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The newly formed video game psychophysiology lab aims to The lab is among very few world-wide which aspire to tackle the question of whether video games psychologically affect the gamer, by monitoring in real time a number of physiological, facial and neurophysiological measures while engaging in violent video games. It will shed light on whether extensive video game play causes cognitive and behavioral changes, and will also establish which personality-types are at risk.

The scientific vision of the project is to investigate the interaction between video-game play and the psychological state of the gamer, through monitoring physiological measures. The lab is currently exploring whether experienced video-game players demonstrate fewer physiological stress markers (i.e., heart-rate, respiration, blood pressure, ventilation, and forehead muscle conductivity) in comparison to inexperienced gamers.

Their physiological responses, as well as integrated brain wave activity, while playing violent and non-violent video games are being correlated with their personality profiles as well as the type of the game being played.

The socially-responsible vision of the project is to capitalise on violent video games as a means of motivating young people into a better awareness of how and why they behave the way they do and encourage them to take greater responsibility for the consequences of their decisions and behavior.

The project uses video game technology to provide young people who present violent behaviour and are at risk of becoming marginalised as a result of anti-social behaviour with an interactive learning environment. The project game is not, in itself, a therapy; the technology provides the teacher/professional in charge of monitoring and assisting their rehabilitation with a useful tool through which the rehabilitation process can be assessed and managed more effectively.

The project focuses on creating a highly interactive and engaging environment within which players react to their surroundings, face dilemmas and make moral choices. The game content (the activities embedded in the game) focuses on understanding the values and motivations of the player in relation to a series of tasks. The activities are not designed as tests with a right or wrong answer; they have been rather developed to address and explore emotional reactions like empathy and to look at concepts like consequential thinking. In doing so, the content activities provide a context for a discussion within which specific aspects of the player’s responses can be explored.

Scientific Project Director: Dr. Yiannis Laouris

Coordinator: Lawrence Kalogreades

Scientific Team: Dr. Antonis Loizou, Andreas Drakos, Iliada Spyrou, Mary Ioannou