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Title: Exploring 'Game Transfer Phenomena' : a multimodal research approach for investigating video games' effects
Author: Ortiz de Gortari, A. B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 741X
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2015
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Video games are evolving and are becoming ever more immersive. Consequently, it is necessary to understand their effects on gamers’ psychological wellbeing. The impact on cognition, affect and behaviour has mostly been investigated separately and sometimes from narrow approaches that limit the understanding of the video games’ effects. This thesis investigates the effects of playing video games from a novel, multimodal and broad research approach that is termed "Game Transfer Phenomena" (GTP). The Game Transfer Phenomena framework examines the influence of video games on gamers’ sensorial perception, cognitions, and behaviours directly related to video games’ structural characteristic, game content and, in-game activities. A theoretically eclectic approach is taken to explain the interplay of physiological, perceptual, and cognitive mechanisms involved in GTP, mainly informed by socio-cognitive and behavioural theories. Mixed-methods were used in the empirical research. The three qualitative studies presented here were analysed by content and thematic analysis methodologies (n=1,244), and the quantitative online survey using appropriate statistical testing (n=2,362). The specific aims of the thesis were: (i) identify, classify and explain GTP experiences collected in online video game forums divided in three empirical studies, and (ii) investigate the characteristics of GTP, and factors associated with GTP in a cross-cultural online survey with a total sample of English and Spanish Speaking gamers. The results suggest that gamers experience a variety of non-volitional phenomena when not playing. (i) Experiencing thoughts, urges, images, sounds, tactile and kinaesthetic perceptions and sensations associated with the game, (ii) perceiving distorted physical stimuli due to the video game features, (iii) confusing physical stimuli with video game elements, (iv) responding to certain physical stimuli as in the game, and (v) experiencing involuntary body movements and behaviours directly related with the video game. In summary: (i) different gamers reported similar GTP in the same video games, (ii) GTP are in the continuum between normal and pathological phenomena, and appear to reflect failures in cognitive and control inhibition, and neural adaptations, (iii) age and occupation, having a medical condition, gamer type, session length, playing for escape, immersion, exploring, customization and rules and mechanics were significantly associated with GTP, and (iv) the appraisal of GTP were either positive or negative (with one in five players experiencing distress or dysfunction due to their GTP experiences). Findings suggest that resemblances between virtual and physical objects facilitate GTP and these may be strengthened with more advanced technologies. Knowing about particular video game features and their effect on gamers may contribute to taking more informed decisions regarding the psychological, cognitive, physiological and social effects of video games and the technologies that are still to come.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available