Video Game Dialogue, Integrative Complexity and the Perception of Quality
As a research variable, integrative complexity has a long, well-documented history as a predictor and correlate for real-world phenomenon (for examples, see Suedfeld et al., 2005 or Conway, Suedfeld, & Clements, 2003). Recently, McCullough & Conway (2017a) and McCullough & Conway (2017b) displayed the variable’s viability in the understanding of pop cultural domains. The present study builds upon this previous research and explores potential complexity differences between winning and losing video games at the Spike Video Game Awards. It compared the integrative complexity of a sample of video game dialogue for three categories (Best Shooter, Best RPG and Best Action/Adventure). Originally, individual ANOVAs revealed significant main effects for only the integrative and dialectical complexity for the Best Shooter category. An ad-hoc ANOVA of all three categories revealed similar results; however, across all analyses a consistent mean pattern emerged: The winning games averaged lower complexity scores than the losing games. These findings suggest a general association between simplistic dialogue and high-quality video games, providing keen insight into the underlining psychology of video games, and establishes a strong foundation for future research.
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