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Perception of Computer Games in Non-Gaming Contexts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. (PVU)
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.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 10-007
Keyword [en]
Computer games, Games, Learning, Communication
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-39930ISBN: 978-91-7447-104-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-39930DiVA: diva2:322091
Public defence
2010-10-18, sal B, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-09-26 Created: 2010-06-03 Last updated: 2010-10-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Computer game use and communication habit changes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Computer game use and communication habit changes
2007 (English)In: Proceedings of CGAMES 2007. 10:th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Educational and Serious Games / [ed] Mehdi,Q. and Elmaghraby, A., Wolverhampton: The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology , 2007, 31-38 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Extensive use of computer games have been suggested to induce behavioural differences in the players, either as a result of neuroplasticity or through social mechanisms. The usage patterns of computer mediated communication channels, such as internet chat rooms and web based forums, as well as other communication channels enabled by recent technological advances, such as voice and SMS text messages through mobile phones, are of interest in this game related context. Also, any potential changes in the usage patterns of traditional media such as books an television are of interest when linked to computer game use. To obtain information on possible changes in student communication patterns, an empirical study was conducted. Students participating in a test project extensively using computer games as teaching tools, were interviewed about both games related and communication related behaviours. The acquired data was then compared to previously obtained data regarding the corresponding communication behaviours prior to joining the game-intensive project. Results show that communication through web based chat and dedicated chat programs showed only minor changes, while web based forums, email, and SMS text messages showed various degrees of increased use. Television viewing habits continued the decreasing trend seen in previous papers in this series, particularly regarding entertainment related television programs that are now down to only 53.9% of the viewing time prior to entering the game project. A dramatic difference is seen between fans of MMORPG and FPS games, the former viewing only 17.5% as much television as the latter group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wolverhampton: The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2007
Keyword
Computer, games, communication, habits, empirical, study
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-12130 (URN)978-0-9549016-39 (ISBN)
Conference
CGAMES, 25-28 July 2007, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Available from: 2008-01-17 Created: 2008-01-17 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
2. Behavioural Changes in Students Participating in an Upper Secondary Education Program Using Unmodified Computer Games as the Primary Teaching Tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behavioural Changes in Students Participating in an Upper Secondary Education Program Using Unmodified Computer Games as the Primary Teaching Tool
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of CGAMES 2005, 7:th International Conference on Computer Games, 28-30 November 2005 / [ed] Mehdi, Q., Gough, N., and Natkin S., Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technologies , 2005, 66-73 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The extensive use of computer games have been suggested to induce behavioural differences in the players as a result of neuroplasticity. Such changes, if present, suggests that computer games may be ideally suited as teaching tools for students having grown up with this technology. Using computer games extensively in the education system would in turn increase the gaming exposure significantly, even further accentuating any such neuroplastically mediated behavioural changes. To obtain information on possible changes in student behaviour patterns in key areas, an empirical study was conducted. Students participating in a test project extensively using computer games as teaching tools, were interviewed about both games related and other key behaviours. Results show some changed behaviours in the studied areas, such as decreased television watching habits and a shift from FPS to MMORPG as favourite game genre. While being consistent with computer games being able to induce behavioural changes through neuroplasticity, other factors may also have contributed in the studied case, and more research is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technologies, 2005
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38039 (URN)0-9549016-2-6 (ISBN)
Conference
CGAMES, 28-30 November 2005, Angouleme, France
Available from: 2010-03-25 Created: 2010-03-25 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
3. Game Mediated Communication: Multiplayer Games as the Medium for Computer Based Communication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Game Mediated Communication: Multiplayer Games as the Medium for Computer Based Communication
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, Published 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
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38059 (URN)
Available from: 2010-03-25 Created: 2010-03-25 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
4. Games and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Attitudes Towards Illegal Distribution of Computer Games
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Games and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Attitudes Towards Illegal Distribution of Computer Games
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, Published 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
Computer games, Peer-to-peer file sharing, Software piracy, Attitudes
National Category
Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38446 (URN)0-9549016-0-6 (ISBN)
Conference
CGAIDE 8-10 November 2004, Reading, UK
Available from: 2010-04-13 Created: 2010-04-13 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved
5. Going to school in World of Warcraft: Observations from a trial programme using of-the-shelf computer games as learning tools in secondary education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Going to school in World of Warcraft: Observations from a trial programme using of-the-shelf computer games as learning tools in secondary education
2009 (English)In: Designs for Learning, ISSN 1654-7608, Vol. 2, no 1, 36-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The use of commercial, off-the-shelf computer games as teaching tools is an interestingpossibility, but one that may alter the teacher’s role. Unlike specially adapted, gamelike educational software, students’ attitudes toward the learning potential of computer games may be very different in the presence or absence of an accompanying teacher. The purpose of this work is to investigate whether commercial, unmodified computer games have potential as a tool for learning enhancement, whether varying properties of game genres have an impact on study results, and how the students perceive the teachers role in a learning environment using computer games. Twenty-one students, all of them participants in a longer-term trial programme in game-based education, were interviewed concerning their perceptions of the learning environment, their preferred gamegenres, and the outcome of their studies. Our findings show that this form of learningresults in significantly increased knowledge. It also appears that accompanyingteacher activities are important, especially when successfully linked to in-game activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Didactic Science and Early Childhood Education, Stockholm University, 2009
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-33443 (URN)1654-7608 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-12-23 Created: 2009-12-23 Last updated: 2010-08-03Bibliographically approved

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