"The motivation to engage in and enjoy video games corresponds with principles that apply to human motivation in general," said lead researcher Daniel Bormann from University of Freiburg, Germany.To test the role of in-game storytelling, the researchers randomly assigned participants to play one of two video games.

In the first game Gone Home, the player slips into the role of a female American college student, arriving home after a year abroad.The player comes upon an empty house and has to use various clues to figure out what happened to her missing family members.For the control condition, the game was against the Wall, in which the player has to climb up an infinite wall by interacting with the bricks, in surreal but human-made surroundings.

The researchers feel that long-term work on narration in video games could yield promising opportunities."If further research could reveal how exactly in-game storytelling affects theory of mind, clinicians and software developers could utilise this knowledge to develop tools to aid the treatment of disorders characterised by social-interaction impairments, like autistic disorders," Bormann concluded.The study was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

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