Faculty Sponsor, if applicable
Despite the growth of gaming as a hobby and industry, it is a fairly controversial pastime. Those who identify as gamers have a more positive opinion of gaming that those who do not play video games or do not call themselves gamers (Duggan, 2015). In fact, many gamers feel video games help them connect with friends and spend time with family (Entertainment Software Association, 2016). Nonetheless, community psychologists have largely ignored gaming communities. When they have studied them, they have focused on topics like violence (Jason, Danielewicz, & Mesina, 2005) or video game addiction (King & Delfabbro, 2009), rather than positive features (O’Connor, Longman, White, & Obst, 2015).
Gaming communities are rich and complex, with their own language, values, and norms. One such community, the fighting game community (FGC), has a complicated image, complete with a rich history and culture, diverse demographic characteristics, and controversies and contradictions. This project uses data from two studies—a mixed-methods online survey and interviews with attendees at a fighting game tournament—to examine what characteristics community members use to describe the FGC, including perceived benefits and drawbacks of membership. These assessments use members’ own words, rather than society’s preconceived notions of gaming communities.
Type of Research
Doctoral-Undergraduate Opportunity for Scholarship (DUOS), Undergraduate Student - Independent Study