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Psychology in Computer Gaming

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Cayetana, May 13, 2007.

  1. Cayetana

    10+ Year Member

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    Do companies that make MMORPG's (Massive Multip-Player Online Roleplaying Games) hire psychologists?

    I see that some worlds now, like World of Warcraft and Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot and Star Wars Galaxies, etc. have a lot of human interaction and hope for a lot of immersion from its players.

    Do you know to what extent these game companies utilize psychologists, and what they would like to see out of applicants in terms of type of degree, background experience, etc. Basically, if you wanted them to hire you as a psychologist, what do you think they would like to see on your application.

    Do you know of any programs that would take a student interested in this subject? Any researchers out there doing research on artificial communities and such. Maybe just help me find out the proper terminology to search for. I went to APA's website and did a search for role playing games and other words I thought would spark something and came up with nothing.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Ollie123

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    I couldn't find any.

    I'm actually interested in doing some work on the topic as well though....namely from an addictions/comorbid psychopathology standpoint.

    Its funny, but these things are on their way to being as big a problem on college campuses as alcohol abuse. I think its mostly within social psych departments that research these, but I think you will see it shift towards clinical in the near future.

    I BELIEVE Brown already has a center looking at gaming addiction. Other places may as well.

    Afraid I have no idea what gaming companies would want from a psychologist, don't even know if they do hire them (though it would make sense for them to do so).
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    They had an entertaining episode of Boston Legal about this....I want to say it was Season 2; it was about hiring a clinical psychologist to make the games more addicting, etc.

    I know the Secret Service / Dept of Education report on School Violence mentioned the influence of violent gaming. It wasn't causal, but it had an effect. The report is a pretty interesting read if anyone wants to check it out.

    LINK

    *edit*

    I realized this wasn't the report that talked about violent gaming (at least in the way I referenced it). Regardless....it is still a worthwhile read.

    -t
     
  5. ny1020

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    I could see them hire some industrial psych majors who studied the relations between game characteristics like colors, shapes, weapons used, human characteristics and how much people like/how efficient they are at playing a certain game. If they can do research regarding what type of controls are best for pilots, then they can probably do something comparable for gaming.
     
  6. spyspy

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    I know there's at least some research being done on these, but I'm not sure if the bulk of it has reached the point of publication yet. I recall coming across a thesis or dissertation about demographics of players and motivation for playing not too long ago, though.
     
  7. Ollie123

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    I've only seen 1 episode of Boston Legal but I will have to try and track down that episode involving gaming addiction.

    The idea of hiring psychologists to make something more addictive just gave me a little chill. I realize TV is not reality but I also wouldn't be surprised if that sort of thing was going on in reality as well. I don't think there's anything wrong with hiring people to analyze what is "enjoyable" and "fun" but though they are related, they operate in a distinctly different realm from "addicting".

    So OP, hopefully that isn't the kind of job you're looking for;)
     
  8. tkj

    tkj
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  9. Ollie123

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    I have seen that and I laughed my ass off.

    Particularly because I knew people from undergrad who South Park managed to capture pretty accurately.

    I can't imagine being able to sleep at night with a job like that though, even if it does probably pay double what you make in most other areas of psych.
     
  10. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    :laugh:

    I've turned down jobs in the past that I was ethically opposed to (defense contract positions), but sign me up for some good ol' targeted marketing!

    -t
     

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