Games for Communication

Games for Communication

This project aims to explore the use of commercial video games and associated networks and communities to develop players’ communication skills. Understanding the potential impact of digital games is more important than ever, when considering their popularity: UKIE (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) has found that 1 in 3 people describe themselves as ‘gamers’. Ofcom’s 2013 Communications Market Report also highlights the pervasiveness and social inclusivity of gaming: half of UK households contain at least one video games console, while games consoles have some of the smallest differences in take-up between social groups compared with other internet-enabled devices. Further, DE households are more likely to own a games console (46%) than a smartphone (38%). Games are not the exclusive domain of teenage boys: the average age of those who play games is estimated to be around 30 (Entertainment Software Association), while female players account for 46% of players in Great Britain and are expected to become as numerous as (or more so than) their male counterparts.




Key Participants:

Matthew Barr – PI

Barr is a University Teacher at the Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow. He convenes HATII’s Multimedia Analysis & Design course and in 2014 established the University’s first game studies course. He also supervises a number of undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations related to gaming. The Video Game Studies course is available to Honours students from across the College of Arts and reflects the subject’s multidisciplinary nature by drawing on aspects of computing science, education, psychology and film studies while actively involving participants from industry. As an early career researcher, Barr’s interest lies in the learning potential of commercial video games and recently received an AHRC-funded Social Media Knowledge Exchange Scholarship to investigate how players collaborate on learning resources, such as gaming wikis. He is a member of the BCS, the Digital Games Research Association and the International Game Developers Association, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has acted as reviewer for a number of organisations, including the ICA Game Studies Interest Group and the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, and is a STEM Ambassador on the Video Games track.

Relevant publications

Barr, M. (2014). Learning through collaboration: video game wikis. International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments . ISSN 2050-3954

Barr, M. (2013). Can playing video games help develop graduate attributes? In: 6th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 19 Apr 2013, Glasgow, UK.

Barr, M. (2013). Video game wikis and collaborative learning. In: Social Media Knowledge Exchange Conference, 2-3 Jul 2013, Cambridge, UK.

Barr, M. (2013). Computer games and learning: the current state of play. In: Bigl, B. and Stoppe, S. (eds.) Playing with Virtuality: Theories and Methods of Computer Game Studies. Peter Lang, New York, NY, USA, pp. 229-312. ISBN 9783631640609

Steve Draper – CI

Based in the School of Psychology, Draper’s research interests lie in the theory and practice of higher education, especially technology enhanced learning. Projects have included work on peer assisted learning, electronic voting systems in lectures and student retention. Research grants have been on assessment and feedback in HE, and research-teaching linkages, while his teaching includes courses on positive psychology and concepts and empirical results in education. As CI, Draper will provide an in-kind contribution to the project, advising on aspects such as measurement tools and research methods.