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GAME RESEARCH
METHODS
AN OVERVIEW
EDITED BY PETRI LANKOSKI & STAFFAN BJÖRK
What
 Overview of game research methods
book
 Different research design
 Pluralistic perspective on research
approaches...
Research Practices
 Game research can be seen as its own
research field or a research domain
common to many research fiel...
A Very Short Introduction to
Philosophy of science
 Objectivity
 Critique by Hume, Popper, Devey
 Theory-laden (Kuhn)
...
Unit of Analysis
 What is studied
 Can be different that the data gathered
 Well-established research fields typically
...
Method?
 A method is a specific systematic
procedure for handling data (of the
chosen Unit of Analysis)
 Data gathering ...
Method, cont.
 Qualitative method
 Rich descriptions of a
phenomenon
 Quantitative methods
 Relations between measured...
Methods, cont.
 Research question implies possible research
methods
 But, you need research to find your research
questi...
Overview of our forthcoming
book
For games
 Qualitative approachers
For play and players
 Quantitative approaches
 Qu...
What and Not
 We cover various very typical game
research methods and some more
esoteric
 Opportunistic sampling for cha...
Preface
Frans Mäyrä
 “Finding and following a methods means
finding a way. The original etymology of
methodology conveys ...
Fundamentals for writing a thesis
Carl Magnus Olsson
Argument chains
General
Formal analysis of gameplay
Petri Lankoski & Staffan Björk
Formal analysis of gameplay
Language for describing various
a...
Time in videogames
José Zagal & Michael Mateas
Formal analysis of temporal frames
 Language for describing temporal
aspe...
Studying gameplay as interactions
with information
Olle Sköld, Suellen Adams, J.Tuomas Harviainen & Isto
Huvila
Games as ...
Awkward: The importance of reflexivity in
using ethnographic methods
Ashley Brown
Ethnography for games
Focus for MMORPG...
In-Depth interviews for games research
Amanda Cote & Julia G. Raz
When to use interview
Ethical consideration
Participa...
Studying thoughts: Stimulated recall as a
game research method
Jori Pitkänen
Records for supporting interview
E.g., game...
Focus group interviews as a way to evaluate
and understand gameplay experiences
Lina Eklund
Form of interview where peopl...
Quantitative methods and analyses for the
study of players and their behaviour
Richard N. Landers & Kristina N. Bauer
Gen...
Sex , Violence and Learning: Doing effect
assessment for games
Andreas Lieberoth, Kaare Bro Wellnitz & Jesper Aagaard
Wha...
Stimulus games
Simo Järvelä, Inger Ekman, J. Matias Kivikangas & Niklas Ravaja
Using games as a stimulus in
psychophysiol...
Audio visual analysis of player
experience
Raphaël Marczak & Gareth R. Schott
How to collected gameplay data
automaticall...
An Introduction to Gameplay Data
Visualization
Günter Wallner & Simone Kriglstein
Quantitativeapproaches
Structural equation modeling
Mattias Svahn & Richard Wahlund
Modeling technique for studying
causal relation between vari...
Mixed methods in game research playing
on strengths and countering weaknesses
Andreas Lieberoth & Andreas Roepstorff
Intr...
Systematic interviews and analysis:
Using the repertory grid technique
Carl Magnus Olsson
Basis in personal construct the...
Grounded Theory
Nathan Hook
Grounded theory process
Variations
 Qualitative
 Mixed methods
Examples
Mixedmethodsappro...
 How to use modding in experiment research
 Possible games for modding
 Best practices

Gamedevelopmentforresearch
Ext...
Experimental Game Design
Annika Waern &Jon Back
When is game design experimental?
Focus on qualitative design research
...
Summary
 The Book
 Overview of different methods
 How to use them
 Something about research in general
 Possible adva...
Aims and Perspective
 Confusion reigning in game research
 What should be studied? (games, gamers,
gaming, platforms, te...
Aims and Perspective, cont.
 To advance game research as a field,
research approaches needs to be more
explicit
 This pu...
Petri Lankoski
 petri.lankoski@sh.se
Staffan Björk
 staffan.bjork@ait.gu.se
The book at ETC Press
 http://press.etc.cmu...
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Game research methods book introduction

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Over view to a book about research methods edited by Petri Lankoski and Staffan Björk (2015). http://press.etc.cmu.edu/content/game-research-methods-overview

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Game research methods book introduction

  1. 1. GAME RESEARCH METHODS AN OVERVIEW EDITED BY PETRI LANKOSKI & STAFFAN BJÖRK
  2. 2. What  Overview of game research methods book  Different research design  Pluralistic perspective on research approaches  A bit about philosophy of science & ethics
  3. 3. Research Practices  Game research can be seen as its own research field or a research domain common to many research fields  Established disciplines typically have a core set of settled research methods  Not so for new disciplines or those that are interdisciplinary
  4. 4. A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy of science  Objectivity  Critique by Hume, Popper, Devey  Theory-laden (Kuhn)  Science the most reliable way to form knowledge  Even the knowledge may be fallible and approximate
  5. 5. Unit of Analysis  What is studied  Can be different that the data gathered  Well-established research fields typically have identified what is the individual data collected and analysed
  6. 6. Method?  A method is a specific systematic procedure for handling data (of the chosen Unit of Analysis)  Data gathering methods (e.g., interview, observation, questionnaire)  Data analysis methods (e.g., T-test, discourse analysis)  Mixed methods  Qualitative and quantitative mixed
  7. 7. Method, cont.  Qualitative method  Rich descriptions of a phenomenon  Quantitative methods  Relations between measured variables  Mixed methods approaches  Combines qualitative and quantitative methods in various ways ? Images:pixabay(CC0)
  8. 8. Methods, cont.  Research question implies possible research methods  But, you need research to find your research question  Sometimes you start with other things that research questions  Research domains  Research projects  …  Research is messy business
  9. 9. Overview of our forthcoming book For games  Qualitative approachers For play and players  Quantitative approaches  Quantitative approaches  Mixed methods Game development for research  e.g., design research
  10. 10. What and Not  We cover various very typical game research methods and some more esoteric  Opportunistic sampling for chapters  Does (unfortunately) not include all feasible methods we are aware of, e.g.:  platform studies  historical studies methods
  11. 11. Preface Frans Mäyrä  “Finding and following a methods means finding a way. The original etymology of methodology conveys the same message: meta hodos in Ancient Greek meant following a path, as well as finding the way or means to achieve certain goal.” General
  12. 12. Fundamentals for writing a thesis Carl Magnus Olsson Argument chains General
  13. 13. Formal analysis of gameplay Petri Lankoski & Staffan Björk Formal analysis of gameplay Language for describing various aspects of the game systems Primitives: components, actions, goals Analysis examples Plant vs Zombies Ico, combining formal Qualitativemethodsforstudying games
  14. 14. Time in videogames José Zagal & Michael Mateas Formal analysis of temporal frames  Language for describing temporal aspects of the games Real-world–gameworld– coordination–fictive Interaction between frames Temporal anomalies Qualitativemethodsforstudying games
  15. 15. Studying gameplay as interactions with information Olle Sköld, Suellen Adams, J.Tuomas Harviainen & Isto Huvila Games as information  How players search and use information in games  Analyzing information, kinds of information and access to information Qualitativemethodsforstudying games
  16. 16. Awkward: The importance of reflexivity in using ethnographic methods Ashley Brown Ethnography for games Focus for MMORPGs Studying sex using ethnomethodology Emotions Boundary managagement Qualitativemethodsforstudying playandplayers
  17. 17. In-Depth interviews for games research Amanda Cote & Julia G. Raz When to use interview Ethical consideration Participant selection & recruiment Conducting interviews Thematic analysis Qualitativemethodsforstudying playandplayers
  18. 18. Studying thoughts: Stimulated recall as a game research method Jori Pitkänen Records for supporting interview E.g., gameplay video Possible to look at a specific event and discuss about that Planning Conducting Analyzing Ethical issues Qualitativemethodsforstudying playandplayers
  19. 19. Focus group interviews as a way to evaluate and understand gameplay experiences Lina Eklund Form of interview where people are interviewed as a group When to use Planning Conducting How to moderate a group Transcribing pratices Analyzing Qualitativemethodsforstudying playandplayers
  20. 20. Quantitative methods and analyses for the study of players and their behaviour Richard N. Landers & Kristina N. Bauer General introduction to quantitative research Reliability & validity Correlational designs Experiment designs Quasi-experiment designs Quantitativeapproaches
  21. 21. Sex , Violence and Learning: Doing effect assessment for games Andreas Lieberoth, Kaare Bro Wellnitz & Jesper Aagaard What counts as evidence? What can be inferred from the results? Effect size P values & confidence intervals Quantitativeapproaches
  22. 22. Stimulus games Simo Järvelä, Inger Ekman, J. Matias Kivikangas & Niklas Ravaja Using games as a stimulus in psychophysiological studies  Studying cognition & emotions Advantages & challenges Quantitativeapproaches
  23. 23. Audio visual analysis of player experience Raphaël Marczak & Gareth R. Schott How to collected gameplay data automatically from a game Quantitativeapproaches
  24. 24. An Introduction to Gameplay Data Visualization Günter Wallner & Simone Kriglstein Quantitativeapproaches
  25. 25. Structural equation modeling Mattias Svahn & Richard Wahlund Modeling technique for studying causal relation between variables  Directly  Indirectly Evaluating models Assessing models Case example: Agents Against Power Waste Quantitativeapproaches
  26. 26. Mixed methods in game research playing on strengths and countering weaknesses Andreas Lieberoth & Andreas Roepstorff Introduction to mixed methods designs Why to use mixed method designs Downsides of mixed method designs Mixedmethodsapproaches
  27. 27. Systematic interviews and analysis: Using the repertory grid technique Carl Magnus Olsson Basis in personal construct theory by Kelly Elements – constructs – links Research designs  Qualitative, mixed methods Mixedmethodsapproaches
  28. 28. Grounded Theory Nathan Hook Grounded theory process Variations  Qualitative  Mixed methods Examples Mixedmethodsapproaches
  29. 29.  How to use modding in experiment research  Possible games for modding  Best practices  Gamedevelopmentforresearch Extensive modding for experimental game research M. Rohangis Mohseni, Benny Liebold & Daniel Pietschmann
  30. 30. Experimental Game Design Annika Waern &Jon Back When is game design experimental? Focus on qualitative design research Example case Codename Heroes Gamedevelopmentforresearch
  31. 31. Summary  The Book  Overview of different methods  How to use them  Something about research in general  Possible advantages  Toolbox of methods  Understanding of different methods, which fit your research, and how to apply them  Help reflecting on your research  What is your research question?  What is your unit of analysis?
  32. 32. Aims and Perspective  Confusion reigning in game research  What should be studied? (games, gamers, gaming, platforms, texts, etc.)  What are the legitimate methods?  What does legitimate mean in this context?  We don’t believe there is one correct answer, i.e., we see game research as an interdisciplinary field  Method selection should be motivated  This requires awareness of different approaches
  33. 33. Aims and Perspective, cont.  To advance game research as a field, research approaches needs to be more explicit  This puts demands on researchers to discipline themselves about being explicit about what they are doing and why (not why others are wrong)  Descriptions of approaches to provide a common source where the approaches can be compared  Research methods is one aspect of this
  34. 34. Petri Lankoski  petri.lankoski@sh.se Staffan Björk  staffan.bjork@ait.gu.se The book at ETC Press  http://press.etc.cmu.edu/content/game-research- methods-overview

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