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Game Mediated Communication: Multiplayer Games as the Medium for Computer Based Communication
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of DIGRA 2005, Changing Views: Worlds in Play, 2:nd International Digital Games Research Association Conference, June 16:th-20:th, 2005, Vanvouver, Canada.: Digital Games Research Organisation , 2005Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As multiplayer games evolve in functionality and with respect to the number of participants, ingame communication between players is increasing. As in-game communication increases, games may be considered the natural medium for computer based communication in general. Special issues may arise due to the real-time nature of many games, as intraplayer communication must not interfere with other parts of the gameplay. To obtain information on the extent to which computer based chat is spontaneously associated with multiplayer games, an empirical study was conducted. Children from age 10 to age 15 were interviewed about their computer based communications. To ensure unbiased results, game related issues were never brought up by the interviewer. Results show that multiplayer games were spontaneously pinpointed by 16.83% of the interview subjects being asked about their computer chat habits. Positive remarks dominated, but some negative aspects were also mentioned, such as difficulty chatting and playing simultaneously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vanvouver, Canada.: Digital Games Research Organisation , 2005.
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38059OAI: diva2:305891
Available from: 2010-03-25 Created: 2010-03-25 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perception of Computer Games in Non-Gaming Contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perception of Computer Games in Non-Gaming Contexts
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As computer games have evolved from single-player entities to complex, highly communicative on-line game worlds, their potential to fill different roles in society has grown. One aspect of this change is that various forms of computer mediated communication may become increasingly associated with games in various ways. Another issue is that of extensive exposure to computer games possibly leading to behavioural change through the mechanism of neuroplasticity, as argued by some researchers. Finally, since experiences from using game-like software designed explicitly for teaching purposes, edutainment, have been reported to be somewhat disappointing, the alternative to use unmodified straight-from-the-shelf computer games as learning environments in school is an interesting option.

To investigate these issues a series of empirical studies were conducted, the first of which were dual interview studies with students of various ages in schools in two different regions, mapping their communication habits and associations of these with games. Secondly, a series of longitudal studies were performed during the course of a four-year experimental school project, where a class of upper secondary education students used regular computer games as their main didactic environment in school.

Results show that computer mediated chat, as well as peer-to-peer file sharing, is in various ways spontaneously associated with computer games to a substantial degree. Empathy with game developers’ efforts is identified as a possible countermeasure against software piracy of games, as opposed to legislation. The theory of neuroplasticity induced behavioural change as a result of extensive exposure to computer games is corroborated by empirical observations, but not proven since other possible mechanisms are also present. The longitudal data indicates a high didactic potential in regular computer games used as learning tools in school. The teacher’s role is not marginalized but is perceived as essential by participating students, and a systematic model for evaluating the didactic potential of multimodal media such as computer games is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2010. 98 p.
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 10-007
Computer games, Games, Learning, Communication
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39930 (URN)978-91-7447-104-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-18, sal B, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-09-26 Created: 2010-06-03 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved

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