Hobbs, Renee; Vacker, Barry; Saari, Timo (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Video games are often thought of as a type of social media, yet social media are not often thought of as a type of video game. Due to the fact that both are media that arguably play a large role in identity formation and perception of reality, this paper argues that social media should be looked at as providing a type of video game experience. While the study is not limited in its scope to teens, they play an important role. This paper explores identity as being social and interactive and also affected by media. The relationship between representation and reality is also explored and applied to the current celebrity culture. Social media and video games are explored through their similarities, including their goals of becoming a hero/celebrity, exemplified in social media through users acting like their own paparazzi. A systematic analysis is conducted to compare research regarding identity and reality in social media and video games since 2005. While similar themes emerged, the way that these themes are studied within video games and social media differ. These gaps in research lead me to four new research area suggestions for social media: mirrors, stereotypes, immersion and definitions. Through these new research areas, I propose five possible future studies.
    • Motivation to Mine: An Analysis of the Motivation for Extended Video Game Play among Preadolescents in a Physical Learning Environment

      Cai, Deborah A.; Lombard, Matthew; Schifter, Catherine; Shaw, Adrienne, 1983-; Bowman, Nicholas David (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      The relationship between video games and learning is a topic of interest for academic fields. But how can a voluntary activity, like playing video games, motivate students to be academically productive? This dissertation used the popular video game, Minecraft, to measure the intrinsic motivation of 7th and 8th grade students in mathematics class, using a Self-Determination Theory (SDT) framework. The results demonstrated that intrinsic motivation remained at high levels, as long as students are competent in game controls and were relatively free to do what they wanted within the general guidelines in the video game environment. Second, the role of social presence contributed to immersion in the video game environment and played a role in the continued motivation to play. Third, although there was no impact on rote measures of learning, such as memorizing vocabulary definitions, the Minecraft video game environment affected students’ ability to problem solve, as was evidenced by pre- and post-tests of rote and conceptual learning.

      Fernback, Jan, 1964-; Postigo, Hector; Morris, Nancy, 1953-; O'Donnell, Casey, 1979- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      This dissertation explores how discourses surrounding race and economics inform the way in which videogame creators understand their world and use that understanding to create content. Employing a Foucauldian discourse analysis, the content of two videogames, Skyrim and Max Payne 3, were analyzed. The analysis of Skyrim revealed that race is constructed as an inherently biological phenomenon. Moreover, culture is constructed as emerging from biology. The analysis of Max Payne 3 revealed that capitalism grounds the construction of race so that biology and culture serves to justify the economic position of light-skinned and dark-skinned Brazilians. These constructions come from various sources such as the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and film noir. The dissertation also interviews videogame developers using semi-structured interviews to examine the extent to which content creators are aware of these discourses and how industry norms and economics affect those discourses. Videogame developers revealed that these discourses stem from a market pressure to make videogame narratives understandable and sellable.
    • The Effects of Action Video Game Training on Visual Short-term Memory

      Chein, Jason M.; Curby, Kim; Olson, Ingrid R.; Newcombe, Nora; Weisberg, Robert W.; Shipley, Thomas F.; Marshall, Peter J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2013)
      The ability to hold visual information in mind over a brief delay is critical for acquiring information and navigating a complex visual world. Despite the ubiquitous nature of visual short-term memory (VSTM) in our everyday lives, this system is fundamentally limited in capacity. Therefore, the potential to improve VSTM through training is a growing area of research. An emerging body of literature suggests that extensive experience playing action video games yields a myriad of perceptual and attentional benefits. Several lines of converging work provide evidence that action video game play influences VSTM as well. The current study utilized a training paradigm to examine whether action video games cause improvements to the quantity and/or the quality of information stored in VSTM and whether these VSTM advantages extend visual working memory (VWM). The results suggest that VSTM capacity is increased after action video game training, as compared to training on a control game, and that some limited improvement to VSTM precision occurs with action game training as well. The VSTM improvements seen in individuals trained on an action video game are not better accounted for by differences in motivation or engagement, differential expectations, or baseline differences in demographics as compared to the control group used. However, these findings do not appear to extend to measures of VWM, nor to verbal working memory. In sum, action video game training represents a potentially unique and engaging platform by which this severely capacity-limited VSTM system might be enhanced.
    • The Impact of Virtual Geographies: Video Gaming and Wayfinding

      Sanders, Rickie; Kohl, Benjamin H.; Newcombe, Nora (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      Success in spatial skills can be an indicator of success in mathematics and sciences. Wayfinding, the ability to purposefully navigate, is one such important spatial skill. Spatial skills can be developed in a number of ways, one of which may include playing video games. Research gathered from a survey and mapping exercise, indicates that though video games may not have a statistically significant impact on wayfinding, experience does. When properly utilized, video games could become part of that important spatial skill training experience.