The Challenge of Measuring the Use of Computer Games



The remarkable rise of game studies as an academic field is driven by the common notion that “gaming is growing” and “so many people are using games.” Clearly, sales data and the available survey studies on game use justify this argumentation for scientific relevance. However, surprisingly little is known about actual computer game use, particularly compared to the media use data that are available for television, radio, and print media. Systematic, continuous data are missing with regard to player descriptions, time investments, genre popularities, platforms used for playing, gaming locations, and playing modes (e.g., single vs. multiplayer). Much theorizing and empirical research on computer games suffers from this lack of knowledge, as the “true” social impact and cultural meanings of computer games cannot be determined with sufficient validity. The present chapter addresses the organizational and methodological problems behind the missing data on game use and offers a long-term vision of how an international foundation that collaborates with national partners could achieve a reliable, scientifically most useful information base on contemporary computer game use.



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Journalism and Communication ResearchHannover University of Music, Drama and MediaHannoverGermany

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