How perceived realism in a video game contributes to game enjoyment and engagement is a theoretically important and practically significant question. The conceptualization and operationalization of perceived realism in previous video game studies vary greatly, particularly regarding the dimensions of perceived graphic realism and perceived external realism. The authors argue that it is important to examine perceived enactive realism, particularly for interactive and participatory media such as video games. This study examines the contribution of two types of perceived realism—perceived graphic realism and perceived enactive realism—to enjoyment and engagement as manifested by the level of physical movement intensity in an active video game playing context. It was found that perceived enactive realism was a significant predictor of enjoyment and engagement in playing active video games. However, perceived graphic realism was not found to be a significant predictor of enjoyment or engagement. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction, Vol.11, No.3, pp.1-16