Roblox is a multiplayer online platform and game creation system. By enabling its users to playfully design and share their own games, as well as to play games created by others, Roblox attracts millions of young players each year. Despite its growing presence, very little research into Roblox play in Australia has taken place. Therefore in this study, we aim to examine how young people incorporate Roblox play in their social and everyday lives. This is the first study to examine the social uses of Roblox play gaming in Australia, and with it, we aim to understand the Roblox phenomenon as a new model of social play within contemporary games culture.
We are seeking participants between the ages of 10 and 18 who play Roblox for one hour studies. Our study involves two methods of collecting data: Observation and Interview.
For half an hour, we observe individual participants as they play Roblox at home. We ask brief questions about how they interact with the game. With prior permission, we may photograph players or their screens as visual evidence to show exactly how participants are interacting with devices and screens. This is crucial in determining the tactile, gestural and haptic nature of their play.
All participation is entirely voluntary and completely anonymous. Your privacy is our concern.
Through this research, we hopes to enrich community and policy understanding of the media literacies and social inclusion practices emerging in and around Roblox. We anticipate that this may inform media effects debates and heighten understanding of games as a core aspects of contemporary everyday practice.
You can find our more about the research here.
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Larissa Hjorth is a digital ethnographer, artist, Distinguished Professor and director of the Design & Creative Practice ECP platform at RMIT University. With Professor Heather Horst, she co-founded the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC). Previously, Hjorth was Deputy Dean, Research & Innovation, in the School of Media & Communication (2013−2016). Hjorth served on the inaugural Australian Research Council (ARC) Engagement & Impact Pilot study assessment panel for humanities and creative practice.
Hjorth studies the socio-cultural dimensions of mobile media and play practices in the Asia-Pacific region with an emphasis on interdisciplinary, collaborative and cross-cultural approaches. She has published a dozen co-authored books, edited over a dozen Handbooks/Companions and has over 40 journal articles.
More recently, Hjorth’s work has become concerned with how we can bring creative, social and design solutions to the growing ageing populations and, in turn, how we might consider scenarios of what it means to die well. She is also studying how our “more-than-human” companions can teach us about new media in everyday life. Hjorth’s last book, Haunting Hands (Oxford Uni Press) looked at how mobile media is being deployed in situations of grief and trauma, her previous book explored how art practice can teach us new acumen into the climate change debate.
Hjorth’s books include Haunting Hands (with Cumiskey 2017), Screen Ecologies (with Pink, Sharp & Williams 2016), Digital Ethnography (Pink et al. 2016) Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific (2009), Games & Gaming (2010), Online@AsiaPacific (with Arnold 2013), Understanding Social Media (with Hinton 2013), and Gaming in Locative, Social and Mobile Media (with Richardson 2014).
Hugh Davies is an artist, curator and researcher of games and play. His practice explores histories of media devices and cultures of games in the Asia Pacific Region. Awarded a PhD in Art, Design and Architecture from Monash University in 2014, Hugh’s studies in game cultures have been supported with fellowships from Tokyo Art and Space, M+ Museum of Visual Culture and the Hong Kong Design Trust. Hugh is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia.