The Psychology of Character Customization in Online Games

A key สมัครที่นี่ element of game design is to elicit strong emotional connections between players and their characters. Creating this connection involves much more than visual artistry; it requires the ability to psychologically understand how pixels and polygons become people that transcend the screen. While there are a number of ways to achieve this, one method that has become increasingly popular is providing players with opportunities for customization.

While the concept of player customization may seem straightforward, the effects of these changes can be profound. Psychological research has demonstrated that a sense of control in task performance is correlated with motivation, persistence, and enjoyment (Csikzentmihalyi, 1990). Therefore, it is important to consider the impact that the level of character customization can have on gaming experiences and outcomes.

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The current study explored the impact of cosmetic customization on avatar identification, fun, perceived competence, and estimated last hits using a within-participant design. Participants performed a game round of League of Legends with or without choosing cosmetics and completed two questionnaires after the game.

Results indicated that being able to customize one’s in-game appearance significantly influences feelings of autonomy, control, and attachment to the character. This is a result of both functional and aesthetic customization, with the latter being more critical in driving these effects. However, it is important to note that there are other factors that could be at play. For example, for a minority player, selecting a gender that is not their own may be indicative of their experience with discrimination and prejudice in the real world, which would sever identification with the avatar.

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