Peralta, Richard (2019) An Exploratory Study of Video Games on Higher Education Students Managing Institutional Based Anxiety. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This exploratory study delves into video game (VG) habits and personal histories of students managing anxiety from their respective courses and institutions of higher education. Whilst the expanse of video game research is limited, the recent increase in research is presumably reactive, thus resulting in literature focused on the phenomenon of aggression caused by gaming. Approaches in these studies typically include questionnaires, observations in induced situations, physiological tests, or meta-analysis, regardless of previous researcher bias. As such are clearly quantitative and reductionist in nature, this study endeavours to demonstrate an inclusive approach that fills a gap within literature. Phenomenology of Perception, by philosopher Merleau-Ponty in 1945, frames phenomenology as the study of essence of perception and consciousness through direct description of human experience. The present qualitative study engages this principal notion in its approach to unearth evocative themes of the VG player experience neglected by prior research. The liberation of participant experiences through interviews calls for a more necessary, apt approach of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The aim of this research was to establish themes in which higher education students make sense of their VG habits to relieve anxiety, and to what extent it relates to identity development and metacognition. To gain knowledge of the eight participants in college and/or university within the United Kingdom and the United States of America, 34 semi-structured IPA interviews were conducted and analysed. The multiple trends uncovered include the use of video games to relax and fulfil social needs; anxiety related to academic deadlines and finances; and participant histories impacting identity formation and metacognition.

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

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