After much deliberation, in 2016, our selection committee decided to award two prizes this year to two very different Fulbright projects.
Matthew Lee of the University of Pennsylvania is addressing the timely topic of the causes of video game-related aggression. Through his research, Matthew is exploring the role of certain social mechanisms, such as game difficulty, user experience, community engagement and perceived social support, in encouraging or deterring anti-social toxicity manifested through cyberbullying and “griefing,” the intentional sabotage of other players’ experiences, in online games. Matthew will use his findings to help prepare his dissertation, which will focus on a model of design for positive games that promote healthy behavior. Our award helped Matthew to travel to the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Congress, where he presented a tutorial on the use of psychological concepts for interdisciplinary collaboration, especially in the design of digital environments that could be used for educational or therapeutic purposes.
The University of Arizona’s Vince Rehouse is studying the methods employed in Australia to make the interests of indigenous population visible to legislators during policy formation. Originally, Vince set out to examine the effectiveness of deliberative democracy, the concept that, through discourse and the exchange of ideas, different groups can coexist and thrive together, and hoped to apply his findings to US political theory with the aim of improving intercultural communication and the well-being of Native Americans. During his time abroad, Vince’s research has pushed him in new directions, leading him to examine the legitimacy of the rule of the Australian government over indigenous people, which he believes can only be obtained through their deliberate consent. In order to make this consent meaningful, however, indigenous groups must have the option, and the resources, to govern themselves, meaning that if they did not consent, they could theoretically succeed from Australia. However, Vince believes that through improvement of the conditions of Aboriginal communities to the point that they could succeed and large-scale reconciliation and trust-building efforts, Australia can morally legitimize its rule.
For a complete list of recipients of project support to work in Australia, please consult Australian Project Alumni.