Adaptation in digital games: The effect of challenge adjustment on player performance and experience

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

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
DatePublished - 5 Oct 2015
Number of pages5
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781450334662


Good gaming experiences hinge on players being able to have a balance between challenge and skill. However, achieving that balance is challenging, so dynamic difficulty adjustment offers the opportunity to provide better gaming experiences through adapting the challenge in the game to suit an individual's capabilities. The risk though is that in adapting the difficulty, players do not get a true sense of challenge, but rather some tailored, perhaps watered down experience. In this note, we report on a study, in which we used time manipulation as a method of simple adaptation in order to explore its effect on player experience (PX) and performance. Volunteers played a game in which the timer was adjusted based on their performance in the game, however they were not aware of the feature. The results showed that players in the experimental group found the game more immersive. This provides empirical support that dynamic difficulty adjustment could be used to improve the PX.

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Digital games, Immersion, Player performance, Time manipulation

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