New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Veugen, Connie; Lange de, Maria (2007)
Gender in E-learning and Educational Games

Image of booksInspired by research by Carrie Heeter et al. and the MIT Games-to-Teach project we set up a small scale empirical study on two educational games on Art aimed at primary school children. We found that both boys and girls liked to play these games; that one game scored better on our ‘fun-index’ and that girls had less mouse skills and lacked certain game skills. This did not, however, affect their test-score, on the contrary, the girls improved more than the boys. To our amazement, we also found that the girls especially anticipated to have learned less from the more entertaining game, which might suggest that even at this early age they think that learning can not be fun. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Veugen, Connie; Quérette, Felipe (2008)
Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture

Image of booksIn this article we examine location, space and spatial representation in two classic adventure games belonging to the same game series: Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers, a one screen at a time point-and-click adventure and Gabriel Knight Blood of the Sacred Blood of the Damned, a 3D game. Our aim was to see if the changes in the audiovisual representation of the gamespace in the 3D game would affect gameplay or whether gameplay and representation are independent entities, as some researches have proposed. What we found was that location and space are experienced differently in the 3D game. Furthermore we found that players of the game series had to learn a new visual grammar to bring the 3D game to a successful end. We will therefore propose that gameplay and the representation of gamespace are linked; perhaps even to such an extent that some types of games benefit from a particular audiovisual representation. Read more...

First International Conference on Facets of Virtual Environments

27-29 July, 2009, Berlin, Germany

FaVE (Facets of Virtual Environments) 2009 is a refereed international academic conference devoted to persistent, multi-user virtual environments. The recent rise of World of Warcraft®, Second Life® and similar applications has caught the imagination of the public and scholars alike, yet until now the study of virtual environments has been subordinated to a collection of subtopics of established academic disciplines.

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Taylor, Nick (2008)
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Image of booksEthnographic research on massively multiplayer online games (MMO’s) has begun to chart how these games impact “real world” identities, practices and institutions. Far less attention has been paid in this emergent field, however, to the ways these games are always already situated in the everyday lives of those that play them – and how participants’ embodied subjectivities are therefore “in play”. This paper argues that recent MMO scholarship, in re-invoking a tired and unproductive dichotomy between the “real” and the “virtual”, not only neglects the material and discursive contexts in which games are played, but also renders invisible the play-based participant observation of researchers themselves. I look to cyber-feminist theory, as well as certain strands of feminist ethnography, to call attention to how this kind of “periscopic play” significantly skews our understandings of MMO’s. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Mackey, Margaret (2008)
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Image of booksThis article reports on how users step into the world of a fiction in a digital game (Shadow of the Colossus), a movie (Run Lola Run) and a novel (Monster by Walter Dean Myers). Moving into the make-believe involves invoking the subjunctive mode of wishing, hoping, expecting, fearing, etc. This article explores how this step into a fictional occurs in in the early stages of encountering stories in different media, drawing on work with twelve undergraduate interpreters of all three fictions. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Bojin, Nis (2008)
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Image of booksOver the past half a century or more, historical, anthropological and philosophical examinations of the concept of play have remained largely situated in the arena of ontological discussion. In these previous interrogations of play, the notion of play has been assumed a priori, been defined stipulatively in relation to larger frameworks of games, or discarded altogether. This work adopts Wittgenstein’s Private Language argument as a lever to unpack the usefulness in looking at play from an epistemological perspective: paying special attention to linguistic cues, ostensive relationships and associated activities around those things players call ‘play’ within specific, behavioral, situational and linguistic contexts. This paper explores how unraveling the term ‘play’ in this way can potentially afford us a new perspective on play as an epistemologically dynamic phenomenon. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Gackenbach, Jayne (2008)
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Image of booksThe point of this inquiry is to ask are there preferred structural characteristics of games that are more or less likely to be associated with the experience of psychological flow during gaming? It was found that high game players, as defined by a variety of variables, reported significantly more flow and various structural preferences than low game players when controlling for sex and motion sickness. However, game flow and structure were largely unrelated to each other with one exception. A low preference for thinking type puzzle situations in games was negatively associated with the experience of flow while playing. Other structural variables showed no association to flow suggesting that most structural characteristics of video game play are not in and of themselves associated with experiences of flow in gaming. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

El Nasr, Magy; Al-Saati, Maha; Niedenthal, Simon; Milam, David (2008)
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Image of booksVideo game playing is becoming a predominant part of popular culture. Games, like Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft, released 2007), The Sims (Maxis, released 2000), Guitar Hero (RedOctane, released 2005), and World of War Craft (Bilizzard, released 2004), have attracted many players from different cultures and age groups. In this paper, we propose that the experience of playing a video game, like Assassin’s Creed, is a personal experience shaped through one’s emotional values, expectations, knowledge, and attitudes as influenced by culture. To validate this claim, we provide an analysis of the experience of playing Assassins’ Creed from the perspectives of this paper’s four co-authors, who represent two different cultural viewpoints: Middle-Eastern and Western, as well as different intellectual disciplinary backgrounds, including architecture, theatre, and computer science. To someone from the Middle-East, for example, the game aroused many nostalgic feelings through its simulated Middle-Eastern cities, the use of Arabic words, accents and gestures, and the detailed Middle-Eastern architectural design. While such small details meant much when viewed through a Middle-Eastern eye, their values were different when viewed through a Western eye. From a Western perspective, the game play experience was heightened through the beautiful architectural detail and the use of the environment layout as a function of gameplay, such as the use of rooftops for platforming, fast movement and flying-like actions, and stealth. Thus, apparently the way the game was experienced was very different when viewed through people with different cultural backgrounds. In this paper, we aim to show this claim through thorough analysis of the game as experienced by the co¬authors. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

Schott, Gareth (2008)
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Image of booksYoung peoples’ voices are often considered irrelevant or unreliable when it comes to assessing the influence and impact of their engagement with screen-mediated depictions of violence. Research emanating from the laboratories of Psychology has continued to propagate the ‘effects’ debate by seeking to substantiate the harmful impact of videogames on individuals that are considered to lack the knowledge and strategies to make sense of them. Paradoxically, this stance is presented within a research paradigm that has failed to demonstrate any understanding of the properties of the particular games or the medium it denigrates, broader awareness of the social dimensions of play or the productivity inherent in the practices of its surrounding cultures. The project discussed, draws together what have essentially remained separate lines of inquiry, through applying the critical and analytical scrutiny of Game Studies to achieve a more contextual understanding of young peoples’ experiences with and around games. The primary aim is to assess the nature of violent content within videogames via the experiences and articulations of young people themselves, using a combination of methods to give them a voice that is all too often absent in its one-way debate. Read more...

New entry in the Digiplay Games Research Bibliography:

DiPaola, Steve; Turner, Jeremy (2008)
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Image of booksWe examine Traveler, a social-based 3D online virtual community with over ten years of continuous community use as a case study. Traveler is a client-server application allowing real-time synchronous communication between individuals over the Internet. The Traveler client interface presents the user with a shared user created virtual 3D world, in which participants are represented by avatars. The primary mode of communication is through multi-point, full duplex voice, managed by the server. This paper reports on the initial design goals of the developers in the mid 1990s to emulate natural social paradigms, and then more recently, reports on how the online community uses distance attended multi-point voice and opened end 3D space construction to express themselves both on a personal level and collaborative level to facilitate a tight socially based community. Read more...

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