Event Title

Sex-Based Differences in Physiological Reactions to Playing MMORPGs

Start Date

10-2-2012 12:00 AM

Description

The use and popularity of video games, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), has increased exponentially in the past two decades (Entertainment Software Association; ESA, 2010). Research has been conducted on psychophysiological responsiveness to various video games, such as respiration, heart rate, muscle tension, peripheral temperature, and electrodermal activity. However, there has been a lack of research on psychophysiological responsiveness to MMORPGs. Mandryk, Inkpen, and Calvert (2006) suggest participants exhibited greater psychophysiological reactivity when playing against another human compared to a computer, which indicates that the social aspects of game play can further immersion in the game. In MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, which are built upon social interactions, this finding may act as a reason for why this genre of games are more popular, players have increased engagement, and there are higher levels of addiction. Gender differences are also a significant variable to consider in terms of emotionality and physiological responsiveness to MMORPGs. Given these points, this study is designed to examine how participants respond physiologically to various conditions (such as questing, fishing, dueling, or character creation) while playing the MMORPG World of Warcraft. The mitigating effects of gender on their physiological reactivity to these conditions will also be evaluated. Participants for this study are ~60 individuals aged 18-35 who have played video games within the past 12 months. The primary data analysis will be done using an individual growth curve model including gender and game play condition as predictor variables for each physiological modality. Through increased understanding of how males and females differ physiologically in their reaction to different game play segments within MMORPGs, this could help increase the capacity of games to be stimulating and engaging or assist in developing a biofeedback-assisted intervention for video game addiction.

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Feb 10th, 12:00 AM

Sex-Based Differences in Physiological Reactions to Playing MMORPGs

The use and popularity of video games, particularly massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), has increased exponentially in the past two decades (Entertainment Software Association; ESA, 2010). Research has been conducted on psychophysiological responsiveness to various video games, such as respiration, heart rate, muscle tension, peripheral temperature, and electrodermal activity. However, there has been a lack of research on psychophysiological responsiveness to MMORPGs. Mandryk, Inkpen, and Calvert (2006) suggest participants exhibited greater psychophysiological reactivity when playing against another human compared to a computer, which indicates that the social aspects of game play can further immersion in the game. In MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, which are built upon social interactions, this finding may act as a reason for why this genre of games are more popular, players have increased engagement, and there are higher levels of addiction. Gender differences are also a significant variable to consider in terms of emotionality and physiological responsiveness to MMORPGs. Given these points, this study is designed to examine how participants respond physiologically to various conditions (such as questing, fishing, dueling, or character creation) while playing the MMORPG World of Warcraft. The mitigating effects of gender on their physiological reactivity to these conditions will also be evaluated. Participants for this study are ~60 individuals aged 18-35 who have played video games within the past 12 months. The primary data analysis will be done using an individual growth curve model including gender and game play condition as predictor variables for each physiological modality. Through increased understanding of how males and females differ physiologically in their reaction to different game play segments within MMORPGs, this could help increase the capacity of games to be stimulating and engaging or assist in developing a biofeedback-assisted intervention for video game addiction.