Involved researcher: Wannes Ribbens
The paper “Videogames in 2 Flemish correctional facilities: An exploration of the motives of detenees” written by Wannes Ribbens (Centre for Mediaculture and Communicationtechnology, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven) and Steven Malliet (UA) was awarded as Best Student Paper at the Etmaal of Communication Sciences in Enschede (24-25 May 2011). This price is awarded every year to a paper of which the first autor is still a student.
Eventhough the attraction of videaogames has already been researched in terms of gratifications such as stress reduction and mood rgeulation, little is known about how these concepts are related to the usage of games wihtin specific populations. In this paper we present a kwalitative study of 17 long-sentenced detainees in which we studied to which extend videogames are used to alleviate stressfactors (which result from extreme situation such as detention). The results show that the videogames give the detainess an extra way of ‘coping’ to devide their time, to be social with other detainess, to escape from prison walls, to experience esthetic emotions and regain some feeling of control.