Research Project Sandbox

Synthesis: When it comes to the topic of morality in video games, most readily agree that gaming is shaping players’ ethics and moral codes. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of the degree to which gaming is affecting people’s morality and whether or not the effects are positive or negative. While some are convinced that gaming is currently negatively shaping people’s perception of justice or simply not having any genuine impact at all, others believe that gaming has increased moral sensitivity and is pushing society to be more cooperate and creative as a result.

Topic to Significance: I am trying to better understand in what ways gaming affects our own set of morals because I want to find out how gaming is shaping this upcoming generation of people. In doing so, I hope to stir up more conversations about the psychological impacts of gaming and to bring about awareness to both casual and avid gamers to be mindful about what they are intaking through the ethics set forth in virtual worlds.
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Posted in Fall 2017, Fall 2017 Student Research | 5 Comments

Amelia’s Research Project Sandbox

Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives

When it comes to the topic of games criticism through video essays on YouTube, what is most interesting about it is that it is distinct both from other gaming communities on YouTube and from academic games criticism. Points that might complicate this relationship beyond just “distinct”, however, are on the question of where the differences and similarities lie (particularly between games criticism video essays and games criticism in books and articles) and how these two formats relate to one another. While some games critics such as Colin Cremin encourage the use of diverse sources from other areas of theory, others believe that games criticism needs to separate itself more from other areas of criticism to be effective (Ian Bogost probably, could also use Jon Blow, though he’s a developer and not a critic).


From Topic to Significance

I am trying to learn about the games criticism community on YouTube because I want to find out how it relates to other game-related areas of YouTube as well as to academic games criticism in order to help my reader understand how the scholarship surrounding games is developing through both formal and informal channels



Research question: How do video essays relate to 1) other YouTube gaming communities (let’s plays, reviews, walkthroughs, etc.), 2) other YouTube video essay/informative communities, and 3) traditional academic games criticism?

On the activities in class: From Topic to Significance was helpful in getting me to start considering my audience and the thing I want them to take away/claim I want to make. I had trouble with the template (my topic didn’t fit the format very well), but once I made modifications it was a good way to nail down the relationship of my points/sources to one another. The activity where we passed around the large piece of paper was not very helpful, mostly because I think I didn’t define my topic clearly enough for others to provide feedback. The comments I got seemed to move in a direction very different from my actual topic, so I probably needed to elaborate on what I meant to pursue.


Louis Stenmark’s Research Project Sandbox

In discussions of the potential for people to learn useful real world skills from video games, one point of discussion has been how transferable these skills can be and what type of games foster these skills. On the one hand, Jane McGonigal argues that almost any type of game as long as it is educational can help a gamer develop skills.On the other hand, A Framework for Scientific Discovery through Video Games discusses how a game like Foldit can use skills that players already have to help make a direct impact to scientific discovery. The authors of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) and the 21st century skills, provides even a third perspective as it is a review determining the quality of research regarding the different skills and how frequently they have been studied. It argues that there are skills that are believed to be transferred from games that are actually understudied in regards to MMORPGs.
I am trying to learn about how video games and the skills fostered and developed within can be used to make a positive difference in the real world. Because I want to find out how games can be used to engage people from all over the world to work together and make a difference without even knowing it. In order to help my reader understand that there is more to video games than just relieving boredom or wasting time. Also how people have developed skills without even knowing.
What game genres in particular foster the most applicable skills and how do these transfer over to the real world? In what ways can this be measured?
I found all of these activities extremely beneficial in preparation for my RBA. The first activity was useful as it made me think about the broad argument that each source was providing and how together they form a conversation, either agreeing or conflicting. This highlighted to me that I needed to make sure each comment in my TiC allowed the reader to understand that point of view.
The second activity really helped me form a broad focus on my RBA and this coupled with the activities that followed allowed me to start thinking more specifically about what exactly I wanted to research and what direction/path I wanted to take as the possibilities are endless. Moving forward I will use the advice and suggestions that I received and keep brainstorming to narrow down the best topic for me to make the most engaging and effect argument.

Jack’s Research Topic Sandbox

Synthesizing Diverse Perspectives

When it comes to the topic of grit, most readily agree that grit is the key predictor of successful people. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of the best way to teach and learn the skill of grit. While some are convinced that learning grit through gaming is the best strategy, others believe that a good strategy has yet to be developed.

From Topic to Significance

  1. I am trying to learn about different games abilities to teach grit
  2. because I want to find out what parts of a game allow for the development of grit and how those ideas can be applied to reality
  3. in order to help my reader understand why gaming is so important to modern day education.


I think that my topic has developed a lot during this class period. I think that the most productive activity was the Research Topic: Invention through Collaboration. I got a lot of feedback on different questions I could consider and it sparked my interest in certain subjects. The research question I had by the end of class which I am still planning on slimming down is “what is the importance of failure in the development of a grittier mind and how games like Dark Souls III offer the ideal platform for productive failure.” Once I get a little further into my topic, I hope that my research question will become a little more specific to one target area, but for now I want to look into what is going to give me the best results.


Working with my RBA Argument

“Are the current VR applications in today’s therapeutic medicine an effective treatment method for all people or only certain individuals?”

On the subject of the applications of virtual reality in medicine, one area of discussion has been the effectiveness of virtual reality in the process of rehabilitation for mental and physical issues. On one hand, research scientists from the US National Library of Medicine argue that the application of VR is an objectifiable proven technique through cited evidence. On the other hand, Rachel Proffitt argues that VR doesn’t work for everyone and relies on a strong doctor to patient relationship for effective results. Sarah Dawood brings up a third perspective, stating that VR can benefit a wide variety of people because of the software’s ability to be flexible and adapt to the patient’s situation and allow them control their own scenarios.


I am trying to learn about different perspectives about VR’s application in therapeutic and rehabilitative medicine

because I want to find out if VR is a resource that can be applied to all individuals or if it is a subjective recovery method that only helps a select number of people

In order to make my reader understand how the field of medicine evolves overtime with technology and the important points of discussion that it struggles with.

I found today’s activity very helpful in identifying my argument amidst a large variety of different broad and narrow topics. The template and Topic to Significance activities were particularly helpful in arriving at this point. I think that I need to polish this argument and make sure that I am extremely clear about what I am writing about and. Each perspective that I plan to implement will be clearly evaluated. 


Fun Intellectual Day with My RBA

To what extent do simulation/RPG games benefit elementary education, and should it/ how should it be implemented?

When it comes to the topic of Game-Based Learning (GBL), most readily agree that video games are more effective at engaging students and applying the knowledge being bestowed. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of its overall effectiveness compared to a traditional classroom teacher based learning style. While some are convinced that GBL successfully engages all students far beyond that of any traditional classroom setting, and should revolutionize the outdated education system, others believe that only certain subjects and demographics benefit from GBL.

I am trying to learn about the future of Game-Based Learning because I want to find out how video games can benefit the player in an educational setting, as well as whether the GBL setting is more effective within the classroom as opposed to the traditional classroom/lecture based educational setting in order to illustrate the potential beneficial influences and impacts the video games that have overrun the younger generations entertainment.

GBL is a very broad topic that spans many different areas of education, from elementary, to medical training, to just an overall field training for different occupations. Education is not a “one size fits all” topic, and because of that, when it comes to the topic of whether something of the education system should be changed, there is always gray area. People benefit from different styles of learning so how can GBL be utilized most effectively to benefit the largest amount of students.

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Research Project Sandbox

When it comes to the topic of gaming popularity, most readily agree that gaming as a whole is expanding to new audiences. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of which platform is contributing the most to this growth. While some are convinced that the console gaming market is the most influential platform in this growth in popularity, others believe that the PC platform’s ubiquity or the ease-of-access to the mobile platform are the main causes of expansion in this market.


I am trying to learn about gaming platform preferences from the perspectives of gamers and game developers

because I want to find out which platform is the most popular to not only develop for but also to play on

in order to inform my reader of which platform they should target when they create games (save time) or which gaming platform to purchase (save money). Market analysis?


“Which gaming platform is most popular to develop for? To what extent is this platform decision influenced by current platform sales, genre, coding platform, etc.”


Next steps are to enumerate game-developer-specific needs or wants in a platform and other factors that may cause a game developer to work a specific platform over another platform, and then find research or surveys in which game developers answer questions like these.


Creating a sliding scale of game topics from most broad to extremely specific helps me find a question that is not too broad, so much so that researching it would take well over 20 pages, and a topic that is not so specific that it could be answered in a paragraph or two. It also helps put your topic into perspective, as my first idea ended up being the most general question on my sliding scale, indicating that it may be too unspecific for actual meaningful and concise research.