The Development and Validation of the Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS)

PI Barbara Chaparro

PI Joseph Keebler

The purpose of this research is to develop and psychometrically validate a new instrument that comprehensively measures video game satisfaction based on key factors. The video game industry often conducts playtesting sessions in order to provide insight into players’ attitudes and preferences. However, quality feedback is difficult to obtain from playtesting sessions without a quality gaming assessment tool. ​

A new instrument measuring video game satisfaction, called the Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS), with nine subscales emerged. These scales included Usability/Playability, Narratives, Play Engrossment, Enjoyment, Creative Freedom, Audio Aesthetics, Personal Gratification, Social Connectivity, and Visual Aesthetics.

The GUESS was developed and validated based on the assessments of over 450 unique video game titles across many popular genres. Thus, it can be applied across many types of video games in the industry both as a way to assess what aspects of a game contribute to user satisfaction and as a tool to aid in debriefing users on their gaming experience. Based on current best practices of scale development and validation, the project used a mixed-method design that consisted of item pool generation, expert review, questionnaire pilot study, exploratory factor analysis (N = 629), and confirmatory factor analysis (N = 729).

Results from this multistage process demonstrate that the GUESS can be administered to video game players with various gaming experience (e.g., newbie/novice, hardcore/expert) playing a variety of game genres. Ratings of all the items per factor can be averaged to obtain a score of each subscale and average scores for each subscale can be added together in order to obtain a composite score of video game satisfaction. This can aid game designers in determining aspects of a game to improve as well as emphasize to target gaming markets. 

Since its development and validation, the GUESS continues to be used to understand video game satisfaction across platforms and user groups by both the GEARS and User Experience Research labs at ERAU as well as gaming labs from other universities. 

This was dissertation research by Dr. Mikki Phan supervised by Dr. Barbara Chaparro and Dr. Joseph Keebler.  Mikki is now a User Experience Researcher at Google in Mountain View, CA. For more information, see Phan, M. H., Keebler, J. R., & Chaparro, B. S. (2016). The Development and Validation of the Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS). Human Factors, 58(8), 1217-1247 and . Contact to obtain the GUESS instrument.

Mikki Phan, PhD​ Mikki Phan, PhD

Research Dates

05/30/2014 to 12/31/2020


  • Barbara S Chaparro
    Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology
    Ph.D., Texas Tech University
    B.S., University of Richmond
  • Joseph R. Keebler
    Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology
    Ph.D., M.A., B.S., University of Central Florida