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Inward or Outward Attention: The Effects of Working Memory Capacity and Gaming Expertise on Player Approach to a Persuasive Game

Sun, May 24, 16:30 to 17:45, Caribe Hilton, San Cristobal Ballroom G


Digital games as a persuasive medium are believed to facilitate deep understanding of complex problems and systems through the player’s interactive problem-solving experiences. However, digital games can also impose high cognitive demands from the players to process the controls, understand and mechanics, rules, and narratives, while constructing a mental representation of the problem. Few studies have examined the effect of working memory capacity and gaming expertise on player attention and comprehension. A previous study found that while working memory facilitated gaming experts’ attention, the experts’ attention did not predict more comprehension. Instead, non-gaming expert attention did predict comprehension. This study replicated the previous study but further examined player in-game behaviors using server-captured behavioral data to investigate how working memory capacity and gaming expertise influenced players’ different approach to the game, amount of mistakes, and whether players paid attention to formative feedback after they made mistakes. Theoretical implications for information processing of interactive media messages are discussed. The study also has practical implications for designing persuasive digital games.


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