Exploring the Link Between Emotional Arousal and Player Skill in Video Gaming Using Electrodermal Activity
Authors: Yigit Topoglu, Jan Watson, Adrian Curtin, Nicholas Defilippis, Jintao Zhang, Rajneesh Suri, Hasan Ayaz
Abstract: Video games provide a high-octane competitive sports platform where players with diverse skills engage in tasks that require precise control of cognitive skills and emotional responses. Electrodermal activity (EDA) is a portable, non-invasive, and wearable physiological activity sensing modality that captures correlates of emotional responses. In this exploratory study, we analyzed the EDA skin conductance data that we collected from healthy adult participants over their left index and middle fingers, while they were playing a first-person shooter video game. Participants played solo against easy and hard AI opponents, where the objective was to either escort a truck to its destination or prevent the truck from being escorted to win the game. The in-game behavioral performance results showed that, as expected, novice players struggled with the game more than experienced players: novices had fewer kills, died more, and finished the scenarios slower. Furthermore, EDA skin conductance results showed that experienced players showed significantly higher electrodermal activity than novice players while playing the game, both in the context of the phasic and tonic activity.
Keywords: Electrodermal activity, video gaming, emotional response, player skill, e-sports
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