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Lauren Winter

University of York

Available for placement

Lauren was introduced to gaming from an early age when they received a PlayStation One as a gift. From there, video games became a huge part of their life, exploring new worlds through the eyes of a vast array of characters. Following their undergraduate degree in Psychology with Sociology, they completed their MSc in Psychology Research Methods at the University of Nottingham. A fascination with looking for trends in data and creating complex spreadsheets in Excel led them to a job analysing student information in a school, where they also ran four Esports teams competing across three games. Their research interests primarily focus on player research in team-based PVP games and looking at players’ awareness of each other in these environments.

A description of Lauren's research:

Lauren’s project will investigate the interaction between competitive and cooperative play, such as is found in team-based PVP environments. Simultaneous combinations of competitive and cooperative play are found in many high grossing games, such as Call of Duty and League of Legends. These games provide environments for players to play with and against teams of both friends and strangers, and elicit social presence, a term used to indicate the awareness of others in the digital environment.  Lauren’s research will focus on two types of social presence: cooperative presence and competitive presence.  Despite the popularity of these games, little is known about the juncture between the two and the effects they have on player experience, or what game design factors can be used to manipulate them.    

Lauren’s work will focus on identifying non-gameplay design factors that influence cooperative and competitive presence.  Through the development of a bespoke game, created in Unity, Lauren will investigate how people work together and against each other.  Does better cooperation lead to better competition and does better competition lead to better cooperation?



Lauren Winter




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