A Kiwi psychologist who specializes in new media has been backed with a $405,000 grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Mardsen Fund to “assess the experience of play.”
Dr. Gareth Schott is a Senior Lecturer at Waikato University’s school of Screen and Media Studies. The funding covers three-years of research, which Schott will kick off next year. His research could impact the way games are rated in New Zealand, as his grant was awarded under a “videogame classification” header.
According to the Waikato Times, the research will involve 60 gamers, 20 for each of the three years, who will don biofeedback gear while playing several newly released action-adventure games. Their brain activity will be monitored and they will be videotaped in order to record non-verbal reactions as well. Subjects will also undergo interviews and have to keep a diary.
Noting that classifying or rating games is very difficult because “the experience is very different for every player,” Dr. Schott said that, “Players' pathways through games and their decision-making processes are based on a range of influences that are embedded with the complex hybrid medium of games.”
New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification currently rates games in the country.