1. Avery, A. (2005). Beyond P-1: Who plays online?. Digital Games Research Association 2005 Conference: Changing views- worlds in play, Vancouver, 16 - 20 June 2005, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Digital Games Research Association.
2. Paras, B., & Bizzocchi, J. (2005). Game, motivation, and effective learning: An integrated model for educational game design. Digital Games Research Association 2005 Conference: Changing views- worlds in play, Vancouver, 16 - 20 June 2005, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Digital Games Research Association.
3. Yee, N. (2007). Motivations of play in online games. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 9, 772-775.
Avery, A. (2005). There is a wide range of phenomena that need to be discovered for the impacts and roles of virtual games in people's life, behavior, and social construct, both offline and online. Alix focused on serious gamers of online games. He wanted to understand what actual elements of video games that people like (I think this is more useful for game developers/designers than educational researchers) and what kind of games people play most. Then people could know what kind of preference gamers hold when they play games and help to predict the games they like or dislike. Because of the way they collected data, the study only reflected people who play games regularly (from two hours per week to 25 hours per week). the findings could also be used to predict the characteristics and preference for players who do not regularly play games. As summarized by Alix, there first four popular archetypes of gamers were Warriors (like to fight in combat and other military themes), Narrators (like to imagine and think), Strategists (like to play with complex strategies and master over game and other players), and Interactors (like to compete and cooperate with other players).
However, as Mike mentioned in the forum, even one possesses many characteristics of a gamer, he or she could still not be a gamer because of many other reasons, such as motivation, attitude toward games, and personal experiences, etc. This fact reflects the limitation of this study. The reasons of the limitation could be the population the research tried to study. Or the limited research method which only depends on self-reflection of individuals.
Paras, B., & Bizzocchi, J. (2005).
Paras and Bizzocchi, on the other hand, took the path of the motivations of gamers and tried to integrate their findings with a model of educational game design. They focused on the flow theory and reflection on learning process. They proposed a sequence to discuss how learning happens via gaming: games, play, flow, motivation, and learning. In this sequence, motivation is the joint of gaming and potential learning. On the other hand, the authors talked about active learning phenomena that could link gaming with learning. Reflection based on active learning is not new and has been well discussed and learned by researchers. However, the essay is soft in discussing the possible explanation of how games could be designed to meet educational purpose. It is good to link flow, motivation, and reflection with gaming experiences. But without solid research on the topic and the model, valuable and valid issue of this model will be remained questionable.
Yee, N. (2007).
Yee's essay also talked about motivation issue in gaming. The essay started from the fact that millions of players are active in MMORPGs daily. Obviously, this is a phenomenon deserving more understanding and modeling. Yee applied factor analysis method developing a motivation model for gamers. A sample of 3000 MMORPGs' players were selected for this study and a forty questions survey was conducted for data collection. Yee classified the motivations into ten subcomponents (Advancement, Mechanics, Competition; Socializing, Relationship, Teamwork; Discovery, Role-playing, Customization, Escapism.) under three main theme: Achievement, Social, and Immersion. Besides, Yee also discovered the demographic variables (age, gender, and usage patterns) and their relationship with motivation. Male players scored significantly higher on Achievement while female scored significantly higher on Relationship. The pattern study also confirmed that the pre-existing depression or mood disorder are common among users who develop problematic usage with online games.
How does your gaming demographic and your reasons for playing fit in with the research?
I think my current experience only deals with participating virtual community, such as forum, but gaming and it does not have any educational purpose embedded. To answer this question, I can only reflect from my former experience with video games. The games I played were offline ones. So there is definitely no "social" motivations related. I see my case could fit in either stereotypes of "warrior" or "strategist" depends on the games I played. Or, if applied the model of Yee, I may fit more in Achievement. For the gaming demographic, my case support Yee's finding that Male players scored significantly higher on Achievement.
My questions from the readings and questions for Discussion in class:
1. In Paras and Bizzocchi's article, they mentioned "Looking at the 'effort' expelled during the learning process will help determine whether learners are motivated." By using "effort", did the authors mean the energy and time the players put into gaming? or something else?
2. Still in the same article, the authors mentioned "While in flow state, the learner is completely motivated to push their skills to the limit." I just wonder is this push-to-limit always happen when individuals experience flow? Is this push-to-limit phenomenon necessary in flow experience?