We are conducting a study which explores how players experience controversial content when playing games, and what content they find uncomfortable, thought-provocative offensive when playing. In the study, participants will play a game at home and fill in a gameplay journal entry after every gameplay session.
We are looking for people who are willing to play one of the following games:
- Bloodborne (PS4)
- Alien: Isolation (Steam (PC), Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 or PS3)
- Beyond: Two Souls (PS4 or PS3)
- This War of Mine (Steam (PC))
- Hatred (Steam (PC))
In order to participate you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have access to the gaming system in question.
- Have a certain experience with games. You don’t have to be a hardcore gamer, but you need some experience. We will not install the game for you or teach you how to play the game.
- Not have played the game before. You are still qualified if you have read about the game or seen videos.
What do I do as a participant?
- You will be briefed about the study and given a copy of the game you want to play.
- You play the game at home on your own console/PC. We urge you to play at least 2 times each week.
- After each gameplay session you fill in an online journal focusing on your play experiences. The journal is available here in English, and here in Norwegian.
- Your journaling will go on for maximum 1 month, or until you have finished the game or you don’t want to play anymore.
- No more than 2 weeks after you have finished journaling, you will be invited to a follow-up conversation about your gameplay experience.
Interested in participating?
About the study:
What is the aim of the research project?
We want to understand how players experience different kinds of uncomfortable, provocative, and controversial themes when they play video games. The project focuses on subjective player experiences and how such themes are understood in the context of gameplay, and is not concerned with whether there is too much violence in games, or whether players become violent by playing games. The project will help us better understand video games as a medium and provide a new perspective on uncomfortable and controversial game content.
What happens to the collected information?
Personal information will be treated confidentially. Participants will be anonymized. Name and contact information will only be used by the project researchers to get in contact with the participants for verifying transcriptions and quotations.
Only your initials will be filled into the online journals. The follow-up conversation will be audio recorded. The conversation will be carried out at the home of one of the participants or at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, or on Skype. The conversation will last no more than 60 minutes.
All recordings will be erased after the study is carried out. The participant will have the opportunity to read the transcript of the interview and correct errors or misunderstandings. Participation is voluntary and the participant may withdraw at any point during data collection.
The results from the study will be published in academic publications and at academic conferences, and may be referred to in the media. Quotes from the interviews may be presented in academic publications, and in such cases participant names will be anonymized and the participant will be informed about the occurrence.
Who is responsible for the study?
Responsible for the study is Kristine Jørgensen, leader for the research project Games and Transgressive Aesthetics and associate professor in media studies at University of Bergen. For more information about the project, see the project website http://gta.w.uib.no or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/transgressivegames. For other questions about the project, please contact Kristine Jørgensen on +47 55 58 41 13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your contact person during the study is research assistant Malgorzata Anna Pacholczyk. She can be reached on +47 913 96 264 or email@example.com.
The study is financed by the Research Council of Norway (NFR). The study is registered with the Data Protection Official for Research, Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD), with the purpose of securing that regulations for research ethics are being followed.