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Title:"I like the way the skin looks": Player perspectives on aesthetic appeal and self-representation with video game "Skins"
Author(s):Reza, Alia; Nedd, Adanna; Chu, Sabrina; Castillo, Amy; Khan, Zuaira; Gardner, Daniel L.
Subject(s):Representation in games
Abstract:Microtransactions are the purchasing of in-game items in video games, often using real money. Through microtransactions, game players can obtain a type of cosmetic called 'skins' that change the physical appearance of playable characters. Considering the default 'skin' in many games is that of a white male, there are various psychosocial and economic costs that may be extended to players of color when attempting to select skins for their avatars. To examine how players of different racial and ethnic backgrounds interact with 'skins,' and the additional costs associated with them, we conducted a survey asking participants about their spending patterns with 'skins' and reasons for choosing certain 'skins' over others. The most common response from participants when asked why they select their skins was 'because I like the way the skin looks.' As this statement is broad, we delve into other results from our survey and previous studies by other scholars to analyze what this response may be able to tell us about players who selected this as their answer.
Issue Date:2020-03-23
Series/Report:iConference 2020 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Poster
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Alia Reza, Adanna Nedd, Sabrina Chu, Amy Castillo, Zuaira Khan, and Daniel Gardner
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-17

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