Theme 5: Games that Change Behavior

An important effect-both for good and ill- of gameplay is that it can affect- even alter-the way we think and behave. While gaming can enhance our ability to focus and think strategically, or to engage in activities we may not otherwise engage in (e.g. musical practice, fitness), it also has the potential to elicit addictive behaviours. Here we aim to better understand, Can game experience change people’s behaviour (for better or worse?)

Projects include:

  • Developing an understanding the psychophysiology/neurobiology of gaming: How do different characteristics of game playing impact our psychophysiological system?
  • Health and lifestyle related gaming: How can we use games to alter people’s health-related behaviours, for therapeutic purposes, or for preventative training?
    Rewards, reinforcement and motivation: How does reinforcement influence addiction?

Publications & Presentations

NameTitleThemeMediumInstitution
Whitson, Jennifer R. "Foucault's Fitbit: Governance and Gamification." In S. Walz and S. Deterding (Eds.), The Gameful World. Boston MA: MIT Press. p. 339-358, 2015.Games that Change Behaviour; Interactions and Gameplay MechanicsBook ChapterUWaterloo
Zaczynski, M., A. Whitehead“Establishing Design Guidelines in Interactive Exercise Gaming: Preliminary Data from Two Posing Studies”, Proceedings of ACM CHI 2014 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, April 2014, Toronto, CanadaGames that Change BehaviourConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Zhao Zhao, S. Ali Etemad, and Ali Arya “Gamification of Exercise and Fitness using Wearable Activity Trackers” ISCSS 2015, International Symposium on Computer Science in Sport (ISCSS 2015), Loughborough, UK, September 09-11, 2015.Games that Change BehaviourConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Aardse, Kent. “The Other Side of the Valley; Or, Between Freud and Videogames.” Journal of Games Criticism 1.1. Fall, 2013. Games that Change BehaviourConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Nacke, L. E., Bateman, C., & Mandryk, R. L. BrainHex: A Neurobiological Gamer Typology Survey. Entertainment Computing, 5(1), 55–62. doi:10.1016/j.entcom.2013.06.002 3. (2014). Games that Change BehaviourJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
MacLaren, V., Fugelsang, J., Harrigan, K., & Dixon, M. Effects of impulsivity, reinforcement sensitivity, and cognitive style on pathological gambling symptoms among frequent slot machine players. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(3), 390-394. 2012.Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Dixon, M. , J. Templeton, K. Collins, L. Wojtowicz, K. Harrigan, J. Fugelsang & V. Siu. Exploring attention in the “reel” world: Visual and auditory influences on near-misses in multi-line slot machine play. J. Fawcett, E. F. Risko, & A. Kingstone (Eds.), The Handbook of Attention (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA)2015Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Harrigan, K., Brown, D., & MacLaren, V. Gamble while you gamble: Electronic games in Ontario Charitable Gaming Centres. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 2015.Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
MacLaren, V., Harrigan, K., & Dixon, M. Gambling motives and symptoms of problem gambling in frequent slots players. Journal of Gambling Issues, 27, 1-13. 2012Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Harrigan, K., MacLaren, V., Brown, D., Dixon, M., & Livingstone, C. Games of chance or masters of illusion: Multiline slots design may promote cognitive distortions. International Gambling Studies, 14(2), 301-317. 2014Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Harrigan, K. A., & Dixon, M. Government sanctioned ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ slot machines: How having multiple versions of the same slot machine game may impact problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(1), 159-174. 2010Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Woolley, R., Livingstone, C., Harrigan, K., & Rintoul, A. House edge: Price changes and the cost of EGM gambling. International Gambling Studies, 13(3), 388-402. 2013Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Nacke, L. Losing it: Why bad players keep trying with good games (Feb 18, 2014) by Matt Thrower. PC Gamer. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/02/19/losing-it-why-bad-players-keep-trying-with-good-games/Games that Change BehaviourArticleUWaterloo
Harrigan, K. A., Dixon, M. J. & Brown, D. Modern multi-line slot machine games: The effect of lines wagered on winners, losers, bonuses, and losses disguised as wins. Journal of Gambling Studies. 2014Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Nacke, L. Ontario Researcher Explains Why First-Person Shooting Games are Super Addictive (University Herald, Nov 30, 2013). http://www.universityherald.com/articles/5907/20131130/ontario-first-person-shooters-games-addictive-fps-video-game-maze-war.htmGames that Change BehaviourArticleUWaterloo
Costa, J. P., Robb, J., & Nacke, L. E. Physiological acrophobia evaluation through in vivo exposure in a VR CAVE. In Proceedings of IEEE GEM 2014. Toronto, ON, Canada: IEEE. 2014. Games that Change BehaviourConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Nacke, L. Playing the game: Why gamification has become serious business (Enterprise Magazine, May, 2013),http://www.wendyglauser.com/2013/playing-the-game-why-gamification-has-become-serious-business/Games that Change BehaviourArticleUWaterloo
Harrigan, K. Poker machine harm reduction ($1 bet and Other Measures) Bill 2012. Published in Australian Committee Hansard, 22 February 2013, p. 4. 2013. Presented to the Australian federal Joint Committee on Gambling Reform. Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GamePresentationMultiple Institutions
MacLaren, V. V., Best, L. A., Dixon, M. J., & Harrigan, K. A. Problem gambling and the Five Factor Model in university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 335-338. 2011Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Collins, Karen., H. Tessler, K. A. Harrigan, M. J. Dixon and J. Fugelsang. Sound in Electronic Gambling Machines: A Review of the Literature and its Relevance to Game Sound. Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments. (ed. Mark Grimshaw), London: IGI Global, 1–21. 2011Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Dixon, M., K. A. Harrigan, D. Santesso, C. Graydon, J. A. Fugelsang and K. Collins. The impact of sound in modern multiline video slot machine play. Journal of Gambling Studies. DOI 10.1007/s10899-013-9391-8. 2013Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Harrigan, Kevin, M. Dixon, V. MacLaren, K. Collins and J. Fugelsang. The maximum rewards at the lowest price: Reinforcement rates and payback percentages in multiline slot machines. Journal of Gambling Issues 26, 11-29. 2011Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Harrigan, K. A., Dixon, M., MacLaren, V., Collins, K., & Fugelsang, J. The maximum rewards at the minimum price: Reinforcement rates and payback percentages in multi-line slot machines. Journal of Gambling Issues, 26, 11-29. 2011Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
MacLaren, V. V., Fugelsang, J., Harrigan, K. A., & Dixon, M. J. The personality of pathological gamblers: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1057-1067. 2011Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Dixon, M., K. Collins, K. Harrigan, C. Graydon and J. Fugelsang. Using sound to unmask losses disguised as wins in multiline slot machines. Journal of Gambling Studies. October 2013. DOI 10.1007/s10899-013-9411-8.Games that Change Behaviour and Multimodality in the GameJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Nacke, L. Why first-person violent video games are so addictive: Psychologists reveal shoot-em-ups make us feel like we’re ‘playing God’ (Daily Mail UK, Nov 28, 2013) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2515101/Why-person-violent-video-games-addictive-Psychologists-reveal-shoot-em-ups-make-feel-like-playing-God.html?ITO=1490Games that Change BehaviourArticleUWaterloo
Nacke, L. Why Gamers Can’t Stop Playing First-Person Shooters (NOVEMBER 25, 2013) BY MARIA KONNIKOVA, The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/why-gamers-cant-stop-playing-first-person-shootersGames that Change BehaviourArticleUWaterloo