Achieving the illusion of agency

Matthew William Fendt, Brent Harrison, Stephen G. Ware, Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, David L. Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Games with a strong notion of story are increasingly popular. With the increased amount of story content associated with games where player decisions significantly change the course of the game (branching games), comes an increase in the effort required to author those games. Despite the increased popularity of these kinds of games, it is unclear if a typical player is able to appreciate the rich content of these games, since any given player typically only experiences a small amount of that content. We create a non-branching game that simulates branching choices by providing players with choices followed by immediate textual feedback. We hypothesize that this game, where player decisions do not significantly change the course of the game, will maintain the player's sense of agency. Experimentation showed that in a text-based story with forced-choice points there were in most cases no significant difference in players' reported feelings of agency when they experience a branching story vs. a linear story with explicit acknowledgement of their choices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractive Storytelling - 5th International Conference, ICIDS 2012, Proceedings
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2012
Event5th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2012 - San Sebastian, Spain
Duration: Nov 12 2012Nov 15 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7648 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2012
CitySan Sebastian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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