Virtual Realities

Video games across the generations

The theme: We have been playing video games since computers were created. The first video games were programmed on mainframe computers by scientists and engineers in the 1950’s (Ebbers, Mike; O’Brien, W.; Ogden, B. (July 2006)). Video game arcades started in the mid-70’s. Children and adults alike threw quarters into a wide range of video game genres. Individual games could be found everywhere in public places such as convenience stores, bars, restaurants – pretty much anywhere people gathered. Then came console games in the late 70’s with the start of Pong, Atari and more. At the end of the 2000’s, video games included different modalities such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). We now have at least four generations of gamers with their own relationships with video games. These are the stories I would like to tell.

Areas of interest: How video games affect 1) how people interact with each other, 2) their relationships with the games as well as 3) their immersion in the game and the gaming worlds they inhabit and 4) their relationships to those places. In these areas, the discussion will focus on the relationship players had with video games across each generation, from baby boomers to How video games affect how people interact with each other, their relationships in the game, immersion in the game and the gaming worlds they inhabit and their relationships to those places. In these areas, the discussion will often focus on the relationship players had with video games across each generation, from baby boomers to millennials.  

The video game research I have engaged in includes:

  • Game Transfer Phenomena in location-based games
  • Place attachment through playing location-based games such as Ingress and Pokemon Go
  • Player preference and their relationship with place attachment and social capital in location-based games

Video Game Talks

Because of my love of video games, I like to share my knowledge of video games our interactions with them.

Video game talk topics

Video Games: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Examining the positive effects of playing video games, the negative effects of playing video games and the subset of players that engage in bad behavior. The talk explains the types of games that facilitate positive game play, the factors underlying problematic gaming and strategies to reduce the behaviors contributing to toxic gameplay communities

Pokemon Go, Wizarding World and Ingress: The world is your playground

Examining location-based mobile games such as Pokemon Go has become one of the more popular types of mobile video games. Learn how these augmented reality games increase players knowledge of their surroundings (often discovering local gems hidden in plain sight), develop friendships and improve their health.

Immersion and Identity in Virtual Worlds

Discussing immersion in games and how we inhabit that world and how our avatar might affect our perception of ourself.

Finding Love and Friendship in Video Games

Most of the discussion about video games focuses on the negative outcomes of video game play. However, people around the world have found love and friendship while playing video games. Learn the stories of these people and how being part of a video game community improves relationships inside and outside of the game.

Getting Lost in the Game and Loving It.

Exploring the relationship between players and the video game worlds they are inhabiting. When deeply immersed in a game world, the game world becomes a real world for the player. Players aren’t just playing a game, they are “IN” the game. Consequently, players immersed in virtual worlds interact with the world as if they were real worlds. As a result, players can become attached to virtual locations to the same extent that they become attached to real locations. This includes player’s favorite virtual place becoming a “third space” for socialization. It can also include grieving when a favorite virtual place or MMO changes or disappears from the game.

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