Measuring perceived challenge in digital games: Development & validation of the challenge originating from recent gameplay interaction scale (CORGIS)

Alena Denisova*, Paul Cairns, Christian Guckelsberger, David Zendle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Challenge is a key element of digital games, but a clear conceptualisation and operationalisation of this player experience were long missing. This made it hard for game researchers to measure this experience in different video games across different skill sets and impeded the synthesis of challenge-related games research. To overcome this, we introduce a systematic, extensive, and reliable instrument to evaluate the level of players’ perceived challenge in digital games. We conceptualise challenge based on a survey of related literature in games user research, design and AI, as well as interviews with researchers and players. Exploratory factor analysis (N=394) highlights four components of experienced challenge: performative, emotional, cognitive and decision-making challenge. Refinement of the items allowed us to devise the Challenge Originating from Recent Gameplay Interaction Scale (CORGIS), which has been further validated in a study with nearly 1000 players. The questionnaire exhibits good construct validity for use by both game developers and researchers to quantify players’ challenge experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102383
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Early online date20 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Difficulty
  • Digital games
  • Emotional challenge
  • Game experience
  • Games user research
  • GUR
  • Measurement instrument
  • Perceived challenge
  • Player experience
  • PX
  • Questionnaire
  • Scale development
  • Scale validation

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