Lisa Sha Li

Lisa Sha Li

Gifting in video games (Industry collaboration with BT)

Lisa’s research is an exploration of gifting behaviour in video games. In the fields of social science and positive psychology, a considerable amount of research has found out how being generous, and its incarnation in gifting can benefit one’s subjective well-being. However, when it comes to the digital space, little do we know about how people can become happier through gifting. On the one hand, the research is curious about whether the practice of gifting changes in the context of video games. If it changes, the research attempts to identify what features thereof are different or even new, and to understand how gifting protocols could function in the digital space. On the other hand, the research is curious about how to apply gifting to video games, employing its benefits in enhancing social relationships and good feelings. The current purpose is to propose a framework of gifting between a human player and non-player characters that designers can use as an instruction when designing such activities. There is also a potentially high value of gifting in the marketing aspect of the game industry.

Inspired by the observation of everyday life, Lisa tries to find better solutions to problems which need to be considered from both artistic and informatics perspectives. She is now a research student at the University of York. She is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh where she received an MSc in Advanced Design Informatics, with Distinction. Her earlier degree is B.Eng in Digital Media Arts (Xiamen University, Software School). She spent half a year in Taiwan as an exchange student in 2012. She did a summer internship developing VR games with the Two Big Ears, back in 2014.

Home institution: York

Supervisors: Professor Marian Ursu, Dr Paul Cairns

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