Media Enjoyment as a Function of Control over Characters
Enjoyment of online narratives can be enhanced with low-tech content-based user control.•Effects of user control were tested in isolation from other aspects of interactive narratives.Enjoyment of content improves when simple control over character choices is provided.•Effects of control on enjoyment are independent of first-, second-, or third-person perspectives.•Effects of control on enjoyment are independent of positive or negative story outcomes. This paper argues that the enjoyment of interactive media, especially interactive narratives, can be explained via perceptions of control. Specifically, control over a character’s choices, lead to higher perceptions of control which increased user enjoyment. Three different experiments using varying narratives, grammatical perspectives and story outcomes support these arguments consistently. This series of studies demonstrates that perceptions of control over media characters facilitate positive attitudes toward media content, corroborating and expanding upon earlier entertainment research. This research demonstrates a low-tech application of content-based user control in new media environments.
Rogers, Ryan; Dillman Carpentier, Francesca R.; and Barnard, Lisa, "Media Enjoyment as a Function of Control over Characters" (2016). Department of Strategic Communication Faculty Publications. 1.