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Oct 04, 2007



The quote by Kowalski is so true for online games where 12 year olds can lead a party of college students and people of all ages and demographics without anyone having second guesses as long as they do the job right.

But is the same true for future cross-platform games i.e. a PC, mobile & physical devices attached into a game storyline where you will come face to face with the person behind the avatar?


I had an MSc student 3 or 4 years ago whose project was a "choose your own adventure" game, the end result of which was to guess at your Myers-Briggs type. It was very good on 2 of the categories, good on another, but no better than random on the last. Given that this wasn't actually a very well-written project yet it still managed to do this, I'm sure that using games for psychology experiments has a future.

Ironically, it was originally supposed to be about market research, but the student wasn't up to programming that...



Dan's "Hakkar's Blood" post was about similar issues, I think, but I think the conclusions of the Slangen de Kort paper offer some good reasons to give VE experiments more credit. As I read it, they're concluding that VE experiments offer a significant improvement over other spatial substitute experimental models (charts, pictures) but that the experience of VE space is in some significant ways different from the experience of real space.

I hadn't thought previously about virtual environments in this way -- i.e. as *better* spatial substitutes for activities (psych experiments) already conducted by means of spatial substitutes. That's interesting. Thanks.

p.s. Unfortunately, the Nilsen paper link seems to be down -- I guess that's why you pointed to your blog which has the abstract.


I fixed the url for the Nilsen paper, they changed it.


Thanks! -- looks like a very interesting paper.


Yeah, see the post I just put up in the PoHB thread.


Hi. I am a total noob in terms of my interest in this topic, so forgive my naivete in asking this question.

I understand that video games can be deeply engaging and users are highly motivated to work through complex problems because they enjoy the process and rewards... but wouldn't a game have to be very sophisticated to engage technically-savvy people used to high-end game experiences? And if so, how would any research or educational institution have the funding necessary to develop a video game that could get users into the state of flow necessary for true learning or complex problem solving? Again, sorry if this question has been answered many times over or I am missing a point. I just started playing Halo3 and am thinking about how much money went into the development of the game. It seems to me that the cost of producing good video games makes the application in an eductional or research environment financially prohibitive. I wish it were not the case... please tell me I am wrong.


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