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Effective affective user interface design in games

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It is proposed that games, which are designed to generate positive affect, are most successful when they facilitate flow (Csikszentmihalyi 1992). Flow is a state of concentration, deep enjoyment, and total absorption in an activity. The study of games, and a resulting understanding of flow in games can inform the design of non-leisure software for positive affect. The paper considers the ways in which computer games contravene Nielsen's guidelines for heuristic evaluation (Nielsen and Molich 1990) and how these contraventions impact on flow. The paper also explores the implications for research that stem from the differences between games played on a personal computer and games played on a dedicated console. This research takes important initial steps towards defining how flow in computer games can inform affective design.
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Keywords: Affect; Flow; Games; User-interface design

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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