Flow Experience as a Quality Measure in Evaluating Physically Activating Collaborative Serious Games

Kristian Kiili, Antero Lindstedt, Sylvester Arnab, Marko Suominen

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    The measurement of subjective playing experience is an important part of a game development process. The enjoyment level that a serious game offers is a key factor in determining whether a player will be engaged in a gameplay and achieve the specific objectives of the game, such as learning. In this paper, we report the results of a game design process in which two prototypes of a collaborative physically activating games were studied. The main aim of the paper is to explore to what extent the measurement of flow experience can facilitate game evaluation and design process. Altogether 102 junior high school students participated in two user experience studies and played physically activating collaborative game designed to teach soft skills. Playing experience was measured using flow questionnaire, playing behaviour was observed and some of the players were interviewed. Together, the results showed that flow experience can be used to evaluate the overall quality of the gameplay and it provides a structured approach to consider the quality of the game. However, flow does not provide detailed information about the weaknesses of the game and thus complementary methods are necessary to identify the causes. The results also indicated that flow experience was independent of gender, which supports its use in quality measurement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-49
    JournalInternational Journal of Serious Games
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access journal. The publisher allows self-archiving of its papers.


    • Game design
    • Flow experience
    • Exergame
    • Quality measurement
    • Collaboration


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