Self-regulation influence on game play flow state

Li Xian Chen*, Chuen-Tsai Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The authors use the Music Flow digital game with 266 Taiwanese junior high school students to investigate the influence of digital game player self-regulation (SR) on game flow state. Game data were used to probe various aspects of Bandura's (1986) SR learning model and related effects on game flow state as described in Csikszentmihalyi's (1990) flow theory to determine if game information can be used to measure SR during different flow states. A tool for recording stage selection, hit rate, and other real time data was created to monitor and measure flow state among players immersed in interactive play. Self-reaction capabilities were measured in terms of skill- and game-level difficulty during different states. Results indicate that SR exerted a significant and positive effect on flow state. Our main conclusions are (a) flow state was continuously influenced by self-reaction over time; (b) hit rate served as an indicator of self-judgment in terms of challenge, skill and flow state; and (c) flow states in players with distinct self-reaction capabilities were influenced by play stage selection. It is our hope that the method used in this study will help researchers in their efforts to measure and/or analyze player sense of fun in game-based learning environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Flow theory
  • Game play
  • Self-regulation

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