The Gaming Experience: a Mixed Methods Study on Physiological and Psychological Responses to League of Legends Gameplay

dc.contributorPritzker, Sonya
dc.contributorBritt, Rebecca K
dc.contributor.advisorGalbraith, Marysia
dc.contributor.advisorLynn, Christopher
dc.contributor.authorGrottanelli, Serafina Darlyn
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractAs the world becomes increasingly dependent on online interactions, it is important to understand how such communication affects mental and physical well-being. While some hold that increased online activity increases social distance, others find that online communities can help enable sociability. This is particularly true of massive multiplayer online role-playing games. Yet it is unclear if the social interactions within games extend beyond the gaming context or if the gaming sociability influences day-to-day non-gaming interactions. In this thesis, I present a mixed-methods study that explores online gaming communities and how online interactions are “embodied” or get under the skin of players in ways that influence their offline lives as well. I hypothesized that, when dealing with negative experiences such as toxic behavior within League of Legends, players who are more committed to the game would feel more attached to the game outcome than individuals who are less committed to the game. I also hypothesized that individuals who are more committed to the game would display higher physiological arousal during a game than less committed individuals, due to the level of dedication and investment to the game outcome. I administered a baseline survey about online gaming, and, pre- and posttest assessment of feelings about the game play around a single match of League of Legends gameplay (N=37). I interviewed a subsample of these participants (N=20) and assessed physiological stress response during gameplay using skin conductance among another subsample (N=11). Analysis of ethnographic data suggests that player’s background and gendered expectations influence how players compete. I found that the relationship between player commitment and experience is more complex due to social bonds, gendered expectations, game results, and coping mechanisms. I found that the game result had a greater effect on the overall experience scores than commitment score. Linear regression on skin conduction indicated that age, gender, and overall experience account for 84% of the variance in in-game stress and that overall experience is the main predictor of the in-game stress response. The linear regression highlights how player background and their online experience can be associated with biological and psychological changes.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectLeague of Legends
dc.subjectSkin conductance
dc.subjectVideo games
dc.titleThe Gaming Experience: a Mixed Methods Study on Physiological and Psychological Responses to League of Legends Gameplayen_US
dc.typetext of Alabama. Department of Anthropology anthropology University of Alabama's
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