The influence of game mechanics on flow perceptions

Christoph Stefan Hessel

Student thesis: Master thesis


Game mechanics are the characteristics of a game which can make it more engaging and en-joying. Furthermore, they can create flow experiences. The application of these mechanics in a non-game context is also known as gamification, which is seen as a “tech trend” for 2012 by Deloitte. Currently, the influence of game mechanics on flow is sparsely researched. For the data collection, an empirical study with 71 participants was conducted. The model extended the existing three layered flow model by game mechanics, which are likely to have an influence on the flow antecedents. Participants had to rate their perceptions about game mechanics and flow constructs in a self-administered online questionnaire, directly after play-ing a learning game for an office suite. In total 63 complete responses were collected. In this study, a relationship between the game mechanics badges, levels, help functionalities, free choice, goal setting, progress bars, and instant visual and acoustic feedback and their respective flow antecedent was found. The influence of points, score visibility, and narrative was also positive; however, they lacked statistical significance. The developed questionnaire item set for the game mechanics builds a foundation for future studies. Furthermore, the results of the different flow operationalization approaches imply that the operationalization of flow as a second order construct with its first order constructs con-centration, enjoyment, and time distortion provides more meaningful results.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages108