The impact of moral decision-making on video game enjoyment, appreciation and engagement.


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This study seeks to explore the multidimensional nature of audience responses to video games. Specifically, appreciation as an audience response serves as an often overlooked but complimentary reaction to enjoyment. Appreciation describes viewer reactions to serious, meaningful and, in the case of video games, morally challenging media content. This study examines the impact of moral decision making on player enjoyment, appreciation and engagement. Three different game conditions (non-violent and non-morally challenging, violent and non-morally challenging, violent and morally challenging) were used to gather data on factors relating to both enjoyment and appreciation, including suspense, fun, lasting impression and artistic value. Results showed a significantly higher level of participant appreciation in morally challenging games than in non-morally challenging games. The study also found differences in enjoyment and engagement between conditions, although the results seem to indicate a number of factors behind appreciation as an audience response during video game play.



Video games. Media studies. Enjoyment. Appreciation. Moral decision making.