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Faster, Harder? Investigating the Impact of Changing Background Music Speed on Gameplay Performance and Player Experience in an Endless Runner Game

German Schabert; Marc Schubhan; Michael Schmitz; Maximilian Altmeyer
In: CHI PLAY '23: Extended Abstracts of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play. ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium On Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI Play-2023), ACM, 2023.


Music is ubiquitous in our everyday lives and its tempo can affect our experience and behavior, be it in movies to emphasize a scene, during sports to increase the flow of a workout, or in games to complement the gameplay. While the impact of fixed beats per minute on the latter has already been investigated, we focus on the effect of increasing or decreasing beats per minute of background music during gameplay in an endless runner game on player performance, perceived difficulty and player experience. In our within-subjects design study (n=32), participants played an endless runner game with increasing, decreasing, constant and no background music. While we found no significant effects in terms of player performance, our findings show that perceived stress, motivation and entertainment were affected by the different music conditions.