Crispy Gamer

Hey Smart Guy! Game Studies Download 4.0

Want to impress people at your next Rock Band party? Buy a tweed jacket with those leather elbow patches, pick up a pipe and practice your British accent. Ready? Now memorize these top game research findings, fresh from your local academics and brought to the GDC crowd by brainy profs, Ian Bogost, Mia Consolvo and Jane McGonigal:
Fear of failing. Juul. People like a little failure in a game. Fail too much, the game is too hard. Don’t fail enough, and it’s just too easy.

Game Sound. Collins.  Not a lot of games take advantage of the idea of a variable rhythm.  Really? Hmm, Next finding please!

Relating the pleasures of violent game texts. Schott. Does what appens in games really counts as violence? This researcher talked to players and they talked about self-preservation rather than taking pleasure in killing things. It seems that games put players in the fight or flight mode. Even more, game context matters. So wars are a good situation for violence. They give you a moral context for all the mayhem. This raises a question: What would a FSP like Resistance 2 look like if you gave the player the time to really think about their  action?
Video Game Space.   Nitsche. By analyzing videogames through a context of five different types of space, Nitsche creates a interpretative context, and one that could be used for game design as well. Which means?  Bogost thinks one implication is that we should spend more time thinking about the way we play games in real space—what happens between the player and the TV. Or, to put this in a context every gamer can understand—Did it ever occur to Rock Band or Guitar Hero that most of us don’t have room for two drum kits and four guitars?

Play to win or win to play? The material culture of gaming. Breindahl. Looking at car racing game fans, he found that people play to win so that they can earn in-game credits they can use to modify their cars and stand out. In other words, winning races was a means to an end--the fame and glory that comes from the adulation of your friends in the game.

Novices, gamers and scholars, Zagal. This study looked at the subject of teaching about videogames. The trouble is, since students know videogames, it’s hard to get them to think critically about games. Their conclusion, “Players may not have the tools to experience games critically, without assistance.” This, I already knew.


Because it looks cool. Tosca, Klastrup. Fashion in games? When fashion is talked about, it is usually is mocked. But these researchers say we do care about fashion. Over 70% of WoW players interviewed notice what other characters are wearing, for example. And most of the people responding to the survey were men. This, I did not know.

How’s the Weather? Barton. Weather in games gets used as ambience or decoration. Which is probably the same thing, iit seems to me. In most games, weather has little effect, although it might make things more slippery! Real weather, on the other hand, is a deeper, more profound environmental effect that games usually manage. Think snowdays.  And maybe game designers should think twice about that. Snowdays. And weather, that is.

(Play) Ground Rules. How do community rules, the sort of expectations of the other players, change play behavior? When you play with kids, for example, you don’t focus on winning, like the rules state. Rather, you focus on the social experience.

Learning Context. DiSalvo. In lower income households, you are more likely to see a game console than a home computer. This study looks at young black men and gaming.  This group of players spends more time in social conversations and competitive talk than other categories of players.
Feel that burning sensation? That’s the hot sear of knowledge printing on your brain!