Author Topic: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?  (Read 659 times)

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Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
FreeSpace is the first video game I had ever played in my life. So now I'm doing my thesis on video games for my final year of fashion design! (OK, yeah, strange connection and poor segue, I know.) :P

I'm currently surveying gamers about avatar creation and self identity and was hoping some or all of you might be interested in filling it out! It should take about 5 minutes of your time. I'd love to get 1000 respondents and am currently sitting at about 250.

What's more, even if you don't want to fill out the survey but know some folks who are into casual or competitive gaming, please share!  Most of the responses has been by outreach by my friends, rather than myself.

https://goo.gl/forms/gWTd9PvxUh9ohYyg1
[V] for FS3!

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

 

Offline crizza

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

Nitpick:  Your ethnicity list could use some work; unsure if that's of your own design or your university.  While you have a multitude of options for various Asian and South-Asian ancestries, for example, and a pretty lengthy list otherwise, "White" loses all of that nuance for a huge group of disparate peoples.  Too late to alter this bit of research design, but something to consider in the future.
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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done.

I do like the addition of a "mixed race" option in the ethnicity.

Story time! I played Tera back when I was searching for a good free MMO. I rolled a female character (as usual), and was very pleased with the avatar creation options for the body. For the avatar's clothing/armor, there were NO options. For the fast melee fighter I chose, it was only skimpy clothing and high-heels. And as fun as the game was, and as much as I liked my character, I could not get around the absurdity of the clothing.

Now I play Final Fantasy XIV, and while the combat isn't as fun, the game as a whole, and especially the avatar clothing/armor customization is worlds better, and it actually makes a big difference to me.

 

Offline Mpez

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done.

Out of curiosity, how do you factor in income into the research? Do you link it with the country of residence somehow (e.g. a mediocre salary in the States would be a high salary in Eastern Europe etc.) or just leave it as is? I'm asking because I didn't have to take that into consideration when doing my thesis, so just wondering if there is an academic approach to it :)

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Random shout out to the Saint's Row series from part 2 onwards for being actually really good at this, and allowing you to change your character at will.

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done.

Also this :
Random shout out to the Saint's Row series from part 2 onwards for being actually really good at this, and allowing you to change your character at will.
I've barely played these games but that aspect really stood out.

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Holy crap guys, thank you so much!

Done!

Nitpick:  Your ethnicity list could use some work; unsure if that's of your own design or your university.  While you have a multitude of options for various Asian and South-Asian ancestries, for example, and a pretty lengthy list otherwise, "White" loses all of that nuance for a huge group of disparate peoples.  Too late to alter this bit of research design, but something to consider in the future.

Since I'm based in Canada, I looked at what options were available from the census and tweaked the ethnicities based on that. I wouldn't be surprised if the options were based on cities like Toronto and Vancouver. They included even more specific ethnicities for Asians, but White was just White. You're totally right — White just takes away all of the different cultures. I read a journal article recently that talked about White identity and how high school kids at a couple of high schools in the States couldn't describe white culture, but immediately understood that an event around it would create accusations of White supremacy. Some of the students said they were such a mix of Italian/Jewish/American/etc. that they just identified as White. I'm glad you pointed this issue out, because it shows me that people actually *do* care and *do* notice that sort of thing.

Having the options of "American Caucasian" and "European Caucasian" sounds so awkward... This is my first ever research survey and it was incredibly difficult to write. Especially with the sensitive questions. I mean did you see that gender question? What amazes me more is that people are checking off all the various options! So I will DEFINITELY consider this in the future, and if you have ideas oh my goodness shoot them my way.



Done.

Out of curiosity, how do you factor in income into the research? Do you link it with the country of residence somehow (e.g. a mediocre salary in the States would be a high salary in Eastern Europe etc.) or just leave it as is? I'm asking because I didn't have to take that into consideration when doing my thesis, so just wondering if there is an academic approach to it :)

Income was actually a question I put in for fun. I have no idea how I might use that data IF I even use it, but it does help to paint a better picture of the gamer themselves. Maybe low-income gamers like avatar customization options where they don't have to pay for cosmetics. Or competitive gamers will spend more money on cosmetic options (if they wrote MOBAs or The Sims under favourite genres). At that point the research is too deep for this project. Ultimately it was to help me get a better sense of individuals and their lives. I can't use much of the income details without further questioning, but maybe some of the commentary at the end of the survey will provide some feedback on that, e.g. "I hate paying to customize".



Done.

Also this :
Random shout out to the Saint's Row series from part 2 onwards for being actually really good at this, and allowing you to change your character at will.
I've barely played these games but that aspect really stood out.


YES. I played some of SR3 and this stood out. A lot of responses talk about sliders or changing features from invisible to vastly overexaggerated, and Saints Row was on a good track with that. If there's one thing I've realized from researching game design in general, it's that Volition was definitely ahead of its time in democratizing gaming. They released FRED and then the Source Code for us to play with. Then there's the Saints Row customization. I don't know, I look at the content Volition is putting out these days and I'm so confused. Saints Row is fun, and their new game looks stellar as well, but...it's not Red Faction or Summoner or FreeSpace, breaking story molds. I can play Saints Row... or GTA... or any other game that allows you to drive around and **** people up. Saints Row is fun but doesn't stand out for me story-wise. That's just my opinion anyway. It's painful to see them having lost so many of their IPs. But now I've digressed.

Everyone is amazing and thank you so much. Please share if you feel so inclined! (My method of data collection is convenience/snowball sampling, so I promise sharing is legit haha!)
[V] for FS3!

 

Offline PVD_Hope

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

Yeah, I prefer a fully and simply dressed male avatar, thank you.  :cool:
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!  To be honest, I tend to play comparatively few games that involve in-depth avatar customization.  I feel like I get more enjoyment out of playing an already-defined character than attempting to insert myself into a game.

 

Offline Firesteel

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

Hope you get some interesting results for your thesis! (and good luck writing it!)

As another nitpick about the demographic information, I know plenty of Jewish atheists/agnostics and have even been to talks by Orthodox Jews who are atheists about that very subject.
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Offline DefCynodont119

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!


Sidenote: most of what I play are Simulation, Strategy, Puzzle and Racing. .  and in those you are mostly either an "Eye of god" or "A.F.G.N.C.A.A.P." So I left a few questions blank. Sorry.

That said, I do like having customization/personalization in games in general, for instance: I love how you can name streets and choose the color of your public transport vehicles in Cities Skylines, and if I have any chance to "pimp my ride" in any driving/vehicle sim game, I WILL do so.

shorthand, More options = Always good



I know that's a bit off topic, but I figured it was worth saying.
My gift from Freespace to Cities Skylines:  http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=639891299

 

Offline Buckshee Rounds

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done!

I play an unholy amount of Mount and Blade so being able to push the sliders to max and min in order to create malformed and truly disturbing faces is very important to me. Avatars/character creation are a great opportunity for unleashing abominable eldritch monsters on the world. :)

EDIT - Seriously, MnB has the best character creator, hands down
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 08:15:44 am by Buckshee Rounds »

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
You should see the facial expressions of Saint's Row 2 :P

 

Online Aesaar

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Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
I did the thing.

Character customization gives us Monster Factory, which is among the best YouTube video series ever.

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
Done! Nice survey, broadly speaking. I did sort of notice that the survey sort of assumed that the respondent had sort of a single Platonic ideal of what a game should be, and I'm personally fond of a variety of approaches to character creation, so I made note of that in the last essay section. I imagine it was mostly just a limitation of the format, though.

EDIT: Oh, and I sort of felt like there were some options missing from the "what kind of gamer are you" question. I mean, I dunno if I'd call myself a casual gamer, but I don't really play competitive games, either...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 03:00:03 am by Kestrellius »

 
Re: Please fill out my research survey on avatars and player identity?
EDIT: Oh, and I sort of felt like there were some options missing from the "what kind of gamer are you" question. I mean, I dunno if I'd call myself a casual gamer, but I don't really play competitive games, either...
Same here, I've got a much more relaxed approach to gaming nowadays, so I'm not really a competitive gamer, but I certainly don't qualify as casual either (it's still my main hobby).