Seven Interdisciplinary Papers on Technology & Change
1) Claudio Feijoo et al, “Mobile gaming: Industry challenges and policy implications”, online: (2012) 36 Telecommunications Policy 212 <http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0308596111002242/1-s2.0-S0308596111002242-main.pdf?_tid=1ec6e6f8-72a5-11e5-84d2-00000aab0f6c&acdnat=1444849101_8793eb880405667bdf2dcbb12a587f68>.
2) Elizabeth Evans, “The economics of free: Freemium games, branding and the impatience economy”, online: (2015) 1:18 Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 1 <http://con.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/02/09/1354856514567052.full.pdf+html>.
3) Kelly Bergstrom, “Disavowing ‘That Guy’: Identity construction and massively multiplayer online game players”, online: (2014) 1:17 Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 1 <http://con.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/12/05/1354856514560314.full.pdf+html>.
4) Robyn Schell et al, “Social benefits of playing Wii bowling for older adults”, online: (2015) 1:23 Games and Culture 1 <http://gac.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/09/24/1555412015607313.full.pdf+html>.
5) William D Russell & Mark Newton, “Short-term psychological effects of interactive video game technology Exercise on mood and attention”, online: (2008) 11:2 Educational Technology & Society 294 <http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=69b686a2-6762-4a50-99dc-2dab4774d552%40sessionmgr4003&vid=1&hid=4109>.
6) Valerie Insinna, “Contracts highlight growing role of video game training”, National Defense (2013), online: <http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/ehost/detail/detail?vid=6&sid=594f6a1e-c91d-4fc0-86d1-cfb48e3d1e78%40sessionmgr112&hid=124&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#AN=91689936&db=a9h>.
7) Hunter G Hoffman et al, “Feasibility of articulated arm mounted oculus rift virtual reality goggles for adjunctive pain control during occupational therapy in pediatric burn patients”, online: (2014) 17:6 Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 397 <http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/cyber.2014.0058>.
Brief Synopsis of the Most Important Papers
Feasibility of articulated arm mounted oculus rift virtual reality goggles for adjunctive pain control during occupational therapy in pediatric burn patients
This case study provides preliminary evidence for a therapeutic application of “virtual reality gaming” for pain management in burn victims. Currently, the standard of care for pain management in burn victims involves the use of medication. Burn victims often report increased levels of pain during wound debridement when relying on pharmacologies for pain management, which is what prompted this case study to use psychological interventions to assist standard pharmacological analgesics for pain management.
The experimenters used Oculus Rift goggles to immerse an 11-year-old male burn victim into a virtual world. The case study spanned three days where the patient received physical therapy with no VR but standard pain medications, with both VR and pain medications, and a third day again with no VR but standard pain medications. The patient reported decreased levels of pain during day 2, where he received physical therapy using the virtual reality goggles in conjunction with his standard pain medications. He reported being “completely inside the computer generated world as if it was a place he visited”. As VR technology continues to develop, this readily available and inexpensive tech could become an effective way to manage pain.
The economics of free: Freemium games, branding and the impatience economy
The gaming industry has dramatically changed and expanded with the emergence of ‘causal’ and ‘free to play’ games. This article examines three specific ‘freemium’ games, exploring how they combine established branding strategies with gameplay methods that monetize player impatience in a changing gaming landscape. One example is that these games often monetize the player’s desire to reduce the time away from the game. By building in deliberate periods of waiting into the gameplay and combining that with limited time offers, the developers seek to generate and exploit a ‘get-it-now’ attitude.
The appearance of an open source philosophy and brand or time-based monetization strategies are becoming foundational pillars of the casual gaming market. Over time, game studies will more fully turn its attention to the impact of such commercial sensibilities on game production and design and fully question what freemium games can reveal about the nature of gameplay and the games industry in the face of changing technology and consumer preferences.