A research team led by Ass. Prof. Ekaterina Galanina from the TPU School of Engineering Entrepreneurship is engaged in the study of myths in the context of video games. The project will help to understand how games build their own reality and how they affect gamers.
The study is carried out within the collaboration: TPU researchers are analyzing data together with young researchers from the Moscow Game Center at the MSU Faculty of Philosophy, as well as scientists from the Laboratory for Virtualization and Ontology of Virtual Space at Pyatigorsk State University. The project of Ekaterina Galanina was supported by the RF President grant for 2018-2019.
According to Ekaterina Galanina, the research team had successfully implemented a study before, supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, which was devoted to the research of the ontology of video games and gaming issues in education. The study should result in a new approach to gamification, which will help in creating training games. The research of myths is a logical continuation of the project, however, it has a more philosophical character. Revealed regularities will be possible to apply, for example, for improving the efficiency of training games. For the most objective work, the researchers leave the issue of ‘video games are good or evil’ outside the scope of research, so they study the issue from the perspective of the modern culture.
‘Now, we should not consider video games as just an entertainment or amusement in accordance with an established stereotype. In fact, it is not true. In video games, there are many aspects that develop us, increase our motivation, and improve our phsycho-emotional state.
Video games have a huge potential for education and this area is actively developed. In psychology, there are a lot of studies which are focused on negative impacts of video games. Many believe that games lead to addiction, escaping the reality and so on. But recent studies show that this is a stereotype and modern games constructively impact both on culture and humans. We just have to investigate this phenomenon in order to understand, including, how games affect us, what they give us, and why they are so popular,’ the scientist emphasizes.
It is noteworthy, the researchers not only study games from the theoretical perspective but also try to pass them by themselves. this is not about an individual game: the study examines the regularities of the most popular game series, such as Assassin's Creed, Overwatch, Dragon Age, Uncharted, Witcher, Tomb Raider, Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, The Stanley Parable, Diablo, Spore, and others.
Meantime, both in Russia and abroad there are currently a large number of studies devoted to the phenomenon of video games. However the relevance of the project of the Tomsk researchers is in the approach to the issue, i.e. the mythological structures and constructs that are in games will be studied. So far, video games as well as virtual worlds generated by them have not been so much addressed in the context of postneoclassic culture.
‘Our research is focused on studying mythological structures that are created in virtual worlds in which gamers either willingly or unwillingly begin to believe, live this story, continue it with their own actions, thereby immersing themselves in a certain mythological space. My approach is just to study mythological structures and constructs. Not only to study basic archetypes but explore different ways of how virtual worlds build and create their own mythology, a vision system that becomes part of the gamers’ life,’ summarizes Galanina. She also clarifies that in the course of the project they will analyze changes of a hero’s image, the studies of monomyths, mythology, archetypes, elements of ancient mythologies which developers of video games use consciously or unconsciously.