Investigating Players’ Perceptions of Deceptive Design Practices within a 3D Gameplay Context

King, John, Fitton, Daniel Bowen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2300-5432 and Cassidy, Brendan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0756-9657 (2023) Investigating Players’ Perceptions of Deceptive Design Practices within a 3D Gameplay Context. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 7 (CHI PL). pp. 876-892. ISSN 2573-0142

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Deceptive design practices have been identified and studied in games but, to date, there have been no substantial explorations of deceptive design practices within 3D environments typically found in PC games. These offer a new set of affordances for interacting with the player, and game developers may be able to utilize these in order to shape gameplay experiences. The goal of this work was to explore users’ perceptions of deceptive design present in a popular free-to-play 3D game. A survey was carried out with 259 adult respondents identifying and explaining instances of deceptive design within video clips of gameplay from a popular Roblox game. Thematic analysis of the responses revealed six new categories of deceptive design pattern within a 3D gameplay context: Predatory Monetization, Default to Purchase, UI Misdirection, Emotional Interpersonal Persuasion, Physical Placement, and Narrative Obligation. Through our work we hope to highlight the use of deceptive design both within current 3D games and future 3D gaming environments. This work is particularly important as 3D and VR gaming grow in popularity alongside game publishers increasingly moving towards “freemium” monetization models for income.

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