Morehead State University

Poster Title

Attitudes on Immigration and Border Security: A Method for Change

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Major

Psychology

Minor

Health

Institution 22-23

Morehead State University

KY House District #

96

KY Senate District #

18

Department

Department of Psychology

Abstract

This research investigated whether video games might be an instrument of change for social issues. "Papers, Please" is a video game in which the player acts as a border security agent and comes across people trying to immigrate to a fictitious country. "Papers, Please" was previously used in a similar study at another university. All participants (n = 60) were treated per the approved IRB protocol. All participants took a pre-game questionnaire asking about various demographics and their opinions on border security agents and immigrants. Participants then played the "Papers, Please" or the "Oregon Trail" game for 45 minutes. They were given no instructions on how to play the game. After 45 minutes, participants completed a post-questionnaire that asked identical questions about border security and immigrants. Participants responded using a 5-point Likert scale, from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Data from participants playing "Papers, Please" (n = 35) and data from participants playing "Oregon Trail" (n = 21) were analyzed. The analysis resulted in significant interactions for the responses between the Pre/Post and Game (F (1,54) = 6.10, p = .017) and among the pre/post-game questionnaires, the questions, and the game, F (3,162) = 2.760, p = .044. An ANOVA revealed a significant effect for the responses to the last question “Border Patrol Agents are a restriction on civil liberties and rights” but only for the "Papers, Please" game, F (1,34) = 6.275, p = .017. The direction of the change in the rating was a decrease in agreement; initially, the overall response was "somewhat agreeing" with the idea that Border Patrol Agents restrict civil liberties and rights to "neither agreeing nor disagreeing" with the statement. These results seem to suggest that video games may provide a means for change.

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Attitudes on Immigration and Border Security: A Method for Change

This research investigated whether video games might be an instrument of change for social issues. "Papers, Please" is a video game in which the player acts as a border security agent and comes across people trying to immigrate to a fictitious country. "Papers, Please" was previously used in a similar study at another university. All participants (n = 60) were treated per the approved IRB protocol. All participants took a pre-game questionnaire asking about various demographics and their opinions on border security agents and immigrants. Participants then played the "Papers, Please" or the "Oregon Trail" game for 45 minutes. They were given no instructions on how to play the game. After 45 minutes, participants completed a post-questionnaire that asked identical questions about border security and immigrants. Participants responded using a 5-point Likert scale, from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Data from participants playing "Papers, Please" (n = 35) and data from participants playing "Oregon Trail" (n = 21) were analyzed. The analysis resulted in significant interactions for the responses between the Pre/Post and Game (F (1,54) = 6.10, p = .017) and among the pre/post-game questionnaires, the questions, and the game, F (3,162) = 2.760, p = .044. An ANOVA revealed a significant effect for the responses to the last question “Border Patrol Agents are a restriction on civil liberties and rights” but only for the "Papers, Please" game, F (1,34) = 6.275, p = .017. The direction of the change in the rating was a decrease in agreement; initially, the overall response was "somewhat agreeing" with the idea that Border Patrol Agents restrict civil liberties and rights to "neither agreeing nor disagreeing" with the statement. These results seem to suggest that video games may provide a means for change.