My independent variable for this study is the level

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My independent variable for this study is the level of interaction in the video game given to the group. The dependent variable is the level of character attachment. The independent variable will involve two groups: a high interaction game group and a low interaction game group. By interaction, for this study, I mean number of dialogue options and decisions made by the player in the game. A highly interactive game will involve many player decisions and involvement, such as Life is Strange or TellTale’s The Walking Dead . A low interaction game will involve more of the player just watching events unfold with little to no interaction with other characters, such as in first-person walkers like Gone Home . Group One will be the high interaction group and Group Two will be the low interaction group. Participants will be selected from the video game community using forums and online gaming sites through a simple random sample. I hope to have an equal distribution of males and females of various ages. Then they will be randomly assigned to either Group One or Group Two. Before beginning, participants will sign the waiver with their rights and a briefing on what will happen in the study. They will not be given all details in regards to the fact that we’re studying character attachment. Rather, I will tell them we are researching believability in virtual worlds or something of the like. If participants know we are looking at how they are affected by character interaction they might be affected by demand characteristics and alter their behavior. Participants will also be told that they are free to leave the study at any time. After signing that the researcher explained everything to them, participants will play an hour of an assigned game. The portion of the game assigned that each participant will play will
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VIDEO GAMES AND CHARACTER ATTACHMENT 6 be selected beforehand and will be the same across the group. For Group One, it will be favorable to choose a section that involves the most dialogue options, player choices, and character interaction as possible. For Group Two, it is favorable to choose a section in the game with more simple actions such as walking and less player choice. All participants will play the same game and later have the same character questioned about to eliminate confounds that could appear if given two different games or characters. Many other factors would raise questions if not given the same character across the board. For example, personality of the character or tone of the game could possibly affect character attachment. We cannot know for certain so it is best to be safe and eliminate these factors ahead of time. The difference in the groups, therefore, is not the game that they play, but the section of the same game that they play with the character in question.
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  • Fall '18

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