Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Anne Woodrick


The popularity of videogames globally is increasing dramatically. The gamer explores first hand fantastic worlds. The story structure of many games follows the hero's journey-a rite of passage that social scientists view as a transformative experience. Although the content of the journey may be culturally specific, the similar structural components of the journey enable the hero to ultimately complete his/her journey as a changed person. I hypothesize that during the playing process, the gamer incorporates the experiences of his/her character and shares in some of these transformative processes. My research is based on participant observation and open-ended interviews with individuals who play 'Mass Effect'. Conclusions indicate that story driven games will have a social community forming effect, and impart moral messages on the gamers who play them.

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors


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Date Original


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1 PDF file (36 pages)



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