Special Issue "The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kai Erenli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interactive Media and Games Business, University of Applied Sciences, Vienna 1020, Austria
Interests: legal; gaming; gamification; immersive; learning
Dr. Christopher Kronenberg
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interactive Media & Games Business, University of Applied Sciences, Vienna 1020, Austria
Interests: business model design; strategic management; innovation
Dr. Thorsten Haendler
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interactive Media & Games Business, University of Applied Sciences, Vienna 1020, Austria
Interests: gamification; serious games; software engineering; human-computer interaction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on global societies. In contrast to many other economic sectors that are drastically affected by the pandemic, the video game industry has been far more resilient to the pandemic. But while industry events that were canceled, such as Gamescom or E3, left the community at home in front of their own screen, eSport events boomed. The American NASCAR series or Formula 1 allowed their racing drivers to compete against each other or other eSport athletes on virtual tracks. Another advantage was that the industry has always been digital in virtual worlds and has thus been able to efficiently cope with home offices and other challenges. The enormous demand for entertaining content due to the global lockdowns was another boost for the industry. Also worth mentioning: Online games in particular can serve as a particularly good substitute for social interactions and so Discord, TeamSpeak, Twitch, and Co had to replace going to the pub together.

In this Special Issue we seek contributions that address those issues. A special focus is on the impact COVID-19 had on societies. Therefore, we invite you to submit:

  • an article
  • a conceptual paper or
  • a review

that address the topic of the Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Kai Erenli
Dr. Christopher Kronenberg
Dr. Thorsten Haendler
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as conceptual papers are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • gaming
  • society
  • eSports

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Enabling Immersive Exercise Activities for Older Adults: A Comparison of Virtual Reality Exergames and Traditional Video Exercises
Societies 2021, 11(4), 134; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040134 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Participating in cognitive and physical activities can help older adults to live a healthy and independent life. However, with the ongoing pandemic, face-to-face training options became unavailable or limited, yielding a need for alternatives. In this paper, we conducted a user study with [...] Read more.
Participating in cognitive and physical activities can help older adults to live a healthy and independent life. However, with the ongoing pandemic, face-to-face training options became unavailable or limited, yielding a need for alternatives. In this paper, we conducted a user study with older adults (N = 25) to compare a traditional, recorded 2D gymnastics video with an immersive virtual reality (VR) exergame. We evaluated the movement and heart rate of the participants, as well as their enjoyment, attention to the task, and perceived workload. In the VR condition, we additionally assessed their feeling of cybersickness. Finally, qualitative feedback about their preferences was collected. The results indicate that our immersive VR exergame can be a suitable alternative, but not a replacement for traditional 2D video-based exercise activities. Furthermore, the cognitive aspect of exergames can lead to the feeling of physical workload, even if easy movements are performed. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for future VR exergames and point out advantages and disadvantages of the systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
Can Esports Substitute Traditional Sports? The Convergence of Sports and Video Gaming during the Pandemic and Beyond
Societies 2021, 11(4), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040129 - 28 Oct 2021
Viewed by 391
Abstract
This research examines the various ways that video games, particularly esports, have been leveraged for content production and fan engagement (i.e., gamification) in traditional sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sports fans’ reactions in relation to their motives, points of attachment, [...] Read more.
This research examines the various ways that video games, particularly esports, have been leveraged for content production and fan engagement (i.e., gamification) in traditional sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sports fans’ reactions in relation to their motives, points of attachment, and other consumer behavior. The study presents a sports–gaming convergence framework and identifies six popular gamification modes where video games and traditional sports converge during the pandemic. The survey results further reveal that gamification content is not consumed as simply a “substitute” for traditional sports, but instead a complementary yet unique product. In conclusion, we suggest that it is critical to recognize the differences between fans of video games and fans of traditional sports concerning market segmentation. Nevertheless, esports could effectively bridge these two industries and their consumers by enriching the content offering and extending distribution channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Article
From Tabletop to Screen: Playing Dungeons and Dragons during COVID-19
Societies 2021, 11(4), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040125 - 09 Oct 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Media reports suggest that the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons saw its biggest year to date in 2020, with many such reports touting the interactive and social benefits for people facing COVID-19 lockdowns. This paper explores the reported challenges and benefits of [...] Read more.
Media reports suggest that the tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons saw its biggest year to date in 2020, with many such reports touting the interactive and social benefits for people facing COVID-19 lockdowns. This paper explores the reported challenges and benefits of playing D&D through teleconferencing hardware and software, and the experience of using virtual tabletops. A thematic analysis of a sample of Reddit threads discussing player experiences of transitioning D&D to remote play during COVID-19 social distancing was undertaken. The findings highlight a variety of player attitudes and preferences towards playing D&D remotely. The data suggest a mostly negative sentiment towards playing D&D online for groups that had transitioned from in-person to remote play. Loss of in-person socialisation was identified as an important contributor to a poor play experience, but groups would persevere with remote play to maintain social relationships, suggesting that, for many players, D&D serves an important social function beyond mere play. Some avenues for future research are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)

Other

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Concept Paper
Viewing Gamification Design Limitations and Weaknesses through a Pandemic Lens
Societies 2021, 11(4), 137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11040137 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Design challenges and limitations of gamification were examined using the COVID-19 pandemic as a lens. Online or remote environments were also examined. These environments highlight the literature gap in evidence-based design recommendations and studies that isolate gamification from other pedagogical interventions or methodologies. [...] Read more.
Design challenges and limitations of gamification were examined using the COVID-19 pandemic as a lens. Online or remote environments were also examined. These environments highlight the literature gap in evidence-based design recommendations and studies that isolate gamification from other pedagogical interventions or methodologies. The literature recognizes the differences between actual games and gamification. Gamification focuses and relies on entertainment to boost academic achievement. This focus on entertainment and its implications to motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, are examined. This reliance on entertainment creates unrealistic expectations. In fact, gamification expectations may be conflated with game expectations—especially in an educational setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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