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Me, my game-self,
and others
A Qualitative Exploration
of the Game-Self
Nikolaos Kartsanis
Dr Eva Murzyn
• Self-Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987)
– Game-Ideal Self-Convergence, moderated by Actual-Ideal Self-Discrepancy
(Przyb...
• Exploration & cataloguing of how players experience their
game self
• Qualitative approach – richer & more detailed data...
4
Results
1. Player as a co-author
“…you want to know more about their motivations and they're
this…blank slate […] you can fill the...
1. Player as a co-author
 Increased sense of control, autonomy, relatedness
 Increased sense of effectance – perceived i...
2. Game-self as Self-Extension
“I see through my character […] it's me at that point”
(Elena, lines 63-65)
“I play them mo...
2. Game-self as Self-Extension
 Self-reference, responsibility
• Self-expression & self-exploration
 Ideal/Game-Self Emp...
3. Game-self as Other
“…I'm just trying to imagine what he would do, given his backstory…”
(Matylda, line 84)
“I still wou...
3. Game-self as Other
 Perspective shift, understanding, appreciation
• eudaimonic motivation?
 Safe, vicarious emotions...
4. Win-focused Approach – Player as a Task Manager
“I played a lot of Age of Empires as a child. And Stronghold.
Where you...
4. Win-focused Approach – Player as a Task Manager
 Distanced, Relaxed
 Emotional & moral disengagement
 Game character...
13
Results – Thematic Map
5. Flexibility
“…it's totally different mechanics, and when you play strategy
or you play other games” (Elena, lines 249-2...
5. Flexibility
 Approach may vary by motivation (Yee, 2007)
and/or game specifics
• Narrative – Immersion
• Win focus – A...
“I think in terms of the skills of the character. Do you know how in role-playing
games you can assign skill points? I use...
 SDT needs – Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness –
may underlie all game-self types;
different approximations of ideal-self...
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of
Behavi...
Thank you
Any questions?
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Me, My Game-Self, and Others: A Qualitative Exploration of the Game-Self (Nikolaos Kartsanis and Eva Murzyn)
Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) Conference 2016
Health, Disability and EducationDates: Wednesday 26 October 2016 - Thursday 27 October 2016 Location: The Council House, NG1 2DT

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Me, My Game-Self, and Others: A Qualitative Exploration of the Game-Self (Nikolaos Kartsanis and Eva Murzyn)

  1. 1. Me, my game-self, and others A Qualitative Exploration of the Game-Self Nikolaos Kartsanis Dr Eva Murzyn
  2. 2. • Self-Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987) – Game-Ideal Self-Convergence, moderated by Actual-Ideal Self-Discrepancy (Przybylski et al., 2012) • Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) – VGs satisfy needs for Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness (Przybylski et al., 2010) • Motivational clusters: Immersion, Social, Achievement (Yee, 2007) – Different people play same games differently/for different reasons • Players’ experience of self in games seems the key • Limitations: Game types & methodology (surveys or questionnaires) 2 Why do people play video games?
  3. 3. • Exploration & cataloguing of how players experience their game self • Qualitative approach – richer & more detailed data; allows for novel discovery • Semi-structured interviews; average duration 40 minutes (range 25-78 minutes) • 9 participants (5 female, mean age 25.9; range 22-31 ) • Essentialist approach – language reflects reality • Thematic Analysis – 5 themes 3 The Present Study
  4. 4. 4 Results
  5. 5. 1. Player as a co-author “…you want to know more about their motivations and they're this…blank slate […] you can fill them with different motivations and…whereas with a book character, they're pretty much controlled by the author […] within the game […] you've got more interaction and say […] into how the characters will react or the choices that they make” (Mhairi, lines 137-148). 5 Results
  6. 6. 1. Player as a co-author  Increased sense of control, autonomy, relatedness  Increased sense of effectance – perceived influence on game world  Co-authorship subversion breaks sense/illusion of effectance  “Sometimes I can make up a reason for this or sometimes I can't […] it's one of the points where a game can really make it or break it for you” (Elena, lines 151-166). 6 Results
  7. 7. 2. Game-self as Self-Extension “I see through my character […] it's me at that point” (Elena, lines 63-65) “I play them more to find, to put myself in a situation and in a different setting and kinda test my limits […]” (Elena, lines 379-381) “…becoming […] a more ideal version of myself that would do the right thing no matter what […] makes me braver in real life” (Elena, lines 401-405) 7 Results
  8. 8. 2. Game-self as Self-Extension  Self-reference, responsibility • Self-expression & self-exploration  Ideal/Game-Self Empowers • Reverse self-reference • Self-concept adoption • Fostering hope 8 Results
  9. 9. 3. Game-self as Other “…I'm just trying to imagine what he would do, given his backstory…” (Matylda, line 84) “I still would choose as if I'm his conscience at the moment” (Jason, line 230) “…it drives me through […] an emotional journey without […] the risk of being traumatised” (Jason, lines 481-482) “…it can be quite difficult to move on, because you do become quite invested emotionally, and involved with the characters” (Mhairi, lines 311-312) 9 Results
  10. 10. 3. Game-self as Other  Perspective shift, understanding, appreciation • eudaimonic motivation?  Safe, vicarious emotions • Terror Management  Attachment & loss - authentic relationships • parasocial break-up – not researched in VGs 10 Results
  11. 11. 4. Win-focused Approach – Player as a Task Manager “I played a lot of Age of Empires as a child. And Stronghold. Where you're not one person, you're, like, supervising, separate” (Alice, lines 339-340) “…my very good friend, who's far away from here, is also on there, so we play together […] and talk about stuff” (Monica, lines 247-255) “It's only more competitive games, like League of Legends or Civilisation, with my friends” (Bruce, lines 223-224) 11 Results
  12. 12. 4. Win-focused Approach – Player as a Task Manager  Distanced, Relaxed  Emotional & moral disengagement  Game characters as tools  Friendship maintenance  Sports-like male dominance display 12 Results
  13. 13. 13 Results – Thematic Map
  14. 14. 5. Flexibility “…it's totally different mechanics, and when you play strategy or you play other games” (Elena, lines 249-250) “Faster than Light […] is a game so hard and so relentless on you, on every level, that […] I don’t even think any more about doing amoral stuff” (Jason, lines 370-372) “…when it gets too realistic, I tend to play as myself” (Andy, line 209) 14 Results
  15. 15. 5. Flexibility  Approach may vary by motivation (Yee, 2007) and/or game specifics • Narrative – Immersion • Win focus – Achievement • Social potential in all  Spectrum 15 Results
  16. 16. “I think in terms of the skills of the character. Do you know how in role-playing games you can assign skill points? I use a lot of that. Having a large variety of those sort of customisations is important” (Bruce, lines 31-33) “…when I first started playing Fallout, I had to go through the mechanics and teach myself how to play this kind of games […] So, when I played Skyrim, I was through this experience […] it wasn’t about the challenge of the mechanics, it was about hearing a nice story that you can take part in” (Elena, lines 289-299). 16 Results
  17. 17.  SDT needs – Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness – may underlie all game-self types; different approximations of ideal-self aspects  Motivations & game specifics may explain differences  Narrative cluster may hold potential for psychological growth & well-being, meaningful experiences, authentic relationships • More research needed to generalize for application 17 Conclusions
  18. 18. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “What” and “Why” of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268. http://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01 Higgins, E. T. (1987). Self-discrepancy: a theory relating self and affect. Psychological Review, 94(3), 319–340. Przybylski, A. K., Weinstein, N., Murayama, K., Lynch, M. F., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). The Ideal Self at Play: The Appeal of Video Games That Let You Be All You Can Be . Psychological Science , 23 (1 ), 69–76. Retrieved from http://pss.sagepub.com/content/23/1/69.abstract Pszybylski, A. K., Rigby, C. S., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). A Motivational Model of Video Game Engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154–166. Retrieved from http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=22999158 Yee, N. (2007). Motivations for Play in Online Games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(6), 772–775. http://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9.772 18 References
  19. 19. Thank you Any questions?
  • DavidCostello

    Nov. 14, 2019

Me, My Game-Self, and Others: A Qualitative Exploration of the Game-Self (Nikolaos Kartsanis and Eva Murzyn) Interactive Technologies and Games (ITAG) Conference 2016 Health, Disability and EducationDates: Wednesday 26 October 2016 - Thursday 27 October 2016 Location: The Council House, NG1 2DT

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