StarCraft & Science

Dear Starcraft player,

You may be surprised to hear that the NSSL has got a dedicated research group at the Radboud University really excited. We warmly invite you to contribute to our research, and to potentially blaze a new trail in psychology research. Indeed, until now much of psychological research within gaming has focused on the potential dangers of gaming; but we think it’s time researchers also opened their eyes to some of gaming’s potential benefits!

Without being specific, we think that there are numerous ways in which (particularly designed) games can exert a positive influence on one’s development. But to really find out, we need your help.


Weekend sign-ups now also possible!

Our researcher friends are still looking for you to join them. Sign up to play a Ladder Match and get a chance to win cool prizes. Weekend sign-ups now possible! Send an e-mail to or create a SONA account. The link for creating an account is in the bottom-left corner of the page. Once you have an account, you can find our study on the list, with slots ranging from May 4th onwards. Simply CTRL+F to find “The Starcraft II Study”.

Participating is real easy: just show up and play a match! ALL STARCRAFT 2 PLAYERS ARE WELCOME!


Take our survey

This 15-20 minute survey is designed to learn about how you’ve developed as a gamer and how you confront challenging life events.

Play in our lab (and win awesome prizes)!

We are excited to unveil this unique research opportunity to you. It involves you playing a ladder match of Starcraft in our lab, and otherwise requires minimal effort. Sign-up through our SONA System (see below “SIGN-UP”); if you find this method difficult, e-mail us at

We will raffle away 3 pre-orders of Heart of the Swarm and 4 season passes to (or their monetary equivalent). You wouldn’t just be helping science, but getting the chance to win awesome rewards too!

Study Procedure
You play 1 ladder game of StarCraft 2 in our lab. With two safe and unobtrusive electrodes, we measure your heart rate during the game. After the game, you view your replay video. At the same time, you will use a knob dial to rate your level of worry at each moment of the game.

Phase 2
Our research looks at the influences of video games over time. This study therefore involves a follow-up session. This session will be much shorter than the first (~20 minutes), and will occur at a time after the NSSL Finals on June 7th that is convenient for you.

Our equipment
Our lab is equipped with a 23 inch HD monitor, high-speed internet, and a more than adequate processor. Out of respect for other studies in adjacent labs, we also have a pair of headphones.

Your equipment
Please bring your preferred gaming keyboard, mouse, and headphones.

Further requirements
-All participants must fill in our 15-20 minute survey here.
-Let us know in advance if your control scheme deviates from Standard (the default in Starcraft 2).
-E-mail us ( a photo of either yourself (think Facebook profile picture) OR some image/avatar that you identify with together with your BattleNet ID.

This obviously depends on the length of your match. Even assuming a 30 minute Match, we don’t expect the study to run longer than 1.5 hours.


We will have slots available every day (including weekend!) from 14h to 20h. To sign up, quickly create a SONA account here. Then simply log in, search for our study. Our study is called “The Starcraft II Study” if you wish to simply use CTRL+F to find it, and it begins from May 4th onwards. NOTE: You will only be able to find our study if the date field at the top of the page is set to May 4th or later.

Questions or problems?
Mail us at

All Starcraft players welcome!

So what are you waiting for?

– Take the survey here (best viewed in Chrome, IE & Safari. May be poor in Firefox).

– Contact us about our focus group at & register for the experiment here.

Still curious about our research program?

Our research program looks to get a complete picture of how playing certain well-designed video games can play a powerful role in the course of development. Much research has been done on the negative influences of video games, but we think it’s time researchers look at the broader picture, analyzing both the positive and negative aspects of gaming. You can help make this new movement a reality.

For further ways of assisting us, sign up for our 2-hour focus group by sending a mail to


See you in the lab & online 🙂
Adam Lobel MSc, PhD candidate
Michel Failing, Research Master
Professor Isabel Granic, Project Supervisor