A Game-based Assessment of the Effects of Rejection on Young Adults

Anouk Tuijnman, Marloes Kleinjan, Shengnan Chen, Rutger C.M.E. Engels, Isabela Granic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rejection consists of a range of behaviors from ignoring another to explicitly excluding someone from an encounter. Currently available experimental tasks have shown that rejection has strong emotional, behavioral, and physical effects, but the tasks have some limitations. We argue that video games can address these limitations and have developed a new experimental task (ScrollQuest) to show the potential of video games as rejection research tools. The primary goal of the present study was to explore the effects of ScrollQuest. We analyzed data from 116 young adults who played both ScrollQuest and the rejection experimental task Cyberball. Playing ScrollQuest had more negative effects on mood, more negative interpretation effects were observed after playing ScrollQuest, and ScrollQuest was perceived as more enjoyable, compared to Cyberball. Our findings suggest that ScrollQuest might be an effective new experimental task to study rejection in a digital environment, but more work is needed to improve ScrollQuest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number254
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCHI PLAY
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • experimental task
  • mental health
  • rejection
  • video game


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