Towards a Comprehensive Model of Mediating Frustration in Videogames (Summary)

The article Towards a Comprehensive Model of Mediating Frustration in Videogames by David Melhart is a study exploring the ideas of frustration in videogames are how these frustrating segments actually work towards the the overall enjoyment of the game. The study was conducted through interviews with young men and focus groups which have assisted in coming to the conclusion that these segments are overall beneficial for the experience. 

Essentially, this study was looking at gamer frustration in difficult segments. The author looks to his study group and tries to figure out what is important about these segments along with what they do for the game as a whole. What he finds out is that these segments, while difficult, create incentive for the players to continue forward. Essentially difficulty was found to create retention and replay value.  When a player was defeated by a difficult part of a level, the player would feel motivated to go back into the game and play it again despite this in order to prove something to themselves or simply to feel the accomplishment of doing so. When the player would eventually defeat the level, the difficulty would create feeling of accomplishment for the player that would be absent from easier parts. 

The author does admit however that parts of this study should be taken with a grain of salt. The number of individuals that took part in the study were low with a sample size of 9. This could lead to skewed results and as such future studies should try to aim to create a larger sample.  He also would like to the see the study expanded to have a “hardcore” and “casual” gamer categories in order to see if there would be any difference in these two mindsets when it comes to gaming. Despite this, David Melhart sees that there is great potential in this set for study.  A link to the study can be found bellow.

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