How the perceived identity of a NPC companion influences player behavior

Headleand, Christopher J. and Jackson, James and Williams, Ben and Priday, Lee and Teahan, William J. and Ap Cenydd, LLyr (2016) How the perceived identity of a NPC companion influences player behavior. In: Transactions on Computational Science XXVIII. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9590 . Springer, pp. 88-107. ISBN 9783662530894, 9783662530900

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Abstract

This paper explores how the perceived identity of a NonPlayerCharacter (NPC) effects a players behaviour in computer games. We explore whether the players will change their behaviour towards a synthetic in-game companion if it assumes different identities. Specifically, will the players change their behaviour if they interact with an identical artificial intelligence, assuming a guise of a human or robot companion. To investigate this question we developed a top-down, 2D on-line game where the player is given the objective of surviving successive waves of hostile opponents. As a secondary objective the player is asked to protect a unarmed male, female or robot companion. The intention
is to explore whether the player is more protective over a known NPC assuming either a human or non-human identity. The results of our study indicate that superficially changing the identity of an AI companion can have a dramatic influence over the players behaviour. The players in this study are shown to be significantly more protective to human rather than robot companions, despite the underlying AI being identical. Moreover, our results highlight further differences between the male and female companions.

Keywords:Proteus Effect, Non-Player Character, HCI
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G400 Computer Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:25881
Deposited On:23 Jan 2017 09:44

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