The term science games culture is frequently used in the context of bridging cultures and science games.
The term encompasses a range of media and digital media, including games, media, and social media.
A study by the Center for the Study of Science (CSUS) at the University of California, Berkeley, has demonstrated that video games are frequently played as a bridge between science and science-related media.
The CSUS researchers studied 4,000 gamers who said they play video games for a variety of reasons, such as social support, community engagement, and research.
The gamers also played video games that have a high science-based component, such that a large percentage play video game stories that are related to their discipline.
The researchers found that gamers with a history of playing video games as a science-focused media were more likely to report feeling a connection to science and research, and that these gamers were also more likely than those who had no history of gaming to have a strong sense of their own identity.
“While video games have long been seen as a form of ‘safe space’ for scientists, our results suggest that this link between science games and science can be a bridge for scientists to engage with science- and scientific-related content,” the researchers wrote in their study.
“The results are encouraging and highlight how video games may be a powerful way to engage science in a way that may benefit both scientists and researchers in a variety or even all areas of research.”
They continued: “The more scientific and scientific stories that can be explored through video games, the more scientists are likely to experience the scientific content that is presented to them and to feel that connection to it.
The more that scientists are able to connect with this content, the better their careers and the better they feel about their role in science.”
The researchers’ study found that the science-themed games most often played by gamers were games with a science component, which they identified as science games with “scientific” elements, or scientific stories and characters.
In this way, the games helped to bridge the science and scientific worlds and facilitate a sense of belonging to science, said lead researcher Jodi Doss, a research assistant professor in the CSUS Department of Psychology.
“It’s an incredibly powerful way for scientists and scientists-in-training to get a sense that they’re part of the community,” Doss said.
“Science games are really about exploring the science, and the way that science works and the impact it has on the world.”
While Doss and her colleagues focused on video games and video games with high science content, they also looked at the social and cultural components of games, as well as other media, to help understand how gamers and scientists connect.
In fact, they noted that social and other cultural elements of science games can play a role in bridging the two worlds, as can the role of scientific games in facilitating connection between science, media and other genres.
“This work has highlighted the important role of science and media in briding cultural and scientific connections,” Dross said.
“[But] it also provides insight into how these two worlds interact.”
The study suggests that the cultural aspect of science-gaming interactions is particularly important, Doss added.
“We know that in science games, it’s really about connecting with the community and with the researchers.
And the social aspect of the games is really about the scientists themselves, and what they’re doing.”
In the study, the researchers looked at whether the social aspects of science game interactions were particularly important to players, and how that affected their perceptions of their role as scientists.
For instance, the scientists said that video game players with a strong connection to the science theme tended to feel more connected to the scientists they interacted with, which may be because the scientists were more invested in their science and the games were more about exploring that connection.
“These findings suggest that the social dimension of the interaction with scientists may be particularly important,” D.S. said.