The Effects of Customization on Game Experiences of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game’s Players

This study investigated the role of customization as function of user control in a Massively Multiplayer Online game (MMO), Lord of the Rings Online. It extends and adds to the studies examining the effects of choice as a vehicle to understanding users’ dynamic relationships with new media. Sixty-six participants data were collected over ten hours of gameplay in four sessions to measure the effects of customization on players’ reported experiences. Participants’ game play experience was assessed with Likert Scale questionnaires and semi structured interviews. Results indicate that players who were able to customize various aspect of the game were more engaged in gameplay than those who did not get to customize. Additionally, the customizers’ engagement increased as amount of gameplay time increased . The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed within the context of game design and research.

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