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Consent to Participate in Research Study


Study Title

The Critical Sentiment: How Reviews and Recommendations Influence Video Game Users


Study Purpose and Rationale

Our research will primarily focus on user reviews and recommendations of video games of all sorts to determine how they affect the users choice of video games. We believe our research will help users quickly and easily make a decision on whether or not they want to play a certain video game. Our research will also help critics see what users look for and care about in video game reviews and recommendations.


Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

To participate in this research study, you must be 18 years of age or older to participate in this research project. You must also own at least five video games to participate in this research study. If you are 17 years of age and younger you may not participate in this research study. If you also do not own at least five video games you may not participate in this research study.


Participation Procedures and Duration

For this study, you will be asked to participate in a survey conducted electronically through Qualtrics software program. You will then be asked if you wish to participate in a follow-up interview held at a later date of your choice. The interview is completely optional.


Participation in this study will last a short amount of time, but you may choose to voluntarily dropout at any time. Surveys should take approximately 5 minutes of your time, and the interview should take approximately 10-15 minutes of your time. Altogether, your total commitment to this study should be no more than 30 minutes.


Audio Recordings, Observation Notes, and Transcriptions

With your permission, the research group will audio record your interview and later transcribe that recording. Audio files and transcripts will be stored in a password-protected, Dropbox folder, a secure storage device, that only the researchers will supervise. Your name and e-mail will not be attached to any interview data files and transcripts.


Data Confidentiality

The data collected in our research study will be confidential. The data through digital surveys will be stored on Qualtrics with only our research group’s supervision. For the research survey, you will not need any identifying information, unless you choose to conduct a follow-up interview in which we will be asking your e-mail address to be contacted for the interview.


Data Storage

The data collected in our research study will be confidential. The data through the survey will be stored on Qualtrics with only our research group’s supervision. All data will be stored in a password-protected Dropbox folder that only our research group may see. The data will also be stored on a password-protected computer and will be deleted at the end of the semester at the latest.


Risks or Discomforts

While taking as many steps as we can to prevent any information to leak out, with technology, it is still possible for some data to be exposed. The risk is still minimal. During our research study, you may be asked uncomfortable and/or embarrassing questions. All questions will be optional and you may skip them at any time.


Who to Contact Should You Experience Any Negative Effects From Participating in This Study

Should you experience any feelings of discomfort while participating in this study, please consult the Ball State University Counseling Center at 765-285-1736 or Still Waters Professional Counseling, LLC at 765-284-0043 for qualified counseling in your area.



There are no direct benefits to participating in this study.


Voluntary Participation

Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary, and you may withdraw your participation at any time for any reason without penalty or prejudice from the researchers. Feel free to ask the researchers any questions you have regarding participation in the study.


IRB Contact Information

This study has been approved by Ball State’s Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research. For more information about your rights as a research subject, please contact:


Office of Research Integrity

Ball State University

2000 West University Ave.

Teacher’s College, Room 409

Muncie, IN 47306

(765) 285-5034


Researcher’s Contact Information


Faculty Advisor Contact Information

Eva Snider

Department of English

Ball State University

Robert Bell 257

(540) 588-7954

Principal Investigator Contact Information

Ethan Sweat

Department of Telecommunications

Ball State University

(317) 217-0029

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