I am a BCT student in my second year who enjoys my outside activities along with creating my own ideas and creations that I can use in the real world or that could have an affect in the real world. This can be clearly seen by my project which I did in my first year, second semester. The link can be found under LED Table with more information on that there.
I have always been someone who enjoys thinking of my own ideas and trying to make them happen. That would probably have started from playing guitar when I was in primary school and always trying to create my own songs. So, I invite you to look through my portfolio and make your own judgements.
So, the reasoning behind this project was that Louis and I wanted to make a centre of attention/conversation that could act as an ice breaker if you were around people you did not know. We looked into a lot of the scientific reasoning behind what humans are attracted to, and found that it is human nature to go towards sound and light. So, our idea was made. We first got the idea from a LED beer pong table, which would light up as people would play and it would interact with the game. So that was what we wanted, to make something that could connect with the user and see if people could start a conversation with people that they don’t talk to that much or don’t know.
One of the ways we tested our idea was at a BCT party where we had members of all year groups there to enjoy the party. However an issue was that we didn’t know everyone, so we couldn’t just manage to get along with everyone, since we didn’t know them and we had no ice breakers to talk to people we had never talked to before. So, Louis and I decided to play a game of beer pong. Once people saw something that everyone could relate to or knew about, everyone started talking to each other, joining in on the game or joking about who would win or lose. So that’s where we got the idea from.
From this idea we looked into multiple ways to try and get people to socialise and bring people together. After thinking of many different conversation starters and some terrible ideas, we eventually found that lights, music and games bring people together in party situations more than anything else, so we made a small gaming table which brought all these things together. Made to act as an ice breaker or a center of conversation. For when people want to either play games, or listen to music or just relax and sit around a table. Overall, our final product worked exactly how we wanted it to. As we have tested it at multiple social events with people we know and people we don’t. So overall, we feel like we achieved our goal and are happy with our product.
So my plan was to investigate the relationship (if any) between video game genres and sleeping patterns. I planned on doing this by looking into the regular sleeping pattern of someone without any changes to their regular schedule. I then had the same people play various games of different genres to look into the relationships those games would have with their sleeping patterns. I made it so each genre was played before bed for a total of 4 nights. This means that I would have enough data that I could make sure there weren’t any major outliers.
So my reasoning is because I thought that a lot of the time, I can think that video games can affect my sleeping pattern but I never knew to what extent nor did I know which games affected it the most. I was also interested to find out if there were any games that would affect my sleeping pattern in a positive way so I could find a way to get to sleep that I would enjoy without trying to force myself into a sleeping state, which would often lead to more stress and less sleep.
With my proposal I found a few things which didn’t make sense and I hadn’t thought about many of the situations which would make my work consistent. For example, I had set up only nights for each genre in order to test the games. With this I would be unable to look at the outside affects which would affect the sleeping pattern. I also was unable to find the people that I would need in order to make it a fair and affective research report, so instead of looking at the general public, I decided to focus it more on myself. I also realised I hadn’t looked into the idea of stress and outside influence too much. I hadn’t given any consideration to the stress of uni, home life or relationships in the sense that it could affect the sleeping pattern of who ever took the survey. And finally, I thought that dreams would be far more easy to remember. However, since they occur in our sub conscious, they wouldn’t be so easy to understand or go through.
So, how did I fix these issues? Well, I looked at each problem separately and I worked to an answer with each of the of the issues. As I already bought up, I wasn’t able to find enough people that were able to help me with my research, so I changed what I was looking into. I decided that instead of looking into the general public and seeing how games affected their sleeping pattern. I looked into how it would affect my own sleeping pattern since that was the initial reason for the research itself. I changed the amount of time for each genre from two nights to four nights to allow some small room for error or in this case stress, to try and get the most accurate results so I could be as accurate as I could with the time I had. In terms of the unchangeable issues such as the stress levels or any outside affects on sleeping pattern, I decided to accept that instead of trying to eliminate it entirely. So, I made there be a scale to measure your own stress level, reasons you may be stressed, and finally a small space for you to talk about your daily activities and rate them on how tiring they were. This means I can try to find a relationship between the activities/stress and sleep, then compare them to the game themselves. Last thing which I figured out after a couple of nights, is that dreams aren’t easy to remember. So, I changed the question being asked. I changed it from “What was your dream about?” to “Was your dream related to the game being played?”. Which, I found was far more affective. I also found that I hadn’t specified the games nor the genres I wanted to use. In order to choose which genres I wanted, I had already decided on having a horror genre and a relaxing/stress free game to contrast it. However, for my last two, I needed to find which two would be most affective. For that I used the chart seen above to choose action and sports games. Action being the most played, and sport being the higher end of the less high genres, using it as an average.
I expect that from the horror game, I will see the largest negative affect on my sleeping pattern, while I think that if the relaxing game has any affect, I think it would relax me and help me to sleep more than have a negative affect. Although, it would also be possible that I would be more interested in the relaxing game and its story that I might think about it more than the other games. I don’t think that the sports or action games will affect my sleep too much due to the fact that I have played a lot of the two before. I expect that the action game could have the largest affect purely based on the interaction which it would bring and the level of intensity that it would require for full immersion. I think that the sports game would have very little affect on my sleeping pattern.
I thought that my findings were actually kind of surprising. I had some parts that I was very correct with and other parts which I was actually quite incorrect with. I found that the horror genre was by far having the largest affect on my sleeping pattern. I found myself finding it very difficult to go to sleep regardless of my stress levels being quite low and being quite tired overall. I found that through the majority of the other game genres, it looked like the stress levels affected my ability to get to sleep and there was a direct correlation between the two. However, with the horror games or the more stressful games, the stress levels could be quite low, but I could still find it quite difficult to sleep regardless. I also found that majority of the time, I was unable to remember my dreams, and from the ones I could remember, there were very few that were related to the game I had been playing. However, the most common game genres to bring up dreams that related to the games were the horror/stressful genre or the action genre. While sports genre only came up once and the relaxing game gave me no dreams related at all. I think that I got some mixed reactions to if I was right or not. I was correct in assuming that the relaxing games would allow me to fall asleep easier, however it was interesting to note that during some nights with the relaxing games, I would almost be asleep while playing the game. I also was correct in assuming that the horror/stressful games had the largest negative affect on my sleeping pattern, causing me to struggle to sleep regardless of my stress level or how tired I was. However, I also had some results I was not expecting. I wasn’t expecting to have the action genre to affect my sleeping pattern as much as it did, although I think that it could be inconclusive due to the amount of outside influences that occurred around that time (e.g. funeral/wisdom tooth). I also didn’t expect to have any dreams based on the sports games since I play enough sport I thought I would discard the thought. However, I think this could also be inconclusive due to the previous trainings and games that occurred during that week.
All in all, there are a lot of things I would change about this research project. I would make each genre have more time to stretch it out to a week or possibly two to let it fully be able to get rid of any and all outliers which could occur. I would also increase the amount of participants. Ideally I would like to have three groups of 15. One full of people who game a lot, one with non gamers and one with people who game socially but not often. This would allow me to view how it would affect different people and compare how gamers are affected by games compared to the people who have not been subjected to video games as much. Another major change I would make is to set up a schedule for each participant in order to avoid the inconsistency of the stress levels and the tiredness from trainings or other outside influences. This would be more for a consistency and to avoid the data possibly being inconsistent and inconclusive.
So overall, I found that video games do have affects on my sleeping pattern. Both positive and negative. I found that the the game genres to play before sleeping (from best to worst) were as follows. Relaxing games, Sports, Action and finally horror. I think that not a lot of the results were very conclusive or could be said were 100% accurate due to the large amount of outside influences that occurred. As the graph shows, I would be able to say that the games from the relaxing genre made no negative affect on my sleeping pattern, and it would look like more of a positive affect, however, at the same time, it also shows that during the week I was working with those games, I was a lot more tired than other weeks, which would have meant I could sleep relatively easily even without the games. I think that a lot of the work would be very hard to call conclusive because I had different situations in terms of football trainings and situations which would add stress to my life. I wouldn’t say that much of the work would be reliable, however, I think that it could be a backbone for a future study if I was given more time and could add more participants.