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ERIC Number: ED530424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 224
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6519-8
Understanding How Identity Supportive Games Can Impact Ethnic Minority Possible Selves and Learning: A Design-Based Research Study
Lee, Joey J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Serious Games are digital games with an educational, informative, or persuasive goal beyond mere entertainment (Abt, 2002). They are promising because they often contain features that appear to be useful for learning (Squire, 2004), eliciting behavioral or attitudinal change (Yee, 2007) or encouraging new perspective taking, empathy, and new ways of thinking (Thomson, 2006; Gee, 2005). As of yet, not much research yet exists on how to effectively use this form of technology to support identity development, raise awareness about social issues, or foster positive social or personal change (Thomson, 2006). In this Design-Based Research (DBR) dissertation study, I propose and test a specific Serious Game design that I call "Identity Supportive Games" (ISGs). Specifically, I design and test two game prototypes that allow players to explore Asian-American identities and issues in relation to ethnic stereotypes. Many misconceptions and myths persist regarding Asian-American issues (e.g., the effects of seemingly positive stereotypes such as the "Model Minority" image that depicts Asian-Americans as intelligent overachievers who rarely fail). In reality, these stereotypes and self-beliefs can lead to problems including identity crisis (Erikson, 1968), mental illnesses and depression (Cohen, 2007), poor self-esteem and self-image (Mok, 1998; Sue & Sue, 2004), decreased academic performance (Steele, 1997), decreased opportunities (Cheng & Thatchenkery, 1997), and pigeonholing (Sue & Sue, 2006). With this in mind, this study sought to investigate how Serious Games can help people support, understand, and define their self-identities and to explore the influence of ethnic minority stereotypes. The results indicate that the games (1) were effective in educating players about the reality of Asian American issues; (2) changed perceptions of Asian culture; and (3) changed perceptions of self-identity. Qualitative data also provided evidence of how the games allowed for identity reflection, definition, and support; promoted more sophisticated understandings (e.g. the subtle implications of seemingly positive stereotypes); and promoted the learning of facts and new perspectives on Asian culture. This work also informed design principles for social issue Serious Games, especially in terms of strategies to promote attitudinal and learning outcomes in this genre of digital games. The issues explored run parallel to those of similar groups in other contexts, such as other ethnic minorities in schools and the workplace, as well as women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This mixed-methods dissertation study, largely drawing upon the theoretical frames of Erik Erikson's model of identity development, Marcia's Identity Status paradigm and Markus and Nurius' notion of possible selves, leverages recent work on identity play in digital games (e.g. Turkle, 1995; Yee, 2007) and provides timely work on identity and learning within digital games for social impact. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A