Identifikation in digitalen Lernspielen : der Einfluss der Identifikation mit Spielercharakteren auf das Lernen und die Motivation
The present research project deals with the medium of digital learning games. First, digital learning games will be described. Then the “player character,” a major element of digital learning games, will be described in depth. A preliminary definition for both concepts will be advanced. The goal of this research project is to prove (theoretically and empirically) and to describe in detail the (initiating) relationship between the player of digital learning games and the “player characters.” First we will consider if and how a relationship between player and player character develops, and if this relationship is an identification or another (more or less close related) process (i. e., parasocial interaction, similarity, or wishful identification). Furthermore, the processes of learning and motivation will be integrated into the research on digital learning games--i. e., is the process of identification influenced by the learning process or by motivation? The empirical part of this research project starts with a pilot study, in which subjects were observed and afterwards interviewed. The aim of this pilot study was to find out whether player characters are relevant components for the players of digital learning games, which elements of player characters are important for players, and to what extent a relationship, or even an identification, between player and player character can be observed. For the following master study a digital learning game (probably a fantasy game) will be developed. Using this learning game, we will investigate to what extent players identify with their player characters and how the identification influences learning and the motivation to continue playing the game. The empirical results from both studies, combined with theoretical insights, will give indications and suggestions for the future development, creation and design of player characters in digital learning games.