ABSTRACT: The presented paper offers a short general introduction to frustration followed by a discourse on frustration as an integral part of gaming experience with the core distinction between positive in-game frustration and negative at-game frustration. The potential of frustration to increase motivation to play, emotional engagement and immersion is outlined. The paper includes comprehensive research using the means of a questionnaire (n=159) and content analysis (n=327) identifying types of frustrating situations in games, perceived sources of frustration, the behavioural impact of frustration and the relationship between locus of control and ascribed source of frustration. Results showed toxic behaviour as a leading cause of frustration. The most common declared behavioural output of frustration caused by the toxic behaviour of other players was quitting a game for a certain amount of time. Frustration showed the most motivational potential within the category of frustrating situations related to gamers e.g. being stuck in a part of the game, losing, not succeeding, etc. At-game frustration concerns mainly the category called the “game itself”. Most often the game was blamed for insuffi ciencies in game mechanics or game design, malfunctioning and technical issues within the game. The presented research did not show a statistically signifi cant association between the source of frustration and a participant’s locus of control. The paper has potential in terms of game design and research of emotion, motivation or immersion.
KEY WORDS: behaviour, digital games, frustration, locus of control, motivation.