Projects of Worth: Meaningful experience within videogames

Project partners:

Projects of Worth was an MSc project funded through the XR Stories studentship scheme.

A growing body of academic research within media psychology has begun to focus on understanding the positive effects of media usage, including how media can provide meaningful experiences. Popular preconceptions tend to characterise video games as only offering fun, thrilling or pleasurable experiences. Yet, like other forms of creativity such as art, literature or film, there is an emerging understanding that videogames can evoke meaning and provide fulfilling experiences for players. Through their unique version of storytelling, videogames allow us to contemplate and reflect on aspects of being human.

This MSc research project, funded by XR Stories, built on current research by investigating the understanding of the connection to stories in videogames, and how those stories create deep personal meaning in players. The research project involved developing a game design framework that pulled together strands of theoretical thinking, used to create a prototype game which illustrates these ideas of meaningfulness.

Tim Newsome-Ward, the MSc student who worked on this project, says:

“As both a player and a developer, I’ve found myself considering videogames as offering more than just entertainment. I’ve often found myself thinking about aspects of a game long after I’d finished playing. It got under my skin, it made me think and feel. Like other forms of human expression and creativity such as art, literature or film, video games have the capacity to evoke profound feelings within us all. They engage us through their interactivity and the unique way they tell stories.”

You can keep up to date with Tim’s work on his website.

Categories: Games