The player, playing the play (University of Toronto Guest Lecture)

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A short talk on player psychology by Dr. Nick Bowman (WVU Media and Interaction Lab, Department of Communication Studies) given at the University of Toronto. This presentation was part of a course "Introduction to Immersive Environments" in the Institute of Communication, Culture, and Information Technology at the University of Toronto.

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The player, playing the play (University of Toronto Guest Lecture)

  1. 1. THE PLAYER, PLAYING THE PLAY ND Bowman University of Toronto 31 Sept 2013 Media and Interaction Lab
  2. 2. PREAMBLE: S  O  R University of Toronto
  3. 3. S  O  R Stimulus Response
  4. 4. S  O  R Stimulus Response Organism
  5. 5. S  O  R VIDEO games • Virtual environments Video GAMES • Challenge systems
  6. 6. UNCANNY VALLEY UT Guest Lecture Mori, M. (1970). The uncanny valley. Energy, 7(4), 33-35. Available at: http://www.movingimages.info/digitalmedia/wp- content/uploads/2010/06/MorUnc.pdf
  7. 7. UNCANNY VALLEY • As virtual worlds get more realistic, we begin to question them
  8. 8. UNCANNY VALLEY
  9. 9. UNCANNY VALLEY • Suggests that reality is a perception… • …but this can extend beyond graphics – Control – Storytelling – Others? Novels told us drama, film and TV show us conflict, so what do video games do?
  10. 10. “GUT” OR “GAME”? UT Guest Lecture
  11. 11. “GUT” OR “GAME” • Virtual worlds allow us to make “virtual” decisions… • But where do these decisions come from?
  12. 12.  Tabular rasa approach  “quandary ethics”  Cognitive (moral) reasoning  Morality constantly monitored Intuitive Morality  Innate moral foundations  “evolutionary ethics”  Moral dumbfounding  Morality considered on encounter Rational Morality “GUT” OR “GAME”
  13. 13. Harm/Care Fairness Authority Loyalty Purity “GUT” OR “GAME”
  14. 14. As we become increasingly mediated, we wonder how folks respond to said mediation. How might moral salience guide decisions in mediated environments? How does this process influence enjoyment? “GUT” OR “GAME”
  15. 15. “GUT” OR “GAME”
  16. 16. The linear relationship (H1) The binary relationship (H2) “GUT” OR “GAME”
  17. 17. A) Sig. ∆ High vs. Low B) Non-random (highest salience) C) Random (lowest salience) Digital Natives German Adolescents Yes (.002) Yes (21%) Yes (47%) US Adolescents No (.118) No (54%) Yes (41%) Digital Immigrants German Elderly Yes (<.001) Yes (24%) No (77%) US Elderly Yes (<.001) Yes (12%) Yes* (39%) “GUT” OR “GAME”
  18. 18. “GUT” OR “GAME” • Main findings: – If morality was high, no violation “gut” – If morality was low, violation was random “game” • What does it mean for digital media? – “Game” reaction is default, until “gut” is primed – Moral orientations learned in RL seem to drive decisions in the virtual world…
  19. 19. BONUS: HABITS & DECISIONS • How virtual is virtual? – Media used in habit training – Our minds don’t separate “actual” and “virtual”
  20. 20. Walking as dominant lifestyle activity Step one Video game skill -.382 -3.05 .004 Body shame .338 2.71 .010 F(2,47) = 12.6 p < .001 R2 = .348 Step two Video game skill -.387 -3.08 .003 Body shame .326 2.59 .013 Experimental condition (0 = waypoint, 1 = freeplay) -.109 -.919 .363 F(4,46) = .844 p = .363 ΔR2 = .012 REAL HABITS AS VIRTUAL BEHAVIOR β T Sig. Walking not dominant lifestyle activity Step one Video game skill -.264 -1.72 .093 Body shame .165 1.07 .289 F(2,47) = 3.78 p = .030 R2 = .139 Step two Video game skill -.189 -1.24 .221 Body shame .218 1.45 .154 Experimental condition (0 = waypoint, 1 = freeplay) -.285 -2.21 .039 F(3,46) = 4.50 p = .039 ΔR2 = .077
  21. 21. REAL HABITS AS VIRTUAL BEHAVIOR • Implications – In decreasingly-”virtual” spaces, real habits = virtual habits – IDs external predictors of observed game choices
  22. 22. SELECTIVE EXPOSURE UT Guest Lecture Bowman, N. D., & Tamborini, R. (2012). Task demand and mood repair: The intervention potential of computer games. New Media & Society, 14(8), 1339-1357.
  23. 23. • On reason we play is to get rid of our bad moods! Does it work? – YES: they are more cognitively and affectively distracting than other forms of media – NO: they are too complicated, and they end up being even more stressful SELECTIVE EXPOSURE
  24. 24. SELECTIVE EXPOSURE • BOREDOM was induced with a bowl of 600 metal rings and an “endless” string • STRESS was induced with a modified GRE
  25. 25. SELECTIVE EXPOSURE
  26. 26. SELECTIVE EXPOSURE
  27. 27. SELECTIVE EXPOSURE • Interactivity = Demanding – Cognitively demanding – Behaviorally demanding – Affectively demanding – Socially demanding?
  28. 28. ENJOYMENT + APPRECIATION UT Guest Lecture Oliver, M.B., & Raney, A.A, . (2011). Entertainment as pleasurable and meaningful: Identifying hedonic and eudaimonic motivations for entertainment consumption. Journal of Communication, 61(5), 984-1004. Available at: http://www.looooker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/j.1460- 2466.2011.01585.x.pdf
  29. 29. ENJOYMENT + APPRECIATION • Zillmann (2000) ends with: “Humor can serve as the antidote to gloom” • But, can it be the case that gloom can serve as the antidote to gloom?
  30. 30. ENJOYMENT + APPRECIATION “Indeed, to say that one „„enjoyed‟‟ or was „„entertained by‟‟ a film such as Hotel Rwanda would seem decidedly odd, at best” (Oliver & Raney, 2011).
  31. 31. ENJOYMENT + APPRECIATION • So, if we don’t enjoy these films, then what do we do with them? • Selection is driven by a different set of motivations
  32. 32. ENJOYMENT + APPRECIATION Hey, this is really: • Arousing • Exciting • Pleasurable • Diversionary Hey, this is really: • Reflective • Inspiring • Expressive • Meaningful
  33. 33. BONUS: CONTROL + COGNITION
  34. 34. BONUS: CONTROL + COGNITION • 97.6% fun vs. 71.9% meaningful • “insight” as separate need • “Pleasure of Control” • “Pleasure of Cognition”
  35. 35. BONUS: CONTROL + COGNITION Enjoyment Appreciation Step 1: Controls Gender -.05 -.22*** Age -.09 -.10+ ∆R2 .01 .06*** Step 2: Intrinsic Needs Competence .47*** -.02 Autonomy .13* .02 Relatedness .01 .36*** Insight -.05 .58*** ∆R2 .28*** .69*** Step 3: CA Identification -.08 -.01 Suspension of Disbelief .00 .03 Control .12* -.06+ Responsibility -.08 .10** ∆R2 .02+ .01+
  36. 36. BONUS: CONTROL + COGNITION • Implications
  37. 37. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER • Do we make virtual worlds or virtual games? – In virtual worlds (video) how do we engage player’s emotions? – In virtual games (games) how do we engage player’s actions? • When we make both, do players process both?
  38. 38. FOR MORE INFORMATION • Nick Bowman, Ph.D. [CV] Twitter (@bowmanspartan) Skype (nicholasdbowman) nicholas.bowman@mail.wvu.edu Media and Interaction Lab

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