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Wednesday, April 26 • 9:00am - 9:20am
Video Games, Investment, And Empathy

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Approx. 50% of Americans play video games regularly. With the advent of the smart phone, this medium is becoming more widely consumed, and with the gaming industry raking in millions worldwide understanding what makes games different from other forms of media is becoming increasingly important. How does the interactive aspect of video games make them different? How do we connect, as human beings, with this media differently than others? This study evaluates the impact of interactivity of games with empathy response and investment in the stories they tell. Can video games, by the very nature of their interactivity, make us connect more with the characters within? Do we naturally feel more invested in video games due to the effort put into playing them? Participants in this study were randomly assigned to two groups, blocking for both gender and previous gaming experience. Group A played the videogame “Undertale”, while Group B watched it being played on youtube. Questionnaires about the participants feelings about certain characters were recorded, asking on a scale of 1-10 how much they empathized with certain characters and how much they liked them. Questions were added to the questionnaires, after playing or watching the game, how the participant would feel if the character also felt a certain way. Play/watching time was recorded. Stronger responses on the scale and longer play/watch time were measures of investment, while strong responses and longer answers to the empathy questions were measures of empathy response.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017 9:00am - 9:20am
102 Carmichael

Attendees (5)