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CHIPLAY Tables of Contents: 1415

Proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

Fullname:2014 Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Editors:Lennart E. Nacke; T. C. Nicholas Graham
Location:Toronto, Canada
Dates:2014-Oct-19 to 2014-Oct-21
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3014-5; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: CHIPLAY14
Papers:94
Pages:476
Links:Conference Website
  1. Research paper presentations
  2. Doctoral consortiums
  3. Student games competitions
  4. Works-in-progress
  5. Workshop summaries
  6. Keynote address
  7. Course descriptions
  8. Keynote address II

Research paper presentations

Evaluation of recording methods for user test sessions on mobile devices BIBAFull-Text 1-8
  Andrea Abney; Brooke White; Jeremy Glick; Andre Bermudez; Paul Breckow; Jason Yow; Rayna Tillinghast-Trickett; Paul Heath
Disney Interactive produces mobile games, applications, and websites. The user research group is responsible for evaluating games and apps through user testing. We have been working on refining our video capture and streaming solutions for user tests on mobile devices. We designed this experiment to see if any of the recording methods we used were changing player behavior and impacting their gameplay performance. We assessed changes in absolute score for two different games to determine impact to player efficacy. We analyzed observational data and player self-ratings on performance, comfort, awareness, and focus. We evaluated children, young adults, and older adults. The results across all of the data were consistent and this paper explains the experiment and provides recommendations for mobile recording of user test sessions.
TF-CBT triangle of life: a game to help with cognitive behavioral therapy BIBAFull-Text 9-16
  Etaba Assigana; Eric Chang; Seungsuk Cho; Vivek Kotecha; Bing Liu; Hannah Turner; Yan Zhang; Michael G. Christel; Scott M. Stevens
Under direction of medical professionals associated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a mobile game was developed for children ages 10-12 to teach the Cognitive Triangle concept of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. This triangle is an essential component of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). A storybook experience with minigames was quickly prototyped, but first playtests showed a lack of engagement with children. The game was revised to emphasize side-scroller platform advancement where success in a level was tied intrinsically to cognitive triangle classification. Children rated the game highly across a series of playtests. The game has potential to be used by clinicians delivering TF-CBT as an appealing exercise for children.
Relating gaming habits with student performance in a gamified learning experience BIBAFull-Text 17-25
  Gabriel Barata; Sandra Gama; Joaquim A. P. Jorge; Daniel J. V. Gonçalves
Gamified education is a novel concept, and early trials show its potential to engage students and improve their performance. However, little is known about how different students learn with gamification, and how their gaming habits influence their experience. In this paper we present a study where data regarding student performance and gaming preferences, from a gamified engineering course, was collected and analyzed. We performed cluster analysis to understand what different kinds of students could be observed in our gamified experience, and how their behavior could be correlated to their gaming characteristics. We identified four main student types: the Achievers, the Regular students, the Halfhearted students, and the Underachievers, all representing different strategies towards the course and with different gaming preferences. Here we will thoroughly describe each student type and address how different gaming preferences might have impacted the students' learning experience.
Paradigms of games research in HCI: a review of 10 years of research at CHI BIBAFull-Text 27-36
  Marcus Carter; John Downs; Bjorn Nansen; Mitchell Harrop; Martin Gibbs
In this paper we argue that games and play research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction can usefully be understood as existing within 4 distinct research paradigms. We provide our rationale for developing these paradigms and discuss their significance in the context of the inaugural CHI Play conference.
Screen ecologies, multi-gaming and designing for different registers of engagement BIBAFull-Text 37-46
  Marcus Carter; Bjorn Nansen; Martin R. Gibbs
In this paper, we propose the notion of screen ecologies and argue for its importance in the study of contemporary digital game play. We draw on findings from a range of studies to highlight the interplay between screen ecologies, game design, and registers of engagement. We discuss how game play is increasingly mediated by multiple screen configurations, and in turn, how the design of different games are suited to or appropriated within these different screen ecologies. From this analysis we propose a number of modalities of game-engagement that we argue will assist further HCI research into game design and player experience research.
Improving player balancing in racing games BIBAFull-Text 47-56
  Jared E. Cechanowicz; Carl Gutwin; Scott Bateman; Regan Mandryk; Ian Stavness
In competitive games where players' skill levels are mismatched, the play experience can be unsatisfying for both stronger and weaker players. Player balancing provides assistance for less-skilled players in order to make games more competitive and engaging. Although player balancing can be seen in many real-world games, there is little work on the design and effectiveness of these techniques outside of shooting games. In this paper we provide new knowledge about player balancing in the popular and competitive racing genre. We studied issues of noticeability and balancing effectiveness in a prototype racing game, and tested the effects of several balancing techniques on performance and play experience. The techniques significantly improved the balance of player performance, were preferred by both experts and novices, increased novices' feelings of competitiveness, and did not detract from experts' experience. Our results provide new understanding of the design and use of player balancing for racing games, and provide novel techniques that can also be applied to other genres.
The first hour experience: how the initial play can engage (or lose) new players BIBAFull-Text 57-66
  Gifford K. Cheung; Thomas Zimmermann; Nachiappan Nagappan
The first time a player sits down with a game is critical for their engagement. Games are a voluntary activity and easy to abandon. If the game cannot hold player attention, it will not matter how much fun the game is later on if the player quits early. Worse, if the initial experience was odious enough, the player will dissuade others from playing. Industry advice is to make the game fun from the start to hook the player. In our analysis of over 200 game reviews and interviews with industry professionals, we advance an alternative, complementary solution. New design terminology is introduced such as "holdouts" (what keeps players playing despite poor game design) and the contrast between momentary fun vs. intriguing experiences. Instead of prioritizing fun, we assert that intrigue and information should be seen as equally valuable for helping players determine if they want to continue playing. The first sustained play session (coined "first hour"), when inspected closely, offers lessons for game development and our understanding of how players evaluate games as consumable products.
What's in a name?: naming practices in online video games BIBAFull-Text 67-76
  Nicole Crenshaw; Bonnie Nardi
Recent research suggests that participation in online video games allows players to create an "idealized self" through their characters, that is, a character perceived to be more attractive or interesting than the player. However, our research indicates that players use carefully created character names to develop a persistent, pragmatic identity to maintain social relationships across games and related sites, and to express their personalities by incorporating elements of popular culture, literary references, and aspects of their own personal histories. Identity in gaming is thus more complex than identification with the physical representation of the character.
Towards tangible gamified co-design at school: two studies in primary schools BIBAFull-Text 77-86
  Gabriella Dodero; Rosella Gennari; Alessandra Melonio; Santina Torello
Co-design is an ideal approach to design with users. It allows designers to create products, such as games, with their intended users and in their natural environment, e.g., children and their teachers in their school. Nowadays school contexts, however, pose their own requirements to co-design, which can affect its success. For instance, school contexts tend to be associated to boring rote by learners, who are used to interactive digital games. Gamification can then help in creating a positive engaging experience for school classes that co-design, as games do. This paper takes up such a view: it gamifies co-design contexts in order to positively engage school classes. To this end it presents two studies with gamified co-design in primary schools: heterogeneous teams co-designed prototypes by resolving missions as in a game, in the first short-term study; they did it in an even more gamified context, in the second long-term study. Results of both studies are encouraging for the approach. The paper also advances basic guidelines for tangibly gamifying co-design at school, grounded in the studies and literature.
Exploring the effect of achievements on students attending university orientation BIBAFull-Text 87-96
  Zachary Fitz-Walter; Peta Wyeth; Dian Tjondronegoro; Daniel Johnson
University orientation is a key event for new students that aids in the transition from a school to a university environment. A smartphone orientation application was built to aid students attending the event. Achievements were added to the application in an attempt to engage students further with the orientation activities and application. An exploratory field study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of the achievement system on participants attending orientation. Forty-six new students were recruited to test the orientation application. Twenty-six participants used a gamified version of the orientation application and twenty participants used a non-gamified version. While the gamification was generally well received, no impact on user experience was evident. Some effect on engagement with orientation activities was shown. Participants who used the gamified system reported the game elements as fun, but some negative issues arose, such as cheating.
Decreasing sedentary behaviours in pre-adolescents using casual exergames at school BIBAFull-Text 97-106
  Yue Gao; Kathrin M. Gerling; Regan L. Mandryk; Kevin G. Stanley
There are risks to too much sedentary behaviour, regardless of a person's level of physical activity, particularly for children. As exercise habits instilled during childhood are strong predictors of healthy lifestyles later in life, it is important that schools break up long sedentary periods with short periods of physical activity. Casual exergames are an appealing option for schools who wish to engage adolescents, and have been shown to provide exertion levels at recommended values, even when played for only 10 minutes. In this paper we describe a preliminary survey with teachers of a local school that informed the deployment of a casual exergame with a group of pre-adolescent students from the same school. We show that students preferred the game to traditional exercise, that the game was able to generate appropriate levels of exertion in pre-adolescents, and that students have a sophisticated understanding of the role of exercise in their lives. Overall, we establish the feasibility of casual exergames for combating sedentary behavior in preteen classrooms.
Playfully learning visual perspective taking skills with sifteo cubes BIBAFull-Text 107-113
  Luc Geurts; Vero Vanden Abeele; Kevin Van Keer; Ruben Isenborghs
In this paper we describe the design, development and testing of two computer games using Sifteo Cubes that help children to train their visual perspective taking (VPT) skills, i.e. the ability to see the world from another person's perspective. The challenge was to design an enjoyable and usable game that takes into account the huge variability in the perspective taking skills within the target group (preschoolers at the age of five, and older children with learning disabilities). Sifteo Cubes can be considered as digital or intelligent manipulatives that are often used in instruction. We advocate that these type tangible objects can help children performing VPT related tasks since they allow for actions in the real world that aid their thinking. Pre-test and post-test results revealed a short term learning effect on VPT skills after playing the two games.
Using video games to facilitate understanding of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a feasibility study BIBAFull-Text 115-120
  Thomas A. Goldman; Frank J. Lee; Jichen Zhu
This paper presents an approach for facilitating understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through the procedural rhetoric of our persuasive video game Drawn to Distraction. Different from realistic simulations, our game is designed to convey a message about the disorder primarily through game mechanics. To test the feasibility of this approach, we conducted a series of studies involving caregivers of ADHD-affected children and the general public. The results, especially in Experiment 3, show promising trends on the feasibility of using persuasive games to promote understanding of psychological disorders.
Instructional objectives to core-gameplay: a serious game design technique BIBAFull-Text 121-130
  Joshua V. Hall; Peta A. Wyeth; Daniel Johnson
This paper explores a gap within the serious game design research. That gap is the ambiguity surrounding the process of aligning the instructional objectives of serious games with their core-gameplay i.e. the moment-to-moment activity that is the core of player interaction. A core-gameplay focused design framework is proposed that can work alongside existing, more broadly focused serious games design frameworks. The framework utilises an inquiry-based approach that allows the serious game designer to use key questions as a means to clearly outline instructional objectives with the core-gameplay. The use of this design framework is considered in the context of a small section of gameplay from an educational game currently in development. This demonstration of the framework brings shows how instructional objectives can be embedded into a serious games core-gameplay.
Player strategies: achieving breakthroughs and progressing in single-player and cooperative games BIBAFull-Text 131-140
  Ioanna Iacovides; Anna L. Cox; Ara Avakian; Thomas Knoll
Challenge is considered to be one of the key components of game-play, where game designers face the tricky task of getting the balance right so that game-play is neither too easy nor too difficult. Through attempting in-game challenges, players experience cycles of breakdown and breakthrough, where breakthroughs involve moments of insight in which learning occurs. However, little attention has been given to how players actually overcome challenges to progress during game-play. Across two studies, we explore the ways in which players attempt to achieve breakthroughs in relation to single-player and co-located multiplayer games. We identified a number of strategies that are used by players, which illustrate how learning occurs during play. For instance, while "Experiment" involves forming an informal hypothesis, "Trial & error" occurs when the player tries to find out what, if anything, will happen when they carry out an action. These strategies are considered in relation to supporting player progress and engaging game-play when designing commercial and educational games.
The edge of glory: the relationship between metacritic scores and player experience BIBAFull-Text 141-150
  Daniel Johnson; Christopher Watling; John Gardner; Lennart E. Nacke
This study sought to examine how measures of player experience used in videogame research relate to Metacritic Professional and User scores. In total, 573 participants completed an online survey, where they responded the Player Experience of Need Satisfaction (PENS) and the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ) in relation to their current favourite videogame. Correlations among the data indicate an overlap between the player experience constructs and the factors informing Metacritic scores. Additionally, differences emerged in the ways professionals and users appear to allocate game ratings. However, the data also provide clear evidence that Metacritic scores do not reflect the full complexity of player experience and may be misleading in some cases.
Engaged by boos and cheers: the effect of co-located game audiences on social player experience BIBAFull-Text 151-160
  Dennis L. Kappen; Pejman Mirza-Babaei; Jens Johannsmeier; Daniel Buckstein; James Robb; Lennart E. Nacke
Little is currently known about the influence of co-located player audiences on gameplay experience. Social player experiences are important to understand in co-located gaming scenarios, because these experiences relate to player performance. Player-audience relationships have been studied before, but prior research focused on player attributes and typology. In our study, we investigated the effect of different co-located audience types (silent, positive, negative) and no audience on player experience. For the study, we contribute a video game specifically developed for two-player, co-located gameplay and findings from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Our findings show that both -- negative and positive audience activity -- drove players to become more engaged in the video game. In contrast, silent audiences made players feel unnerved and less engaged in gameplay. Our paper is the first to study of the relevance of co-located audience influence on player experience, which is important for understanding the design of co-located games.
Playing with strangers: understanding temporary teams in league of legends BIBAFull-Text 161-169
  Yubo Kou; Xinning Gui
Game researchers have extensively studied how players form long-term social organizations such as guilds and clans to accomplish complex tasks such as raiding in online games. Few studies have paid attention to how temporary teams (or pickup groups) composed of strangers fulfill complex tasks. Riot Games' League of Legends, a team-based competitive online game, is played by two temporary teams. Players must collaborate with strangers in a relatively short time (about 30-50 minutes). How do players interact and collaborate with their teammates in temporary teams? To answer this question, we conducted an ethnographic study within the League of Legends community. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with experienced players. We found that rich social interaction exists within temporary teams. Players want to collaborate with strangers through communication and coordination. They discipline their own ways of interaction to facilitate collaboration. They try to exert influence over their teammates. We further discuss design implications for facilitating collaboration among strangers.
Whom are you looking for?: the effects of different player representation relations on the presence in gaze-based games BIBAFull-Text 171-179
  Michael Lankes; Thomas Mirlacher; Stefan Wagner; Wolfgang Hochleitner
In this paper, we investigate the influence of different loci of manipulation relations (position of the player's ability to assert control) on presence. Novel game input devices (such as Microsoft Kinect or PlayStation Move) contribute to presence, and allow a broad range of game interactions, such as using facial expressions, gaze or head movement. This increase of complexity has led to some interesting design challenges: in a typical game design the setup of the locus of manipulation is quite simple as there is only one. For instance, the player uses a gamepad to move a game character through an obstacle course. However, design decisions get more complicated, when a game design includes more than just one input device and a second locus of manipulation. Does the relation of the two loci of manipulation have an impact on the perceived presence? To address this topic we utilized eye tracking technology, and carried out a comparative study consisting of four scenarios based on a 2D platform game. Three scenarios are controlled using an eye tracking device and a gamepad. They differ in their relation between the player character and the avatar. The 4th scenario is solely controlled with the gamepad. Results revealed that the inclusion of gaze input to investigate this issue proved to be very effective. It was discovered that the relation between the loci of manipulation has a strong influence on the perceived presence and its sub-dimensions.
Learning curves: analysing pace and challenge in four successful puzzle games BIBAFull-Text 181-190
  Conor Linehan; George Bellord; Ben Kirman; Zachary H. Morford; Bryan Roche
The pace at which challenges are introduced in a game has long been identified as a key determinant of both the enjoyment and difficulty experienced by game players, and their ability to learn from game play. In order to understand how to best pace challenges in games, there is great value in analysing games already demonstrated as highly engaging. Play-through videos of four puzzle games (Portal, Portal 2 Co-operative mode, Braid and Lemmings), were observed and analysed using metrics derived from a behavioural psychology understanding of how people solve problems. Findings suggest that; 1) the main skills learned in each game are introduced separately, 2) through simple puzzles that require only basic performance of that skill, 3) the player has the opportunity to practice and integrate that skill with previously learned skills, and 4) puzzles increase in complexity until the next new skill is introduced. These data provide practical guidance for designers, support contemporary thinking on the design of learning structures in games, and suggest future directions for empirical research.
Natural mapping and intuitive interaction in videogames BIBAFull-Text 191-200
  Mitchell W. McEwan; Alethea L. Blackler; Daniel M. Johnson; Peta A. Wyeth
Videogame control interfaces continue to evolve beyond their traditional roots, with devices encouraging more natural forms of interaction growing in number and pervasiveness. Yet little is known about their true potential for intuitive use. This paper proposes methods to leverage existing intuitive interaction theory for games research, specifically by examining different types of naturally mapped control interfaces for videogames using new measures for previous player experience. Three commercial control devices for a racing game were categorised using an existing typology, according to how the interface maps physical control inputs with the virtual gameplay actions. The devices were then used in a within-groups (n=64) experimental design aimed at measuring differences in intuitive use outcomes. Results from mixed design ANOVA are discussed, along with implications for the field.
Understanding expectations with multiple controllers in an augmented reality videogame BIBAFull-Text 201-206
  Pejman Mirza-Babaei; Nathan Gale; João P. Costa; Lennart E. Nacke; Daniel Johnson
Player experiences and expectations are connected. The presumptions players have about how they control their gameplay interactions may shape the way they play and perceive videogames. A successfully engaging player experience might rest on the way controllers meet players' expectations. We studied player interaction with novel controllers on the Sony PlayStation Wonderbook, an augmented reality (AR) gaming system. Our goal was to understand player expectations regarding game controllers in AR game design. Based on this preliminary study, we propose several interaction guidelines for hybrid input from both augmented reality and physical game controllers.
Around the world in 8 workshops: investigating anticipated player experiences of children BIBAFull-Text 207-216
  Christiane Moser; Yoram Chisik; Manfred Tscheligi
Player experience describes the qualities of player-game interaction and is typically evaluated during or after the game has been developed. Different approaches exist to improve and optimize player experience during the design process (e.g., design guidelines). However, the anticipated or expected player experience of users can also guide game developers and researcher in order to develop better games. A series of game ideation workshops with children aged 8 to 15 years was conducted in eight different locations around the world. The workshops produced video snippets, in which children explain their thoughts on possible game play scenarios of a game idea (i.e., anticipations and expectations). An initial content analysis of the videos highlights the game elements and playful experiences that contribute to the anticipated player experience of the children that should guide game developers and researchers.
Beyond designing for motivation: the importance of context in gamification BIBAFull-Text 217-226
  Chad Richards; Craig W. Thompson; Nicholas Graham
Most design advice for the development of successful gamification systems has focused on how best to engage the end user while imbuing the system with playfulness. This paper argues that it is also critical for designers to focus on the broad context of the system's deployment, including the identification of stakeholder requirements, requirements from the hosting organization, deep understanding of the diversity of the target population, understanding of limits in the agency of the target users, and constraints arising from the post-deployment environment. To illustrate the importance of such contextual and stakeholder analysis, the paper presents issues and associated solutions that were discovered through the creation of a children's nutrition and fitness education gamification system. The problems identified through a broad analysis of context significantly altered the design of the system and led to the realization that the initially conceptualized project would have been unusable. The paper concludes with concrete lessons for designers.
Maze commander: a collaborative asynchronous game using the oculus rift & the sifteo cubes BIBAFull-Text 227-236
  Pejman Sajjadi; Edgar Omar Cebolledo Gutierrez; Sandra Trullemans; Olga De Troyer
In this paper we present Maze Commander, a two-player game using two different types of interaction. One player uses the Oculus Rift and the other uses the Sifteo Cubes. The game requires effective and efficient communication to win. We also conducted an evaluation. The results show a positive evaluation for the game experience and collaboration, but no significant differences in game experience between the two modes of interaction. However, preferred interaction modalities were not yet taken into consideration for selecting the participants. We also present lessons learned from this experiment, and our future work.
Reducing the negative effects of inconsistencies in networked games BIBAFull-Text 237-246
  Cheryl Savery; Nicholas Graham
Networking is a key component of digital games, with many featuring multiplayer modes and online components. The time required to transmit data over a network can lead to usability problems such as inconsistency between players' views of a virtual world, and race conditions when resolving players' actions. Implementing a good consistency maintenance scheme is therefore critical to gameplay. Sadly, problems with consistency remain a regular occurrence in multiplayer games, causing player game states to diverge. There is little guidance available on how these inconsistencies impact player experience, nor on how best to repair them when they arise. We investigate the effectiveness of different strategies for repairing inconsistencies, and show that the three most important factors affecting the detection of corrections are the player's locus of attention, the smoothness of the correction and the duration of the correction.
Interaction design and cognitive gameplay: role of activation time BIBAFull-Text 247-256
  Kamran Sedig; Robert Haworth
Currently, there are no frameworks or methods for the systematic design of cognitive gameplay, the cognitive processes that emerge from the gameplay experience. In this paper, our aim is to contribute to the understanding of how to systematically design interaction for cognitive gameplay. The quality of the essential interactions between the player and the game -- the sum of the operational forms of several structural elements of interaction -- is the heart of cognitive gameplay. One such element is activation time, the timing of the action response of an interaction. We conducted a study to investigate the effect of different operational forms of activation time on cognitive gameplay. Two puzzle games were developed, each with one version for immediate activation time and another for on-demand activation time. The on-demand version of both games engaged participants in more effortful and reflective cognitive gameplay, while the immediate version was not conducive to such engagement.
A framework for cooperative communication game mechanics from grounded theory BIBAFull-Text 257-266
  Zachary O. Toups; Jessica Hammer; William A. Hamilton; Ahmad Jarrah; William Graves; Oliver Garretson
A rich element of cooperative games are mechanics that communicate. Unlike automated awareness cues and synchronous verbal communication, cooperative communication mechanics enable players to share information and direct action by engaging with game systems. These include both explicitly communicative mechanics, such as built-in pings that direct teammates' attention to specific locations, and emergent communicative mechanics, where players develop their own conventions about the meaning of in-game activities, like jumping to get attention. We use a grounded theory approach with 40 digital games to identify and classify the types of cooperative communication mechanics game designers might use to enable cooperative play. We provide details on the classification scheme and offer a discussion on the implications of cooperative communication mechanics.
Problematizing cultural appropriation BIBAFull-Text 267-276
  Asimina Vasalou; Rilla Khaled; Daniel Gooch; Laura Benton
Cultural appropriation in games entails the taking of knowledge, artifacts or expression from a culture and recontextualizing it within game structures. While cultural appropriation is a pervasive practice in games, little attention has been given to the ethical issues that emerge from such practices with regards to how culture is portrayed. This paper problematizes cultural appropriation in the context of a serious game for children inspired by Día de los Muertos, a Mexican festival focused on remembrance of the dead. Taking a research through design approach, we demonstrate that recontextualised cultural elements can retain their basic, original meaning. However, we also find that cultural appropriation is inevitable and its ethical implications can be far reaching. In our context, ethical concerns arose as a result of children's beliefs that death affects prominent others and their destructive ways of coping with death. We argue that revealing emergent ethical concerns is imperative before deciding how and in what way to encourage culturally authentic narratives.
Know before you go: feelings of flow for older players depends on game and player characteristics BIBAFull-Text 277-286
  Laura A. Whitlock; Anne Collins McLaughlin; William Leidheiser; Maribeth Gandy; Jason C. Allaire
The success of therapeutic games has received recent attention in the research literature, particularly for health issues frequently experienced by adults over age sixty-five. However, less is known about the experience of older adults after interaction with these games and what may promote their adoption and use. We measured the development of flow in a study of over 100 older adults who played a video game for 15 hours across three weeks. Findings indicate that flow development was affected by both individual differences between participants, measured prior to any game experience, and to characteristics of the game, particularly those related to usability of the interface and input device. We conclude with discussion of the flow experience in games for older adults and guidelines for the design of engaging and immersive therapeutic games.

Doctoral consortiums

A model of game design activity: new perspectives on creativity and innovation BIBAFull-Text 287-290
  Laureline Chiapello
Innovation and creativity seem to be mere buzzwords, but the quest for innovation and creativity by game companies is very real. This Ph.D. dissertation suggests adopting a new perspective on these concepts by abandoning a managerial attitude and favoring a design approach. The design process of video games is under-studied, and this research aims to create a model of video game design activity, using the already existing literature in the field of design, and the observation of actual game designers in Montreal.
Examining the impact of game interventions on depression among older adults BIBAFull-Text 291-294
  Jinhui Li
My dissertation research aims to investigate the feasibility and effects of game interventions as depression treatment for geriatric depression. More specifically, I will examine the effects of both game types and settings on older adults' depression. A between-subject factorial design experiment will be conducted to address the main purpose. Results from the study will contribute to existing literature on the influencing mechanisms of games for depression, and provide practical knowledge of game design for mental health purposes.
Gamified co-design with cooperative learning at school BIBAFull-Text 295-298
  Alessandra Melonio
This paper reports on the Ph.D work of A.Melonio. The work deals with co-design for learning contexts. Since co-design with children should be engaging, the Ph.D. work proposes to gamify learning contexts with game ideas and elements for playfully engaging learners and teachers alike. Moreover, since co-design requires to create a sense of partnership, the Ph.D. research proposes the adoption of cooperative learning strategies for fostering the inclusion of all in the design process. In the opening, the main research area and the motivation of this Ph.D work are overviewed. The paper continues presenting the research method of the Ph.D. work and the related goal, objectives and questions. The paper ends recapping the result to date and the next steps to reach.
Using an invisible coach to help players achieve fitness goals in exergames while retaining immersion BIBAFull-Text 299-302
  Chad Richards
Two approaches to designing exergames exist: design a game with incidental exercise, or design an exercise program with an incidental game. We aim to combine the advantages of these approaches by developing an invisible coach that modifies gameplay in order to guide workouts while maintaining game immersion. This opens opportunities to guide players toward focused exercise goals, such as cycling at a desired intensity, or strengthening a weak muscle group, while allowing players to retain the sense of playing a game. We are investigating the design and efficacy of an invisible coach in the context of a novel strength training game.
Understanding difficulty, your brain and challenge BIBAFull-Text 303-306
  Rina R. Wehbe
My thesis proposes to use physiological measures with a focus on electroencephalography (EEG) to examine user-centered difficulty in games and user interfaces. The thesis specifically looks at both intended sources of difficulty and unintended sources of difficulty.
Using play as a lens to bridge the physical with the digital BIBAFull-Text 307-310
  Gavin Wood
When you play, you are deeply involved which is why interaction designers and game designers are increasingly creating playful experiences. However, a pitfall in these digital designs is to focus too much on the game rules and goals. In doing so, we miss the opportunity to design around the more open and self-expressive play that we might relate to our childhoods. In response to this problem, we will explore new digital designs using a lens of play. In treating play as something aspirational, we believe our designs will be able to change our relationships with each other and give new meaning to the spaces around us.

Student games competitions

PoetryLab: a close listening game for iOS BIBAFull-Text 311-314
  Ian A. Arawjo; Christine Mitchell; Jason Camlot
PoetryLab is a close listening game for iOS in which players manipulate a virtual reel-to-reel tape machine and learn editing techniques to solve sound puzzles featuring recorded poetry. Gameplay teaches players about poetry and recording media from both auditory and archival perspectives. Players are trained to listen to and interact with recorded speech in new and unfamiliar ways as they discover the provenance of the poetry excerpts -- a university reading series held in 1960-1970s Montreal.
Tag and seek: a location-based game in Tainan City BIBAFull-Text 315-318
  Caroline Arkenson; Yin-Yu Chou; Chun-Yen Huang; Yi-Chin Lee
Tag and Seek is a location-based game which leads a traveler through Tainan City in Taiwan. The traveler's task is to find Harry's friends who are hiding at different sites in the city. Once at the site, the traveler has to scan a Near Field Communication (NFC) tag placed on a board looking like Harry's friend. When the NFC tag is scanned the lost friend is found, information about the site is presented and instructions to the next site will be available. The game lets the traveler experience culture, gain knowledge about sites in the city and meet local citizens -- without the traveler having to plan the trip ahead. By implementing NFC technology as check points the interaction with the game differs from regular tourist guides and the threat of privacy which comes with location-based services is greatly lowered as the traveler is not being tracked by GPS. From our user evaluation we found that both the interface and interaction with the boards could use some improvements to increase the usability.
BloxAR: augment your social life! BIBAFull-Text 319-322
  Niels C. Bakker; Jehan R. S. da Camara; Maarten van Elsas; Leon J. Helsloot; Gert Spek; Isha J. van Baar; Rafael Bidarra; Ben A. Kybartas
Many people who own a smartphone spend a large amount of time playing mobile games. Despite the technological capabilities and social potential of these devices, the majority of mobile games make limited use of available technologies and contain little or no multiplayer elements. BloxAR is an augmented reality mobile game that aims to provide a fun and engaging social experience. In this game, players compete in teams to be the first to build a virtual block structure within a set time. Play consists of physically exploring the structure in an augmented reality environment, building the structure by placing blocks and cooperating with teammates to combine blocks together.
HIDDEN LION: a location based app game of sword lion searching BIBAFull-Text 323-326
  Kuo Ping Chang; Yu Wei Huang; Shu Yin Hsueh; Yuh Tyng Chen; Shun Nung Huang; Chien-Hsu Chen; Sheng-Fen Chien
In this paper we introduce Hidden Lion, a Location Based Service (LBS) APP game which is related to sword lion culture in Anping, Taiwan. Sword Lion symbolizes the protector god in Anping. Many local people built sword lions in front their houses because they believed that these stone plated statues will keep evil spirits away. Nowadays these statues decay with time and weather and leave a few in Anping. Recently, with the promotion of Government, many travelers are attracted to come here and find out remaining sword lions and experience local cultural stories. However, sword lion searching has some problems: (1) Sword lions are hard to be found. (2) Sword lion searching may disturb local people. (3) Visitors do not truly realize the cultural story of sword lions. Therefore, we develop Hidden Lion which has a storyline and theme that has a connection with sword lion. In the game, visitors can follow the maps and the precise positions of sword lions to find them easily. What's more, Hidden Lion includes interactive mission games for visitors to play. These games are related to the background story of sword lions. While playing the interactive games at each sword lion site with this APP, visitors can find sword lions and experience the background story of each sword lion. Furthermore, Hidden Lion creates a service system in Anping. From the support from Anping district office, more and more visitors can come here and play the Hidden Lion. After completing all the interactive games, the visitors will receive a coupon of sword lion model coloring from Sword Lion School as a reward, which gradually forms a business cycle and culture connection. These visitors may be encouraged to come to Anping again and again, enhancing cultural and commercial development in Anping.
ASPECT sinking and floating: an interactive playable simulation for teaching buoyancy concepts BIBAFull-Text 327-330
  Shengyen Tony Chen; David Borland; Marc Russo; Ryan Grady; James Minogue
Traditional methods of teaching concepts relating to buoyancy (sinking and floating) to elementary students are often ineffective. With the development of new const-effective haptic controllers, we may be able to improve upon traditional teaching methods. Data was gathered during focus groups with both teachers and students to develop a list of misconceptions to target. In addition to targeting misconceptions, we use a Novint Falcon haptic force feedback controller to enable direct feeling of forces. To effectively merge the haptic controller into the system usability testing was performed. This paper presents the initial findings of our interactive playable simulation.
Herbert: a motion-controlled mobile game BIBAFull-Text 331-334
  Alexander M. Duff; Jun Ma; Shannon Sepelak; Alberto Uriarte; Wenjie Wu; Jichen Zhu
Smartphone games lack the hardware interface afforded by other gaming media like controllers for consoles, keyboard and mouse for PCs, joysticks and buttons on arcade cabinets, etc. As such, many popular games focus on puzzle mechanics using the touch screen interface, such as Angry Birds[1] or Cut the Rope[2]. We focused on skill-based, reactionary gameplay with an intuitive and unique control scheme in Herbert, where the player moves the character around the world by tilting the device and free oneself from traps by shaking the device. We did this in order to minimize on-screen GUI clutter found in other games such as OMG Pirates![3], Street Fighter IV[4] and Zombieville, USA[5] while retaining the challenge enjoyment, and intuitiveness of skill based gaming. The web version of the game can be played at: https://www.cs.drexel.edu/~amd435/Herbert_Web.html
ASCENT: a first person mountain climbing game on the oculus rift BIBAFull-Text 335-338
  Tristan Dufour; Vincent Pellarrey; Philippe Chagnon; Ahmed Majdoubi; Théo Torregrossa; Vladimir Nachbaur; Cheng Li; Ricardo Ibarra Cortes; Jonathan Clermont; Florent Dumas
ASCENT is a first person mountain climbing game on the Oculus Rift (PC). The player attempts to ascend the highest peaks of each continent. Equipped with two ice axes, he challenges the breathtaking slopes of mountaineering legends such as the Eiger, Denali and Mount Everest. His ascents are captured by his GoPro and watched by millions on the web. Thanks to his sponsors and his fans, the player will be able to test himself on new mountains and upgrade his equipment.
UnderControl an educational serious-game for reproductive health BIBAFull-Text 339-342
  Victor Guana; Tracy Xiang; Hannah Zhang; Ella Schepens; Eleni Stroulia
Educational serious games are effective tools to communicate topics of interest to diverse audiences through well defined gameplay designs. In recent years, reproductive health has become an area of special interest for government and health organizations when designing educational programs for teens and young adults. In this paper we present UnderControl, a multi-level mobile serious game that educates players about contraception and STI prevention in an elegant, yet straightforward fashion.
CHI PLAY 2014: the bellman: subtle interactions in a linear narrative BIBAFull-Text 343-346
  Daniel Harley; Richard Lachman
This paper presents an Internet adaptation of a novella called The Bellman. The design is inspired by unconventional games, particularly with regard to how interaction affects a narrative. The Bellman explores how simple mechanics can be part of the storytelling, and can have an impact on the player's emotional response. The Bellman is available at www.thebellman.ca.
WORD BLASTOFF: a physics word game for iOS BIBAFull-Text 347-350
  Nook Harquail; Michelle Khare
Word Blastoff is a single-player word game app in which players are challenged to create 2 to 7 letter words from a pool of randomly-generated letters that enter the screen and gravitate towards a central black hole. With each letter that it zaps, the hole expands in size and ultimately explodes once it is too large for the screen, ending the game.
Little Newton: an educational physics game BIBAFull-Text 351-354
  Natalie Lyon; Josep Valls; Caroline Guevara; Ning Shao; Junyu Zhu; Jichen Zhu
Little Newton is a 3D defense game in which the player learns about basic physics concepts by controlling physical attributes of projectiles. The mechanics of the game require the player to learn the basics of parabolic arcs, and friction in order to make use of the projectiles. Educational and learning theories are applied to the design in order to increase the ability of the player to learn how to play the game itself and therefore learn physics concepts in the process, balancing entertainment and educational content.
OHR BIBAFull-Text 355-358
  Zeno Menestrina; Michele Bianchi; Adriano Siesser; Raul Masu; Andrea Conci
OHR is a puzzle and platform game, based on both classical mechanics and tangible interaction, powered by Unity3D and a custom-built hardware interface called Radiant Square (Radiant2). OHR tells the tale of Spark, an electronic life form, which wakes up in an electronic components dump, trying to exit from it. Players will help Spark to solve puzzles placed throughout the game world using the provided game elements, represented as physical electronic components, by placing them on the Radiant2. Thanks to both the game design and Radiant2 each puzzle can be solved in different ways, allowing the players to explore various solutions. A video presentation of OHR and Radiant2 can be found at: http://youtu.be/0Gh0tuTHAXk
IRC quest: using the commons dilemma to support a single-screen game for hundreds of players BIBAFull-Text 359-362
  Dan John Moran; Carey Metcalfe; T. C. Nicholas Graham
In this paper we describe the challenges of creating a game that can be played by large groups on a single display. Our solutions include the use of smart phones as game controllers using the standard IRC protocol, voting-based turn interaction, and automatically customized avatars allowing hundreds of players to appear on the display simultaneously. To provide meaningful gameplay for large numbers of people, the game is designed around a series of commons dilemmas.
The trial of galileo: a game of motion graphs BIBAFull-Text 363-366
  Ian Pommer; Michael N. Flaherty; Alicia Griesbach; Bryant Seiler; John Leitner; Kenneth Patterson; Dylan Tepp; Brent Dingle
This paper presents a 2D game designed to assist students in better understanding motion graphs. In this game the player's character is not controlled by a joystick or control pad. Instead the game employs a unique interface enabling the player to control the actions of a character by creating a motion graph. The motion graph represents the desired position, velocity, or acceleration of the player's character over time. The graph must be fashioned to move the character through various puzzle environments. Through trial and error the player may achieve a better understanding of what motion graphs depict in the real world.
Jelly polo: increasing richness and competition in sports games using small-scale exertion BIBAFull-Text 367-370
  Mike Sheinin; Carl Gutwin
Sports video games should be inherently competitive, but they fall short in providing true competition for the players. The emphasis on statistical simulations in traditional sports video games has taken away the ability for players to gain expertise development, differentiate how they play from other players, and change the way they play throughout the course of the game. Jelly Polo, a 2D 3-on-3 sports video game uses small-scale exertion to counter the drawbacks stated above. By providing impulse-based movement and precision passing, players can gain expertise in running and passing, differentiating how they play. The small-scale exertion aspect also makes players fatigued, forcing them to strategize how they play throughout the course of a game. Jelly Polo is the first game to show that small-scale exertion can increase the richness and competitiveness in sports video games.
"Generic Shooter 3000": a realistic first person shooter powered by biofeedback BIBAFull-Text 371-374
  Gonçalo Amaral da Silva; Pedro Alves Nogueira; Rui Rodrigues
"Generic Shooter 3000"" is a First-Person shooter with semi-realistic interaction, where actions such as firing a gun or diving through underwater sections are performed with your own body -- through the use of biofeedback technology. This prototype is the idealised version of a research game developed for a master's thesis project on "biofeedback interaction in video games".
"Toru": a game that reverses the wisdom of age using mosquito sound BIBAFull-Text 375-378
  John Smith; Kazuhiro Jo
We propose "Toru," a game that reverses the game skills developed as a person ages using ultra-high-frequency (mosquito) sound. The game has its origin in the computer game Simon (1978), which we interpret from visual to auditory form using the mosquito sound (i.e., ultra-high-frequency sound) for its difficulty settings. Because of individual variations in hearing, the Toru game transforms its character from Mimicry (simulation) to Alea (chance), and provides an opportunity to reverse the wisdom of age (i.e., game skills advantage) developed by adults over the years.
Extended abstract for Canvas Obscura BIBAFull-Text 379-382
  Sam Snodgrass; Benjamin Goldberg; Ariel Evans; Brandon Packard; Cathy Lu; Jichen Zhu
Canvas Obscura is a survival-horror game where the player must locate objects within an ever-changing environment. Canvas Obscura pushes the boundaries of the survival-horror genre by including procedurally generated levels.
Immaculacy: a game of privacy BIBAFull-Text 383-386
  April Suknot; Timothy Chavez; Nathan Rackley; Patrick Gage Kelley
With the intent of addressing growing concerns regarding online privacy, Immaculacy is an interactive story that immerses the player in a slightly dystopian world littered with privacy issues. Events unfold in the narrative based on hidden scores kept during gameplay and calculated based on specific decisions made by the player. Ultimately, we hope to create an engaging environment that helps players consider the decisions they are making in their own lives. We give the player experience with many privacy issues through their explorations of a world of hyper surveillance and connectivity.
Taxi trouble: communication is key BIBAFull-Text 387-390
  Rob van Bekkum; Thijs L. M. Brands; Soheil S. Jahanshahi; Aidan C. A. Mauricio; Joost J. E. Oorschot van; Fanny Lie; Ben Kybartas; Rafael Bidarra
We present the Android game Taxi Trouble, an interactive, competitive and collaborative multi-player game focusing on stimulating social interaction, effective communication and entertaining groups of four to eight people for a short timeframe.
Shynosaurs: a game of attention dilemma BIBAFull-Text 391-394
  Melodie Vidal
Shynosaurs is a game designed to harvest the full range of the natural behaviour of the eyes. On one hand, players need to use their eyes to aim where they direct the mouse, click and drop characters into a safe zone (the cuties). This is the usual behaviour of the eyes, as sensors to gather information. On the other hand, players can choose to use their eyes to stare at and intimidate the enemies (the shynosaurs) in order to slow them down and send them away. This is also a natural behaviour of the eyes, which we sometimes use as means to win a battle of wills. The Shynosaurs game is developed with eye-tracking in mind and aims to embrace the delicate balance needed to use the eyes as both sensors and controllers.
PowerFall: a voice-controlled collaborative game BIBAFull-Text 395-398
  Marco Filipe Ganança Vieira; Hao Fu; Chong Hu; Nayoung Kim; Sudhanshu Aggarwal
In this extended abstract, we present PowerFall, a 2D arcade-style voice-controlled two-player collaborative game. In the game, two players control two cartoon characters tied back-to-back under a falling parachute. The players shout into smartphone microphones, and the volume of their voice is used to navigate the parachute horizontally. The objective of the game is to avoid various hazardous obstacles and safely land on the ground.

Works-in-progress

Dodging stress with a personalized biofeedback game BIBAFull-Text 399-400
  Rami G. Al Rihawi; Beena Ahmed; Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna
We present a personalized biofeedback game that trains subjects to relax during gameplay. Training is achieved by increasing the game difficulty if the subject's breathing rate differs from a prescribed target. Personalization is achieved by adapting game difficulty to the subject's skill level, thus keeping the game challenging over long periods. Validation on a small group of users indicates that the game is effective at training players to acquire deep breathing skills and reducing arousal in a subsequent stress-inducing task.
Ad hoc genre switching: a concept for generalized parametrizable game mechanics BIBAFull-Text 401-402
  Daniel Apken; Marc Herrlich; Rainer Malaka
Game designers have to satisfy the needs of different player types. This paper presents a generalizable concept for switching between different play styles or genres without changing the basic game elements. As an example we employ specific combinations of parametrized game elements to emulate well-known genres: platformer, shooter, and puzzle games that can be switched at run-time by the player. We discuss first insights gained through a preliminary study.
IC-CRIME snapshots: training crime scene photographers using procedural content generation in games BIBAFull-Text 403-404
  Julio César Bahamón; Maxim Litvinov; Phillip Wright; Roderick Gayle; Kurt Lippert; R. Michael Young
Modern day crime scene investigation methods are continually being enhanced by the application of new technologies to improve the analysis and presentation of crime scene information, helping to solve and prosecute crimes. The IC-CRIME Snapshots system provides a games-based tool to help train forensic photographers in a virtual environment.
ASPECT: sinking and floating haptics for elementary school students BIBAFull-Text 405-406
  Shengyen Tony Chen; David Borland; Marc Russo; Ryan Grady; James Minogue
Traditional classroom methods of teaching concepts relating to buoyancy (sinking and floating) to elementary students are often ineffective. Incorporating haptic force-feedback controllers may help to improve traditional teaching methods. ASPECT: Sinking and Floating, targets student misconceptions via an interactive playable simulation. In addition to targeting misconceptions, ASPECT: Sinking and Floating also uses a Novint Falcon (http://www.novint.com/index.php/novintfalcon) haptic force-feedback controller to enable direct feeling of forces. This paper presents our design process and initial findings.
wanted: guild, depicting hardcore gaming culture in virtual reality BIBAFull-Text 407-408
  Chester Cunanan; Jichen Zhu
In this paper we present a playable interactive documentary experience, wanted:Guild, about the experience of hardcore gamers. Informed by postmodern literary theory, the project uses a stereoscopic virtual-reality-based environment supported by the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra. Using interviews with hardcore gamers and environmental elements directly from the World of the Warcraft, the project engages issues about the blurred boundary between reality and simulation and encourages the players to explore these subjects themselves. Our preliminary audience feedback indicates the success and potential area of improvement for the project.
Gamified children universities: an exploratory study BIBAFull-Text 409-410
  Vincenzo Del Fatto; Gabriella Dodero; Rosella Gennari; Alessandra Melonio; Marco Montali; Simon Razniewski; Santina Torello; Xiaofeng Wang; Floriano Zini
Children universities see universities hosting activities for exposing children to research findings. However, universities are not per-se designed for children. This paper advances the idea of gamifying university contexts for children in order to provide them with a positive engaging experience. The reported qualitative study serves as proof-of-concept. Engagement results, albeit preliminary, are positive.
Reindeer & wolves: exploring sensory deprivation in multiplayer digital bodily play BIBAFull-Text 411-412
  Daniel J. Finnegan; Eduardo Velloso; Robb Mitchell; Florian Mueller; Rich Byrne
Games designed around digital bodily play involve bodily movement and expression to create engaging gameplay experiences. Most feedback in these games takes the form of visual stimuli. To explore the gameplay mechanics afforded by depriving players from these visual cues, we designed Reindeer & Wolves, a role-playing game where blindfolded players capture other players relying on their hearing alone. Based on our design and play testing, we devised four strategies for designing games that incorporate sensory deprivation as an element of the core mechanic.
Intangle: exploring interpersonal bodily interactions through sharing controllers BIBAFull-Text 413-414
  Jayden Garner; Gavin Wood; Sandra Danilovic; Jessica Hammer; Florian Mueller
Multi-player computer games are increasingly being designed to engage with interpersonal bodily interactions, however, their focus is often limited to facilitating direct body contact. In contrast, we propose that designers foster varying levels of body contact through the design of shared controller interactions to introduce new types of gameplay that affords players a more nuanced engagement with the concept of socially and personally mediated body-space in games. We explore this through our game intangle, where participants follow computer-generated vocal instructions on how to operate shared controllers that results inevitably into players weaving their bodies together. This game embeds strong social values in the gameplay such as collaboration, empathy and inclusivity.
Last tank rolling: exploring shared motion-based play to empower persons using wheelchairs BIBAFull-Text 415-416
  Kathrin Gerling; Laura Buttrick
This paper presents Last Tank Rolling, a collaborative motion-based military survival game in which players using wheelchairs are invited to apply their assistive device to control a tank. The game offers a strong in-game metaphor for the wheelchair, and invites joint physical interaction that encourages able-bodied players to perceive their peer as a competent collaborator. Ultimately, this project aims to explore the value of shared video game play as a means of empowering people with disabilities, and connecting players of all abilities to foster inclusion.
"beam me 'round, Scotty!": exploring the effect of interdependence in asymmetric cooperative games BIBAFull-Text 417-418
  John Harris; Mark Hancock; Stacey Scott
In this paper, we explore interdependence through asymmetry as a possible game design tool for enriching player experience. We describe a prototype game we developed called "Beam Me 'Round, Scotty!" which alternately tightly or loosely couples the cooperation of two heterogeneous groups of players in an action-oriented science fiction survival game. Future studies will examine the effects of interdependence on player experience and explore whether deliberately symbiotic player relationships can serve as a shortcut to enhanced socialization between players.
TouchPoints: an exertion game with strategy BIBAFull-Text 419-420
  Yasaman Hashemian; Ding Wang
Using video games in rehabilitation has proven the potential to provide patients with fun and motivating exercise systems. The main question therefore is how to design body-based video games to improve a rehabilitation experience. This work-in-progress paper introduces TouchPoints, a full body exertion experience designed for stretching exercises in rehabilitation centers as part of a series of short-duration design studies. Our concept is to provide patients with a scenario where a stretching exercise routine could be accomplished in a playful and pleasant way. Lo-fi prototypes were used to demonstrate the game-play and gather valuable feedback from users' experience, which later informed the design of the TouchPoints. In addition, we propose further user-centric developments for TouchPoints involving both rehabilitation patients and therapists on how to increase patients' motivation. This paper is intended to read alongside the game demo video.
Synthetic perception for intelligent virtual agents BIBAFull-Text 421-422
  Tobias Haubrich; Sven Seele; Rainer Herpers; Christian Bauckhage; Peter Becker
Perception is one of the most important cognitive capabilities of an entity since it determines how an entity perceives its environment. The presented work focuses on providing cost efficient but realistic perceptual processes for intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) or NPCs with the goal of providing a sound information basis for the entities' decision making processes. In addition, an agent-central perception process should rovide a common interface for developers to retrieve data from the IVAs' environment. The overall process is evaluated by applying it to a scenario demonstrating its benefits. The evaluation indicates, that such a realistically simulated perception process provides a powerful instrument to enhance the (perceived) realism of an IVA's simulated behavior.
RedWire: a novel way to create and re-mix games BIBAFull-Text 423-424
  Jesse Himmelstein; Mikael Couzic; Charlene I. Jennett; Anna L. Cox; Raphael Goujet; Ariel Lindner; François Taddei
More and more researchers want to use games as a way of engaging the general public in their research; however game development takes time and requires significant programming knowledge. The goal of RedWire is to enable researchers to create games faster without starting from scratch each time. By encouraging re-mixing and mash-ups, we hope to provide users with an easy way of sharing games and creating variations of games.
Designing an immersive and entertaining pervasive gameplay experience with spheros as game and interface elements BIBAFull-Text 425-426
  Brennan Jones; Kody Dillman; Setareh Aghel Manesh; Ehud Sharlin; Anthony Tang
The Sphero is a robotic remote-controlled ball capable of rolling around on its own in any direction at multiple speeds. Numerous games have been designed for the Sphero for smartphones and tablets. However, most of these games provide an interface for controlling the Sphero that is far from natural. These games also do not put a strong focus on the physical environment around the Sphero. This work discusses a control scheme used to control a Sphero with another Sphero, and a pervasive game leveraging this scheme that emphasizes physical properties of the environment to create an immersive experience.
A bottom-up method for developing a trait-based model of player behavior BIBAFull-Text 427-428
  Mikhail A. Kabakov; Alessandro Canossa; Magy Seif El-nasr; Jeremy B. Badler; Randy C. Colvin; Stefanie Tignor; Zhengxing Chen; Kunal Asarsa
Understanding player behavior through telemetry logs is an important yet unresolved problem. Interpreting the meaning of players' low-level behaviors over time is important due to its utility in (a) developing a more adaptive and personalized game experience, (b) uncovering game design issues, and (c) understanding the human cognitive processes in a gaming context, not to mention its use and application to learning, training, and health. In this paper, the authors describe a work in progress developing a quantified model of player behavior for interpreting telemetry data from a first-person roll-playing game (RPG). This kind of model constitutes a grammar that will allow us to make sense of low-level behavioral data to assess personality, decision-making, and other cognitive constructs through behavioral measures.
Flappy voice: an interactive game for childhood apraxia of speech therapy BIBAFull-Text 429-430
  Tian Lan; Sandesh Aryal; Beena Ahmed; Kirrie Ballard; Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna
We present Flappy Voice, a mobile game to facilitate acquisition of speech timing and prosody skills for children with apraxia of speech. The game is adapted from the popular game Flappy Bird, and replaces touch interaction with voice control. Namely, we map the child's vocal loudness into the bird's position by means of a smoothing filter. In this way, children control the game via the duration and amplitude of their voice. Flappy Voice allows the therapist to create new exercises with different difficulty levels, including an assisted mode for children with limited skills, and a free mode for advanced players. Results from a pilot user study with children support the feasibility of the game as a speech training tool.
Gingerman challenge: a persuasive game for promoting adequate sunlight exposure for office workers BIBAFull-Text 431-432
  Hajin Lim; Jaehyeon Park; Bongwon Suh
In this paper, we present Gingerman Challenge, which is a persuasive mobile game designed to promote moderate sunlight exposure. The design goals of Gingerman Challenge are to help players to recognize the merits of sunlight exposure and to promote maintenance of healthy vitamin D levels. We aim to accomplish these goals by incorporating both casual gaming features and the design principles drawn from preliminary user interviews.
A diary study exploring game completion and player experience BIBAFull-Text 433-434
  Elisa D. Mekler; Alexandre N. Tuch; Anja Lea Martig; Klaus Opwis
This work-in-progress describes a three-month diary study, exploring how 25 players experienced the puzzle platformer FEZ over several gaming sessions. Following each 30 -- 60 minute gaming sessions, players wrote a diary entry describing their game experience and rated their intrinsic motivation. Preliminary findings showed that intrinsic motivation significantly decreased over the course of several sessions. Interestingly, while all players reported comparable experiences during the first few sessions, players who would later finish the game, were less likely to experience this loss of motivation, even before actual completion of the game. Further steps for data analysis are discussed.
Developing iconic and semi-iconic game controllers BIBAFull-Text 435-436
  Lennart E. Nacke; João P. Costa; Dennis L. Kappen; James Robb; Daniel Buckstein
We propose the notion of semi-iconic game input (i.e., sharing some properties of game objects instead of being a complete iconic representation of them) and investigate influence of controller representation on player experience. In particular, we developed game controllers at different degrees of realism (symbolic, semi-iconic, and iconic). We present the developed controllers and initial usability findings.
Adage: an open API for data collection in educational games BIBAFull-Text 437-438
  Mark E. Stenerson; Allison Salmon; Matthew Berland; Kurt Squire
In an attempt to provide academic game development studios with an efficient and low-cost data collection system that can be used across multiple games, the Assessment Data Aggregator for Gaming Environments (ADAGE) framework is currently being designed and developed by the University of Wisconsin and the Learning Games Network, in tandem with the Play Data Consortium [1, 8]. The developers of ADAGE hope that the open-source nature of the project will encourage collaboration across the multiple academic institutions currently developing and investigating the use of video games as educational tools.
Playing with emotions: sentiment design for public space BIBAFull-Text 439-440
  Emily Sun; Mark Matthews; Geri Gay; Margaret E. Morris; Douglas Carmean
This design research explored ways to support emotional expression in interactive games played in a public, social setting. Affective gaming has incorporated emotional assessment to tailor feedback during gameplay, but as a result, distills complex emotional states into simple inputs. Our research focused not on measuring affect but on designing games to evoke emotional expression and sharing of personal experiences. This work centered on games in public spaces as a particularly rich area for exploration to influence other people. We present the design and initial play-testing results of four games that draw on a player's idiosyncratic experience and feelings as part of the game. These designs were based on internal paper prototyping sessions, naturalistic observation of the testing space and design and enactment sessions with researchers as participants and designers. Our design sessions indicate that image-based games are a rich element for these types of games, and the importance of ambiguity and disagreement amongst players to promote sharing of personal stories. Other design principles that emerged include affordances for short interactions, individual or multiple players, and forms of "cheating" as game play.
Predicting the metascore with a subjective user experience data BIBAFull-Text 441-442
  Jari M. E. Takatalo; Jukka P. Häkkinen
The aim of this study is to test how well a subjective user experience (UX) data predicts the Metascore of a digital game. The Metascore calculated by the Metacritic.com is one of the most important indicators of a game's commercial success. Thus, game companies are interested in finding reliable in-house tools to estimate the Metascore before releasing their product. We utilized subjective survey data to test a preliminary regression model for Metascore. The model explained over 50% of the variance between the Metascores. Practically, this means that we can predict a correct Metascore class (e.g., universal acclaim) with 75% accuracy. These promising results provide good grounds for future research on the topic.
Design guidelines for audio-based game features BIBAFull-Text 443-444
  Tiffany Tong; Daniel Zingaro; Steve Engels
The game design process integrates visual, audio, gameplay, and control elements into a single experience. Of these, the audio component is often treated as a secondary concern in both the design and research arenas. Our research seeks to remedy this, by focusing on audio elements of games, their impact they can have, and how audio design can be integrated in the overall design process. This poster will present the audio games we have created to test these elements, and our current research findings on how audio features can affect overall gameplay. We will also propose the configuration of these audio features for effective audio-based games.
A theory of game mechanic signaling for interface design BIBAFull-Text 445-446
  Zachary O. Toups; Igor Dolgov; Elizabeth M. Bonsignore
We introduce a theory of how game mechanics are signaled through interfaces. Game mechanics may be signaled through player-perceived affordances, player-interpreted signifiers, avatar-perceived affordances, avatar-interpreted signifiers, arbitrary signifiers, or metagame signifiers, and may be obscured with hidden affordances and false signifiers. Each has implications for immersion, narrative coherence, and player frustration. Designers can use game mechanic signaling to understand how a player will perceive action opportunities in play, suggesting alternate designs to support or inhibit discovery and game mechanic engagement.
Exercising playfully: co-designing fun ways of keeping active in the park BIBAFull-Text 447-448
  Emmanuel Tsekleves; Andy Darby; Adrian I. Gradinar; Marcia T. Smith
In this work in progress paper we present our work in the co-design of a playful interactive artifact that encourages people to engage in casual physical activity in the park. The initial testing of our proof-of-concept prototype received extremely positive feedback as a potential way of motivating people to keep active in the park and in bridging the generation gap.
PLEX as input and evaluation tool in persuasive game design: pilot study BIBAFull-Text 449-450
  Marierose M. M. van Dooren; Renske Spijkerman; Richard H. M. Goossens; Vincent M. Hendriks; Valentijn T. Visch
One of the main objectives in game design is to create game experiences that enhance the motivation to start and continue to play the game. To gain insight into which game experiences can be evolved by the game, designers have been using PLEX cards in the user input phase or in the product evaluation phase of the design process. However, to our knowledge, no research has been conducted to check if the PLEX gathered design input experiences matches the experiences that are evolved by the game in the final design. This study checks if such a use of PLEX is possible in a game design procedure for youngsters in treatment for drug addiction. Youngsters firstly selected their preferred PLEX experiences. Secondly, a game designer created a prototype based on the user's motivating experiences and a prototype based on the user's least motivating experiences. Thirdly, other youngsters from the addiction clinic evaluated both prototypes by selecting the PLEX cards that matched their game experiences best. Results suggested that motivating PLEX experiences resulted in a better tailored prototype. However, PLEX experiences derived in the user input phase could not be matched one-on-one to the ones in the evaluation phase. This can problematize the usage of PLEX as a general tool for experience-based game design.
Designing a gameful system to support the collection, curation, exploration, and sharing of sports memorabilia BIBAFull-Text 451-452
  Diane Watson; Deltcho Valtchanov; Mark Hancock; Regan Mandryk
Collectors often attach memories and stories to the objects they collect. These stories can be lost over time, and particularly when the collections are digitized. In this paper, we present semi-structured interviews with collectors of hockey memorabilia to inform a set of design guidelines for creating games and playful interfaces that support collectors. Our interviews highlighted the importance of narrative, organization, and authenticity to collection, and identified the need to support emergent behaviour. Our work provides an example of gameful design principles that could motivate collectors to digitize and share their collections.
Toward interactive social stories for children with autism BIBAFull-Text 453-454
  Jichen Zhu; James Connell; Connor Kerns; Natalie Lyon; Nicole Vecere; Desiree Lim; Chelsea Myers
This paper proposes Interactive Social Stories (ISS), a new approach for enhancing traditional autism interventions to promote stimulus generalization. Using interactive narrative techniques of variability and branching structures, we designed a tablet-based ISS app called FriendStar to teach 9-13 year old children on the autism spectrum the social skills of greeting in the school context.
Towards balancing learner autonomy and pedagogical process in educational games BIBAFull-Text 455-456
  Jichen Zhu; Aroutis Foster; Glen Muschio; Justin H. Patterson; Josep Valls-Vargas; Daniel Newman
We present the preliminary work in the TAEMILE project, which aims to co-regulate the learning process in educational games by automatically balancing learners autonomy and the pedagogical processes intended by educators. We focus on our design rationale and the initial results from our user study.

Workshop summaries

Participatory design for serious game design: truth and lies BIBAFull-Text 457-460
  Rilla Khaled; Vero Vanden Abeele; Maarten Van Mechelen; Asimina Vasalou
While the importance of participatory design has been acknowledged broadly within the field of HCI, its use in serious games is less frequent. This workshop will explore the underpinning reasons for this gap and advance the identification of philosophical, methodological and pragmatic opportunities as well as challenges. The workshop will serve as a venue for synthesizing productive practices and a future agenda that will benefit serious game design processes.
Game idea jam for sport and exertion games BIBAFull-Text 461-464
  Christiane Moser; Manfred Tscheligi; Mark Magnusson; Florian Mueller
Game Jams have successfully been introduced to the CHI Community during the past two years. Game developers meet to plan, design, and create one or more games within a short time span (ranging from 24 to 48 hours). We propose a Game Idea Jam focusing on the opportunity to draw on researchers' and developers' own experiences when developing creative game ideas for sport or exertion to combat physical inactivity. Game Idea Jams focus on brainstorming and conceptualizing of one or more game ideas within seven hours. Due to time constraints, the final game idea will be produced in the form of a conceptual video, trying to demonstrate the player experience. We aim to enable game researcher with no development skills to participate in the Game Idea Jam and support them with different creative approaches to choose from.
EyePlay: applications for gaze in games BIBAFull-Text 465-468
  Jayson Turner; Eduardo Velloso; Hans Gellersen; Veronica Sundstedt
What new challenges does the combination of games and eye-tracking present? The EyePlay workshop brings together researchers and industry specialists from the fields of eye-tracking and games to address this question. Eye-tracking been investigated extensively in a variety of domains in human-computer Interaction, but little attention has been given to its application for gaming. As eye-tracking technology is now an affordable commodity, its appeal as a sensing technology for games is set to become the driving force for novel methods of player-computer interaction and games evaluation. This workshop presents a forum for eye-based gaming research, with a focus on identifying the opportunities that eye-tracking brings to games design and research, on plotting the landscape of the work in this area, and on formalising a research agenda for EyePlay as a field. Possible topics are, but not limited to, novel interaction techniques and game mechanics, usability and evaluation, accessibility, learning, and serious games contexts.

Keynote address

Making the best of imperfect data: reflections on an ideal world BIBAFull-Text 469
  Mike Ambinder
As we gather data to inform game design choices, we often run into situations where the information we gather is acquired through biased methodologies or incomplete in some fashion or not necessarily suited to answer the specific question at hand. This talk will speculate on how we could attempt to solve some of these common issues as well as look to the future of what might be possible in Games User Research. By drawing on relevant findings from psychology, examples drawn from real world experience, advances in technology, and a healthy dose of optimism, this talk will attempt to envision a world where our processes are less biased, our data is more complete, and we are able to address a much broader range of investigations than is currently possible.

Course descriptions

DIY game console development BIBAFull-Text 471-473
  Trevor Michael Tomesh; Daryl H. Hepting
Video games have become a driving force for innovation in many aspects of the entertainment industry and beyond. Since gaming may also be in a position to drive the emerging "maker movement", we consider the "DIY game industry". In this half-day course, attendees will be introduced to DIY Game Console construction and programming by building their own game console, based on a simple 12 LED and 4 button design, and then programming their console to play very simple, yet entertaining, games. Attendees will also be exposed to the tradeoffs in design between capabilities in gameplay and complexity of hardware and software.
Beyond gamification: designing behavior change games BIBAFull-Text 475
  Dustin DiTommaso; Ciara Taylor
Participants in this hands-on workshop will learn the mechanics of clinically tested behavior change interventions, as well as techniques game designers use to motivate, engage and reward players through a game's lifecycle. A practical, step-by-step methodology will be introduced and built upon throughout this 4 hour course, resulting in a scalable framework and process for designing playful and practical behavior change games.

Keynote address II

Engines of play: how player motivation changes over time BIBAKFull-Text 476
  Jason VandenBerghe
The talk is a first (probably doomed and certainly biased) attempt by the speaker to fuse his work-to-date on the 5 Domains of Play (a gamer-translation of the Big 5 psychological model) with Scott Rigby & co.'s PENS model (a gamer-translation of Self-Determination Theory).
   While trying to form this Player Motivational Voltron, we may touch briefly on how a few other existing models might also be compatible this horrid abomination, but the focus of this talk will be squarely on PENS and the 5 Domains. The goal is to describe a map of player motivations that not only talks about player typologies and satisfactions, but that can also describe how player motivations change as they move from first-contact, engagement, and on into nostalgia. It will probably never work. But the attempt should at least be entertaining to watch.
Keywords: Game Design; Psychology; Personality