Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Commercial Bias in ‘Why Do They Play’ Game Studies?  
Posted 2007-01-07 by Tony Walsh
Summary results from a series of studies indicate that "fun" is only the basest of reasons players enjoy games, the CBC reported last month. The studies, published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, were co-authored by a University of Rochester grad student and the president of gamer-experience research firm Immersyve. According to Immersyve, the studies "show that players are most attracted to games that give them positive experiences that are akin to 'real world' challenges, rather than merely a shallow sense of fun." Note to self: Is fun shallow?

I brought the summary results to the attention of my father, Dr. Richard Walsh-Bowers, Professor of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Pops pointed out that Dr. Scott Rigby, co-author of the studies, sells that which he promotes as a research psychologist.

I don't happen to have access to the full studies, but I feel their value (as described in news reports and by Immersyve) is undermined by Dr. Rigby's corporate position. Being president of a commercial research firm, it is in his interest to develop a "model" attractive to the game industry. As Dr. Rigby says on his own web site: "...when games meet the underlying needs in our model, they not only predict better psychological outcomes for players, but better commercial success for games." Translation: Buy into our model, increase profits. For me, this calls into question the science behind the (foregone?) conclusions.
  ... share via email digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
January 7, 2007 @ 10:33 pm
but I feel their value (as described in news reports and by Immersyve) is undermined by Dr. Rigby's corporate position.

I totally agree. In fact, this problem infects much of the whole "ludology" game research domain. The conferences they hold are frequently financed considerably by the game/virtual world industry. What does it mean when the makers of Second Life or There fund State of Play, for example? I've raised this with some of the TN professors and they either ignore the challenge or write long thumb-suckers justifying their work privately to me. It's not unlike the field of foreign affairs and security studies, however, which is often infected by government funding.
[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'

yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool

Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy? get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock

Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL



Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.