Game Narrative Lab Research
At the Game Narrative Lab, we focus on the social and behavioral impact of video game
narratives in which the protagonist faces discrimination. We want to wage how the
world can use video games and immersive media for social good.
One of our core projects is to study game narratives through players’ experiences.
Because game narratives are co-constructed (the game narrative designer plans for
every possible narrative path, but each player’s experience is unique), it is important
to put the player at the center of the game, both when creating the narrative and
when studying it. To study players’ experiences, we use mixed methods from the humanities
and social sciences (observation, questionnaires, retellings).
Can video game narratives leverage empathy for people who are discriminated against
and impact social attitudes? While the global media discourse still focuses on video
games promoting violent behavior, several research studies since 2009 have been centered
around the positive social impact of video games following the Game for Change movement.