Iveson, Stephen (2018) Exploring the Concepts of Immersion and why Headphones Enhance the Player Experience in 21st Century Online Competitive Video Games. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Progressions in mobile and console gaming, the accessibility of online gaming, and the current universally unpredictable political/economic climate (Collins, 2013) have made the virtual worlds more appealing for players that desire to escape the everyday. “We’re living in the age of experience. And while everyone is still obsessing over millennials, because half the world’s population is under 30, we need to start thinking about the iGen – the generation born with mobiles in their hands” (Jordan and Marshall, 2017). This thesis investigates the role of sound in shaping immersive player experiences and how headphones are used to enhance immersion in 21st century massively multiplayer online and virtual reality video games. It explores scholarly research on the concepts of immersion to recognise why sound is a critical feature in the gameplay experience today.

The research in this thesis contains an online research study that aims to reveal why video game players use headphones to augment their state of immersion during gameplay experiences. The survey includes answers from 59 respondents and contains quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative results from each question are analysed individually, and comparisons between responses are extracted to understand the effects of using headphones to augment the player experience. The qualitative data is unpacked in the form of a discussion that draws conclusions from the experiences respondents encounter when using headphones during gameplay.

Iveson THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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