Pippin Barr
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand

Values in Play: How Computer Games Wink, Whisper, Shout and Shape our Gameplay Values
Computer games are likely the most influential form of software today. Of particular interest of late have been the ways games embody values in play. Little research exists examining how computer games might be promoting and facilitating particular values. The user-interface is implicated because it serves both to represent the values of gameplay, and to mediate players’ expressions of value. This research examines the implicit and explicit ways in which computer game interfaces promote and mediate value expression by players. The resulting descriptive model will help understanding of interface-related issues from academic, game design, and cultural criticism perspectives.


Jody Clarke
Harvard University
Massachusetts, USA

Making Learning Meaningful: Using Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) in Middle School Science
Research on gender and gaming has grown over the past decade. However, few studies have illustrated how we can build on this research to design and study immersive simulation environments similar to games and developed to help students learn national standards content. Using design-based research, my colleagues and I are studying a multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) to help students learn science inquiry skills and content. My research focuses on generalizable implications for middle school science teaching of how students learn using this MUVE. In addition to affective and learning outcomes, my study presents implications for future research around meeting various student learning preferences in areas such as collaboration and guidance/scaffolding.


Rebecca Hains
Temple University
Pennsylvania, USA

Negotiating girl power: Girlhood on screen and in everyday life
Depictions of strong, feminine girl heroes have become common in children’s media, from television to video games. In response to concerns about adolescent girls’ developmental crises, on-screen “girl power” icons can offer pre-teens positive role models. This dissertation explores how girls use depictions of girlhood to construct their own identities. It is the product a year of fieldwork with over forty diverse pre-teen informants, interviewed at after care programs, their public library, their schools, and at home. Supplementary interviews with parents, teachers, and caretakers provide context useful in understanding what it means to grow up female in U.S. society today.

 


Elisabet Nilsson
Malmö University
Sweden

Games and Learning: experimenting with mobile games in Swedish schools – bringing girls into a new field of gaming
‘Games and Learning: experimenting with mobile games in Swedish schools – bringing girls into a new field of gaming’ deals with mobile game technology and learning with a strong emphasis in how girls perceive, use and are influenced by this game technology. During the spring, 2006 a mobile game developed by Education Arcade, Teacher Education Program at MIT will be modified, implemented and tested in a school class in Malmö, Sweden. The study is exploring how mobile games can support engaging and motivating learning experiences outside the classroom. Results from the study are planned to be published in the autumn, 2006.


Coe Leta Stafford
University of California, Berkeley
California, USA

Designer Multi-player Technologies to Promote Group Learning, Social Interaction and Engagement in Informal Settings
In this design research study, four theory-informed variations of a multiplayer inquiry game were tested to explore how design features affect group activity. Measures of group activity include learning processes (e.g. explanatory and reasoning talk), social interaction (e.g. shared ownership and being cool talk such as swearing or name-calling), and engagement (e.g. affective talk and task completion). Data was gathered from 120 child-only groups, aged eight to fourteen, in an informal setting where participation was voluntary. Results show significant differences in how groups interact according to different features of the design. Practical and theoretical implications for designers of multi-player technologies are discussed.


Evan Straub
The Ohio State University
Ohio, USA

Adults Coping with Technology: Individual Differences and Emotion
As technology becomes more pervasive in everyday, adults are forced to cope with technology more frequently. Beyond anecdotal perceptions that technology is frustrating and aggravating in the media, little is currently known about the emotional reactions that arise from technology interactions, why they occur, and the individual differences that might influence emotional reactions to technology. Through a series of three studies, this proposal seeks to explore the influence of individual differences (age, gender, attitude toward technology, coping styles, trust, goal orientation) and appraisals on emotion, persistence with technology, and satisfaction with technology.

 

Hanna Wirman
University of Lapland
Finland

MomGamers and Snake-playing teenagers - feminine player in the culture of digital gaming
My work will lay in between Women's Studies and Media Studies, but as it will consist of several articles, also HCI perspective can be taken into account. The research questions are: How and what kind of player identities are constructed in the culture of digital gaming? According to the constructed identities, are there different player groups among feminine players? What kind of playing strategies are characteristic to feminine players? and What are the kinds of interaction models feminine players prefer? I have started doing my thesis as a visiting researcher at the IT University of Copenhagen in the beginning of this year.