Player needs inventory (PNI): An analytical framework for analyzing player motives in video games

Barbaros Bostan, Digdem Sezen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Abstract

Focusing on player motives in games with narrative
elements, we claim that the needs satisfied by a game
depends on the interplay of three player experience
dimensions (narrative, mechanics, and social context) and we
present a formal approach for studying player motives in
video games. Motives of the player are classified into six
categories and the resulting Player Needs Inventory (PNI) is
utilized in the close reading of a video game to identify how
player motives are satisfied with different game user
experience dimensions. Three patterns observed after the
close reading are: (1) needs satisfied by a game is affected by
the narrative of the game, the personality of the protagonist
(role), and the social context the player finds himself in, (2)
the needs for achievement and affiliation are more dominant
than others in the form of fusions and subsidizations, and (3)
a wide range of needs can be satisfied with carefully
designed game mechanisms and a balanced player
experience. Casting aside the motives of a player in the
pregame phase and focusing on the motives of the player in
the actual game phase, the Player Needs Inventory (PNI)
presented in this study offers an analytical framework to
understand player motives in video games and the conducted
analysis may aid researchers interested in player experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages41
Number of pages47
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event The 23rd annual European GAME-ON® Conference (GAME‐ON®'2022) on Simulation and AI in Computer Games - Colégio Almada Negreiros, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 14 Sep 202216 Sep 2022
https://www.eurosis.org/conf/gameon/2022/index.html

Conference

Conference The 23rd annual European GAME-ON® Conference (GAME‐ON®'2022) on Simulation and AI in Computer Games
Abbreviated titleGAME‐ON®'2022
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period14/09/2216/09/22
Internet address

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