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Games and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Attitudes Towards Illegal Distribution of Computer Games
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of CGAIDE 2004, 5:th International Conference on Computer Games, Artificial Intelligence, Design and Education / [ed] Mehdi, Q., and Gough, N., Wolverhampton: The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology , 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As peer-to-peer file sharing is a widespread and user friendly technique ideally suited to distribute illegally produced copies of computer games, the users attitudes towards acquiring games through this medium is of great interest. To obtain information on the extent to which peer-to-peer file sharing is associated with computer games distribution, and the nature of these associations, an empirical study was conducted. Children from age 10 to age 15 were interviewed about their computer based communication habits and attitudes. To ensure unbiased results, games and games related issues were never brought up by the interviewer. Results show that the distribution of computer games were spontaneously pinpointed by 15.58% of the interview subjects being asked about their peer-to-peer file sharing habits. Younger students showed a significantly more positive attitude towards this activity, while a majority of the older students pointed out negative aspects of acquiring computer games this way. Through the negative quotes given, the concept of empathy with game designers is identified as having potential as a possible counterfactor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wolverhampton: The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology , 2004.
Keyword [en]
Computer games, Peer-to-peer file sharing, Software piracy, Attitudes
National Category
Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38446ISBN: 0-9549016-0-6OAI: diva2:310323
CGAIDE 8-10 November 2004, Reading, UK
Available from: 2010-04-13 Created: 2010-04-13 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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