A practical guide to using digital games as an experiment stimulus

Simo Järvelä, Inger Ekman, Matias Kivikangas, Niklas Ravaja

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Digital games offer rich media content and engaging action, accessible individually or in groups collaborating or competing against each other. This makes them promising for use as a stimulus in research settings. This paper examines the advantages and challenges of using games in experimental research with particular focus on strict stimulus control through the following four areas: (1) matching and regulating task type, (2) data segmentation and event coding, (3) compatibility between participants, and (4) planning and conducting data collection. This contribution provides a breakdown of the steps necessary for using a digital game in experimental studies, along with a checklist for researchers illustrating variables that potentially affect the reliability and validity of experiments. We also offer a study example to illustrate how these considerations apply to practice. The aim is to provide support to researchers planning and conducting empirical experiments involving games, and also to those evaluating the works of others.
TidskriftTransactions of the Digital Games Research Association
Sidor (från-till)85-115
Antal sidor31
StatusPublicerad - 2014
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 113 Data- och informationsvetenskap
  • 515 Psykologi

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