditions, while the adding of emotional challenge broadened emotional responses only in VR. In both experiments, VR significantly enhanced the measured PX of emotional responses, appreciation, immersion and presence. Our findings indicate that VR may be an ideal medium to present emotional challenge and also extend the understanding of emotional (and conventional) challenge in video games.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2020
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFB1001201), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61661146002, 61802379) and partially supported by Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 ACM.


  • emotion
  • emotional challenge
  • games
  • player experience
  • virtual reality

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