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Exploring the Effects of Encouragement in Educational Games

Abstract

"Encouragement (e.g., "Youre doing well") given at regular intervals improves performance in a variety of sporting domains [9, 1, 6]. This improvement is regardless of the actual performance of participants. However, it has not been studied how this type of encouragement can affect players of video games. In the current study (N = 662), we look at the following encouragement conditions: (1) Positive (e.g., "Youre doing good"), (2) Negative (e.g., "Youre doing badly"), (3) Neutral (e.g., "Youre doing average"), and (4) None. Via the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) [12], participants in the Neutral condition had significantly improved flow, immersion, and affect than participants in the None condition. Moreover, participants in both the Positive and Neutral conditions had the highest overall GEQ ratings. These findings are directly relevant to educational games."

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