Dissertation Research Study

Hey there, and welcome to the page all about my research study, tentatively titled Playing With(out) Golden Hands: Reflections and Experiences with Console Controllers. This research is being completed at Purdue University, IRB # 2022-1135.

This narrative inquiry study will examine experiences video game players have with console controllers, specifically those designed by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, and how those experiences intersect with the player’s identity. In doing so, we will shed light on narratives and experiences that are frequently overlooked when discussing video games: those involving peripherals (console controllers) and their impact on gaming experience and gaming culture. This study is estimated to run for up to eighteen months, with initial survey data collection through 2022 and interviews running through 2023. More detailed information about the study can be found below.

If you have ever played a video game with a console controller, I’m interested in hearing from you. If you’re interested in taking the survey, please click the button below. The survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete. If, at the end of the survey, you are interested in potentially being interviewed, please indicate your interest.

This study is largely exploratory in nature, using reflection and personal narratives to learn about experiences video game players have with console controllers and if/how those experiences intersect with the player’s identity.

Throughout this study, individuals may share narratives on their experiences with console controllers and within gaming culture, with special attention given to marginalized identities and the stories that are shared within gaming spaces. By marginalized identities, we mean individuals whose identities may include one or more of the following: non-white, non-male, non-able bodied, and non-heterosexual.

Perhaps the most tangible goal of this research is to disrupt the dominant narrative — or the popular narrative that gaming spaces are for white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men — by highlighting the narratives of video game players whose identities don’t necessarily fall into those categories and their experiences with console controllers. Console controllers were designed for young men; our hope is that this research is valuable to games industry designers and can bring about positive change in how controllers are designed, tested, and marketed.


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this research project, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You may contact myself, Victoria Braegger, at (435) 494-1212 or vbraegge[at]purdue[dot]edu or Samantha Blackmon at saffista[at]purdue[dot]edu.

To report anonymously via Purdue’s Hotline see If you have questions about your rights while taking part in the study or have concerns about the treatment of research participants, please call the Human Research Protection Program at (765) 494-5942, email ( or write to:

Human Research Protection Program – Purdue University
Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 1032
155 S. Grant St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114