My current research is almost exclusively geared towards my PhD topic, which is how a serious game can be used for attitudinal and / or behavioural change, using the development of a serious game about performance enhancing drugs in sport as a backdrop. I use a popular literary device to deliver a macro-oriented view of sports doping – that of the main protagonist as investigative journalist.
The freelance investigative journalist is the perfect vehicle to ask all the tough questions that need to be asked. A micro-oriented approach, such as using an athlete, would be limiting – the athlete is hardly going to doorstep a WADA official or a Russian minister.
Morality, naturally, plays a big role in my research. For example, Goldman’s Dilemma challenges elite athletes to imagine choosing success through doping at the cost of their lives. I also explore moral grey areas, e.g. the trolley challenge versus the related bridge challenge – the moral-impersonal versus the moral-personal choices, which are part of the fabric of sports doping.
My approach to the serious game (provisionally titled “Doping – Behind the Curtain”) is in the spirit of narrative / literary journalism – e.g. Truman Capotes In Cold Blood – though my main protagonist will be fictional as will the main characters in the game; there will be real-life situations mentioned, along with the published opinions of academics and others.
To sum up, my research interest lies in how serious computer games can take a macro-oriented approach to change player attitudes.