How ARG changes reality_Masterthesis_Priscilla_Haring


How Alternate Reality Gaming changes reality. The effects of playing an Alternate Reality Game on reality, during and beyond game play, compared to the effects of playing a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game.

The six key qualities that describe an ARG are cross-media, pervasive, persistent, collaborative, constructive and expressive (McGonical, 2004). The key qualities of any MMORPG are persistence, physicality, social interaction, avatar-mediated play, vertical game play and perpetuity (Chan, 2006). It is expected that perceived reality, cultivation effects, transference of strategic knowledge to real life and the experience of social presence in game will be higher for ARG players compared to MMORPG players, because of the incorporation of real life into game play. These expectancies have been confirmed for both perceived reality and social presence by an online survey (N = 81). Cultivation effects and transference of strategic knowledge were found for both ARG and MMORPG players, but the effects were not found to be significantly different between game types. In several studies of video games (e.g. Anderson and Dill, 2000; Ballard and West, 1996: Calvert and Tan, 1994; Dill and Dill, 1998) evidence is found that the level of perceived reality determines the psychological effects of the game play. The ARG environment has shown to create a higher sense of perceived reality compared to a MMORPG environment, therefore it is theorised that ARG’s pack an overall bigger punch as to effects of game play.

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