The Presidential Scholars Program at Dartmouth enables juniors to work closely with faculty on research projects. During the 2011-12 school year, I was one of three Presidential Scholars working at Tiltfactor. This past winter and spring, I learned quite a bit about game design and game research while working on a number of projects at the lab. I focused primarily on contributing to NSF-funded BIAS studies on reworking stereotypes and biases and to research involving POX: SAVE THE PEOPLE, although I also assisted with various outreach events and general lab tasks.
During my time as a Presidential Scholar, I learned about performing literature searches, data collection, data entry, transcription, and data coding. More broadly, I learned the ways in which games can be empirically studied. We develop and conduct research for the BIAS project and for the POX studies using a psychological approach. By working at Tiltfactor, I have learned scientific ways to explore the potential of games to affect attitudes and behavior. I plan to use many of the same strategies that we employ at the lab in my own research for my senior thesis in psychology and also in graduate school. Thus, the Presidential Scholars program has provided me not only with the opportunity to work at a place as amazing as Tiltfactor, but also with foundational skills for the future.
I have the honor of talking about my experience with research at Tiltfactor at the Fall Mini-Reunion of the Dartmouth Class of 1959 on September 28th. The Class of 1959 has supported the Presidential Scholars Program for many years and has helped students take advantage of the truly incredible opportunities at the College. I look forward to sharing the work that the Tiltfactor team has completed this past year and also to thanking the Class of 1959 for supporting me and other students as we pursue our academic interests.
Meanwhile, research continues at the lab – along with work towards some new and fantastic games! Stay tuned…