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Proceedings of the 2015 ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

Fullname:2015 Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Editors:Anna L. Cox; Paul Cairns; Regina Bernhaupt; Lennart Nacke
Location:London, England
Dates:2015-Oct-05 to 2015-Oct-07
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3466-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: CHIPLAY15
Papers:123
Pages:831
Links:Conference Website
  1. Keynote Address
  2. Player Experience and WellBeing
  3. Exert Yourself
  4. Notes! Notes! Notes!
  5. Keynote Address
  6. Playing and Creating Together
  7. Learning
  8. Violent Avatars in Virtual Reality
  9. Novel Interactions
  10. Changing and Measuring Behaviour
  11. Analytics and Questionnaires
  12. Keynote Address
  13. Doctoral Consortium
  14. Works in Progress
  15. Student Game Design Competition
  16. Workshops & Courses

Keynote Address

A Frank Conversation about the "F" Word BIBAFull-Text 1
  Mark C. Barlet
With the rise of the independent game developer, and highly distributed platforms with low costs of entry we are seeing more and more content tailored to a specific group of people, be it tailored to a location, interest, or in many cases a disability. Organizations and institutions are using these new norms and are bring games to the market that attempt to obfuscate therapy, measure something specific to the disability, or just 'because' and the vast majority of these products are not widely adopted, or have a life in an institutional environment, but not at home. All of these projects miss the most important factor to any game, Fun. We will discuss the gamer with disability in general terms -- Take a deep dive into some of the larger groups of gamers with disabilities and talk about their needs We will talk about what games bring to the gamer in general, and to gamers with disabilities specifically We will talk about some of the positive therapeutic benefits of gaming Lastly, we will jump into some things that make games fun.

Player Experience and WellBeing

Playing Alone, Playing With Others: Differences in Player Experience and Indicators of Wellbeing BIBAFull-Text 3-12
  Kellie Vella; Daniel Johnson; Leanne Hides
Video game play is becoming an increasingly social experience, yet we have little understanding of how social and solitary modes of play differ in terms of the player experience or interact with player wellbeing. An online survey (n = 446) collected data on players' current mode of play, their game play experience, social capital gained from game play and wellbeing. The results indicate that social and solitary players differ in terms of degree of autonomy, presence and relatedness experienced, while the different types of social play are associated with differences in relatedness and social capital experienced. Different predictors of wellbeing were also present across solitary and social player samples. People who play games on their own experience greater wellbeing when experiencing in-game autonomy. Social players experience greater wellbeing when playing with strangers, and when experiencing in-game bridging social capital. All players experienced increased wellbeing with age and decreased wellbeing with greater amounts of play.
Removing the HUD: The Impact of Non-Diegetic Game Elements and Expertise on Player Involvement BIBAFull-Text 13-22
  Ioanna Iacovides; Anna Cox; Richard Kennedy; Paul Cairns; Charlene Jennett
Previous research has shown that player involvement can be influenced by a range of factors, from the controllers used to the perceived level of challenge provided by the game. However, little attention has been paid to the influence of the game interface. Game interfaces consist of both diegetic (that can be viewed by the player-character, e.g. the game world) and non-diegetic components (that are only viewed by the player, e.g. the heads-up display). In this paper we examine two versions of a first-person shooter game to investigate how immersion is influenced through interacting with a diegetic and non-diegetic interface. Our findings suggest that the removal of non-diegetic elements, such as the heads-up display, is able to influence immersion in expert players through increasing their cognitive involvement and sense of control. We argue that these results illustrate the importance of considering the role of expertise in relation to how particular design choices will influence the player experience.
The Placebo Effect in Digital Games: Phantom Perception of Adaptive Artificial Intelligence BIBAFull-Text 23-33
  Alena Denisova; Paul Cairns
Play-testing of digital games is a crucial part of any game development process, used to gather feedback about the game and correct any existing and potential flaws with the design. However, due to the nature of human subject testing, the feedback being collected in such experiments is prone to biases. Players' expectations play a great role in dictating their gaming experience, which means the information players receive before trying a new game, as well as the knowledge they already possess, may affect their perception and experience of the game. Two studies were conducted in order to evaluate how priming players to expect a game technology can positively influence their experience. The results supported the hypothesis that even basic instructions can change players' perception of the game, and lead to a higher level of perceived immersion when knowing that the game contains an improved feature, the adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), while it is not present in the game.
How Self-Esteem Shapes our Interactions with Play Technologies BIBAFull-Text 35-45
  Max V. Birk; Regan L. Mandryk; Matthew K. Miller; Kathrin M. Gerling
The experience that results from video game play is shaped by the play environment, but also by various characteristics of the person playing. We investigated how player self-esteem predicts post-game motivation (enjoyment, effort, and tension), and conducted mediated regressions to show that players' self-esteem alters post-play motivation by affecting how needs are satisfied during play. We also explored how self-esteem predicts post-play positive and negative affect and conducted mediated regressions to show how motivation partially mediates those effects. Our work suggests that players with different levels of self-esteem experience games differently; but more importantly, we provide an explanation of how these differences form by examining the mechanisms during games that ultimately contribute to player experience. Situating our results within theories of self, we discuss the importance of self-esteem for understanding player experience, describe the implications for games research, and consider how self-esteem shapes our interactions with play technologies.

Exert Yourself

Get off the Couch: An Approach to Utilize Sedentary Commercial Games as Exergames BIBAFull-Text 47-56
  Anjana Chatta; Tyler Hurst; Gayani Samaraweera; Rongkai Guo; John Quarles
The objective of this research is evaluating a novel method to enable any sedentary commercial game to be utilized as an effective exercise game (exergame). In general there are significantly fewer exergames than sedentary games. This limits game choice and potentially has negative implications for long-term use. Previous work on exergames has been focused on deriving guidelines for designing the most effective exergames, but has rarely leveraged the mass amounts of existing sedentary games. To address this issue, we present a potentially generalizable approach to utilize sedentary commercial games as exergames. Specifically, we developed a visual overlay technique that interfaces with a Microsoft Kinect and disrupts the user's visual perception of a game as a consequence for lower exercise performance. To evaluate this approach, we conducted a two user studies with 14 and 20 undergraduate students that evaluated use in single-player and two-player competitive modes, respectively. Results indicate that although we expected intermittently blocking players' view would be annoying, it actually made the game more exciting, while at the same time providing a vigorous workout.
Quantifying Individual Differences, Skill Development, and Fatigue Effects in Small-Scale Exertion Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 57-66
  Mike Sheinin; Carl Gutwin
Game mechanics in sports video games for skills like running and throwing are nothing like those skills in real sports. Adding small-scale exertion to the control scheme -- using small muscle groups such as hands and fingers -- can re-introduce some degree of physicality into sports video games. However, there is little quantitative knowledge about how small-scale exertion affects individual variability, skill development, or fatigue -- and how it compares to traditional game mechanics. We carried out two studies to provide this quantitative information. Our studies showed that controlling movement with small-scale exertion was significantly and substantially different from rate-based control, and that both movement and passing skills showed significant increases with practice. Our work provides valuable information that can help designers decide when and how to use small-scale exertion, and provides an empirical basis for the design of new game interaction techniques.
Utilizing Gravity in Movement-Based Games and Play BIBAFull-Text 67-77
  Perttu Hämäläinen; Joe Marshall; Raine Kajastila; Richard Byrne; Florian "Floyd" Mueller
This paper seeks to expand the understanding of gravity as a powerful but underexplored design resource for movement-based games and play. We examine how gravity has been utilized and manipulated in digital, physical, and mixed reality games and sports, considering five central and gravity-related facets of user experience: realism, affect, challenge, movement diversity, and sociality. For each facet, we suggest new directions for expanding the field of movement-based games and play, for example through novel combinations of physical and digital elements.
   Our primary contribution is a structured articulation of a novel point of view for designing games and interactions for the moving body. Additionally, we point out new research directions, and our conceptual framework can be used as a design tool. We demonstrate this in 1) creating and evaluating a novel gravity-based game mechanic, and 2) analyzing an existing movement-based game and suggesting future improvements.
Designing for Exertion: How Heart-Rate Power-ups Increase Physical Activity in Exergames BIBAFull-Text 79-89
  Mallory Ketcheson; Zi Ye; T. C. Nicholas Graham
Exergames have proven to be a fun way of engaging in physical activity, but analyses of the energy expenditure required to play exergames indicate that most exergame play is not sufficiently vigorous to replace traditional physical activity. In this paper, we argue that it is important to design for exertion in exergames. To illustrate this idea, we present a novel game mechanic, the heart rate power-up, which can be applied to a wide range of exergame styles. A study of 20 participants found that heart-rate power-ups increase exertion levels in games -- sometimes dramatically -- while also increasing players' level of enjoyment.

Notes! Notes! Notes!

Expressing Emotions With Synthetic Affect Bursts BIBAFull-Text 91-95
  Michael Schmitz; Benedict C. O. F. Fehringer; Mert Akbal
In this paper we introduce the idea of anthropomorphic auditory icons, which are synthetic affect bursts that can be used in entertainment scenarios and other interactive systems to display emotional states of game characters, animated animals, robots or other anthropomorphic objects. We describe a novel method to construct this type of auditory icons, which basically involves the principle of vocoding on existing recordings of human affect bursts as modulating sounds and arbitrary synthetic sounds as carriers. In this way we are able to use a single custom sound to generate a set of synthetic affect bursts with similar sound characteristics as the original sound sample. We further present findings of a first user study exploring the recognition efficiency of emotions in synthetic affect bursts created with this method.
Adaptation in Digital Games: The Effect of Challenge Adjustment on Player Performance and Experience BIBAFull-Text 97-101
  Alena Denisova; Paul Cairns
Good gaming experiences hinge on players being able to have a balance between challenge and skill. However, achieving that balance is challenging, so dynamic difficulty adjustment offers the opportunity to provide better gaming experiences through adapting the challenge in the game to suit an individual's capabilities. The risk though is that in adapting the difficulty, players do not get a true sense of challenge, but rather some tailored, perhaps watered down experience. In this note, we report on a study, in which we used time manipulation as a method of simple adaptation in order to explore its effect on player experience (PX) and performance. Volunteers played a game in which the timer was adjusted based on their performance in the game, however they were not aware of the feature. The results showed that players in the experimental group found the game more immersive. This provides empirical support that dynamic difficulty adjustment could be used to improve the PX.
Flow during Individual and Co-operative Gameplay BIBAFull-Text 103-107
  Christopher Lee; Peta Wyeth; Daniel Johnson; Joshua Hall
This study aims to further research in the field of video games by examining flow during individual and co-operative gameplay. Using a puzzle game called Droppit, we examined differences in flow based on two modes of play: single player vs. co-operative gameplay. Co-operative gameplay was found to induce greater flow in participants than single player gameplay. Additionally, co-operative gameplay participants had increased feelings of Challenge-Skill Balance, Unambiguous Feedback, Transformation of Time and Autotelic Experience. Our findings suggest that co-operative gameplay, involving puzzle-based problems, may result in increased flow during video game play.
Low-Cost Gamification of Online Surveys: Improving the User Experience through Achievement Badges BIBAFull-Text 109-113
  Johannes Harms; Dominik Seitz; Christoph Wimmer; Karin Kappel; Thomas Grechenig
Gamification of online surveys has been shown to be effective for improving user experience and data quality. However, the precise effects of isolated game elements is unknown and survey gamification requires a lot of effort. This work proposes the use of just a single game element as a novel low-cost approach. It presents evaluation results from a case study where an existing survey was gamified using the popular game element of achievement badges. Results show that the badges improved the user experience but did not influence the respondents' behavior. These benefits are similar to related work but have been achieved with a lower effort. In summary, the case study indicates our low-cost approach to be viable and efficient for survey gamification, and achievement badges to be well-suited for gamified online surveys.
Manipulating Leaderboards to Induce Player Experience BIBAFull-Text 115-120
  Jason T. Bowey; Max V. Birk; Regan L. Mandryk
Assessing and inducing player experience (pX) in games user research (GUR) is complicated because of the tradeoff between maintaining rigour through experimental control and having participants feel like they are engaged in play. To establish and evaluate an embedded method for inducing a sense of success or failure in participants during gameplay (e.g., to study how different players exhibit resilience to in-game failure), we manipulated leaderboard position in an experiment in which 155 participants played a Bejeweled clone. We show that manipulating success perception through leaderboards increases the player's perception of competence, autonomy, presence, enjoyment, and positive affect over manipulated failure. In addition, displaying the score enhances the effect on positive affect, autonomy and enjoyment, while not increasing detectability.
Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games BIBAFull-Text 121-126
  Tom Cole; Paul Cairns; Marco Gillies
Digital games are a wide, diverse and fast developing art form, and it is important to analyse games that are pushing the medium forward to see what design lessons can be learned. However, there are no established criteria to determine which games show these more progressive qualities.
   Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse language used in games reviews by critics of both 'core gamer' titles and those titles with more avant-garde properties. This showed there were two kinds of challenge being discussed -- emotional and functional which appear to be, at least partially, mutually exclusive. Reviews of 'core' and 'avant-garde' games had different measures of purchase value, primary emotions, and modalities of language used to discuss the role of audiovisual qualities. Emotional challenge, ambiguity and solitude are suggested as useful devices for eliciting emotion from the player and for use in developing more 'avant-garde' games, as well as providing a basis for further lines of inquiry.

Keynote Address

Playful Interactions in Public BIBAFull-Text 127
  Yvonne Rogers
Governments, researchers, charities, schools, pubs, clubs and local communities all want to engage with the public to hear their opinions, involve them in events and get their commitment to sign up for initiatives and behavioral change programs. However, it is easier said than done. All, too, often only a small number take part while others shy away. How can technology be designed to encourage more active, diverse and sustained participation? How can technology be exploited to draw more people in that will champion causes, commit and even change the world? Instead of building yet another app, our 'out there' approach is to design tangible and physical interfaces, based on principles of playfulness, excitement, competitiveness, intrigue and pleasure. To truly engage with people in the public domain, however, needs us to be creative, colorful and daring in how we combine, mold and shape the form and context of physical and digital technologies.

Playing and Creating Together

Hide and Seek: Exploring Interaction With Smart Wallpaper BIBAFull-Text 129-133
  Charlotte Hoare; Rosie Campbell; Richard Felton; Liam Betsworth
Displays are getting larger, thinner, and are consuming less power. The logical conclusion of this trend is a future in which wall-size displays are common in homes, a concept we have described as "smart wallpaper" for the purposes of evaluating its HCI implications. What new kinds of experience could smart wallpaper provide? This paper describes a case study on one potential smart wallpaper experience: an interactive children's game. Our results suggest that children and their families see substantial value in both the game and the concept of smart wallpaper. They valued the immersion, the physical activity and the shared nature of the experience. On the basis of this study, we conclude that there is substantial potential for wall-size displays to enable valuable experiences for children and their families, and that smartphones can be used as an intuitive means of interacting with them.
"After All the Time I Put Into This": Co-Creation and the End-of-life of Social Network Games BIBAFull-Text 135-140
  Alexandra Samper-Martinez; Kathrin Gerling; Ercilia Garcia-Alvarez; Ben Kirman; Shaun Lawson
User engagement in processes of co-design and co-creation are common practices in Social Network Games (SNGs). Though the interdependency between producer and user is of mutual benefit throughout much of the lifetime of an SNG, there are critical moments where this relationship becomes problematic. We adopt an ethnographic approach, covering the entire three year lifespan of a well-known SNG, with a focus on the 'end of life' experience from players' perspectives. Our results show that, at the game's discontinuation announcement, players reflect strongly on the value that they associate with their gameplay and its involvement. We suggest that the notion of players as co-creators may be undervalued by companies during strategic decision-making especially since at discontinuation players are left without ownership of their co-created product. This deeper understanding of players as co-creators serves as case study for developers building social games both on and off social networking platforms.
From Front-End to Back-End and Everything In-Between: Work Practice in Game Development BIBAFull-Text 141-150
  Boriana Koleva; Peter Tolmie; Patrick Brundell; Steve Benford; Stefan Rennick Egglestone
This paper addresses a paucity in the literature of studies of actual game development. It presents the initial findings from a questionnaire addressed to game development companies together with an ethnographic case study that drills into how resources are actually used and how the workflow and coordination are actually accomplished. It finds a number of challenges that can be seen to confront the development of new game authoring tools, centred around the intensely co-present character of design-related interaction and collaboration in this domain. These findings are used to articulate a range of potential requirements.
Exploring Twitter as a Game Platform; Strategies and Opportunities for Microblogging-based Games BIBAFull-Text 151-161
  Kieran Hicks; Kathrin Gerling; Ben Kirman; Conor Linehan; Patrick Dickinson
Recent years have seen the massive daily engagement of players with games that are integrated with online social networking sites, such as Facebook. However, few games have successfully created engaging experiences through integration with microblogging websites. In this paper, we explore the opportunities and challenges in using Twitter as a platform for playing games, through the case study of the game Hashtag Dungeon, a dungeon-crawling game that uses Twitter for collaborative creation of game content. Two studies were carried out. A quantitative user study with 32 participants demonstrated that players found the game engaging and rewarding. A follow-up qualitative study with 8 participants suggests that Twitter integration in this game is meaningful, but that there are concerns over the impact of the game on players' Twitter profiles. Based on findings from both studies, we propose strategies for the design of Microblogging-based games, and discuss wider implications of social media integration in games.
Gaze-Based Onlooker Integration: Exploring the In-Between of Active Player and Passive Spectator in Co-Located Gaming BIBAFull-Text 163-173
  Bernhard Maurer; Ilhan Aslan; Martin Wuchse; Katja Neureiter; Manfred Tscheligi
In co-located gaming, a player is often watched by another person who has no direct interaction with the game. For such a potential onlooker, the game setting is mainly experienced with ones eyes by looking at what happens on the screen. An integration of an onlooker's gaze into the game could potentially improve the game experience of player and onlooker. In this paper we report a study based on an interaction concept that uses the gaze of a second observing person during a co-located gaming situation as an input modality to assist the player. Our study investigates the effects of different levels of gaze-based onlooker integration and their influence on the player's and the onlooker's experience. With our research we want to address the "in-between" design space of being an active player or a passive spectator. Our findings show that gaze-based onlooker integration can address this "in-between", and change the game experience for both player and onlooker for the better.

Learning

The Game Genre Map: A Revised Game Classification BIBAFull-Text 175-184
  Stephanie Heintz; Effie Lai-Chong Law
The existing common video game genres lack clarity as well as consistency and thus cannot serve as a solid reference to inform the research on digital educational games (DEG), which are increasingly used as learning tools. To address this basic issue of game classification, we have developed a web-based survey to collect data on how people play and perceive video games that they know well. The survey is grounded in our Game Elements-Attributes Model (GEAM). 321 valid responses were analysed using established hierarchical clustering methods and a novel mapping technique that computes the degree of relevance of individual game attributes to game types and visualises them with hues of grey. The game genre map so obtained can improve the existing game classification.
Peter the Fashionista?: Computer Programming Games and Gender Oriented Cultural Forms BIBAFull-Text 185-195
  Sarah AlSulaiman; Michael S. Horn
We present a study of two games designed to help elementary and middle school students learn computer programming concepts. The first game was intended to be "gender neutral", aligning with might be described as a consensus opinion on best practices for computational learning environments. The second game, based on the cultural form of dress up dolls was deliberately designed to appeal to girls. We recruited 70 participants in an international two-phase study to investigate the relationship between games, gender, attitudes towards computer programming, and learning. Our findings suggest that while the two games were equally effective in terms of learning outcomes, there were differences in motivation between players of the two games. Specifically, participants who reported a preference for girl-oriented games were more motivated to learn about computer programming when they played a game that they perceived as designed for girls. In addition, we describe how the two games seemed to encourage different types of social activity between players in a classroom setting. Based on these results we reflect on the strategy of exclusively designing games and activities as "gender neutral", and suggest that deliberately employing cultural forms, including gendered ones, may help create a more productive experience for learners.
Using Empirical Learning Curve Analysis to Inform Design in an Educational Game BIBAFull-Text 197-207
  Erik Harpstead; Vincent Aleven
Having insights into players' learning has important implications for design in an educational game. Empirical learning curve analysis is an approach from intelligent tutoring systems literature for measuring student learning within a system in terms of the skills involved. The approach can be used to evaluate how well different hypothesized models of required skills fit to actual student performance data from the game. This information can be used to highlight whether players need more practice with specific concepts, how the game's progression might be altered, and whether the game is succeeding at its educational objectives. In this paper we apply empirical learning curve analysis to Beanstalk, an educational game designed to teach young children the concept of balance. We show that the process is able to give insight into the detailed skills and concepts (or knowledge components) that players are learning, and give implications for level (re)design by highlighting a previously unforeseen shortcut strategy.
An Optical Brain Imaging Study on the Improvements in Mathematical Fluency from Game-based Learning BIBAFull-Text 209-219
  Murat Perit Cakir; Nur Akkus Çakir; Hasan Ayaz; Frank J. Lee
In this study we examined the effectiveness of game-based learning in improving math fluency compared to a conventional drill and practice approach. An optical brain imaging method called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIR) was utilized to assess changes in brain activation in prefrontal cortex related to cognitive load and working memory functions, so that the improvement gained by the increased attentional and cognitive training involved in a mobile game called MathDash could be examined in terms of how and why game-based learning can be effective. Overall, our experiment with college students indicated that Math Dash was equally effective in terms of improving computational fluency in comparison to the drill and practice approach.

Violent Avatars in Virtual Reality

Determining the Characteristics of Preferred Virtual Faces Using an Avatar Generator BIBAFull-Text 221-230
  Valentin Schwind; Katrin Wolf; Niels Henze; Oliver Korn
Video game developers continuously increase the degree of details and realism in games to create more human-like characters. But increasing the human-likeness becomes a problem in regard to the Uncanny Valley phenomenon that predicts negative feelings of people towards artificial entities. We developed an avatar creation system to examine preferences towards parametrized faces and explore in regard to the Uncanny Valley phenomenon how people design faces that they like or reject. Based on the 3D model of the Caucasian average face, 420 participants generate 1341 faces of positively and negatively associated concepts of both gender. The results show that some characteristics associated with the Uncanny Valley are used to create villains or repulsive faces. Heroic faces get attractive features but are rarely and little stylized. A voluntarily designed face is very similar to the heroine. This indicates that there is a tendency of users to design feminine and attractive but still credible faces.
The Avatar Affordances Framework: Mapping Affordances and Design Trends in Character Creation Interfaces BIBAFull-Text 231-240
  Victoria McArthur; Robert John Teather; Jennifer Jenson
Avatar customization is available in many games, but as yet there is no analytical framework capable of enabling systematic comparison between games. To investigate this issue, we present our novel analytical framework, referred to as the Avatar Affordances Framework. To model the framework, we analyze the character creation interfaces of 20 games. We focus in particular on the different ways gender and ethnicity are presented to players. Preliminary analysis reveals that many popular games have socially exclusive values, and that high fidelity character creation interfaces are no exception. The framework itself offers a more comprehensive tool than previous (e.g., count-based) approaches to investigating self-representation issues in character creation interfaces.
Higher Graphical Fidelity Decreases Players' Access to Aggressive Concepts in Violent Video Games BIBAFull-Text 241-251
  David Zendle; Paul Cairns; Daniel Kudenko
Several features of violent video games (hence VVGs) may cause gamers to access aggressive concepts during play. Two of these features are graphical fidelity and use of narrative. In particular, the increased graphical fidelity of modern VVGs is widely theorised to cause increased access to aggressive concepts. However, despite this theoretical speculation, there is little empirical evidence of whether these formal features of VVGs actually do influence players to access aggressive concepts during play. Therefore, a 2x2 between-subjects factorial online experiment (N = 710) was employed. This examined the effects of graphical fidelity and narrative content on the extent to which players accessed aggression-related concepts when playing a VVG. Results indicated that the presence of realistic graphics in a video game representing aggression caused players to access aggressive concepts less (p = 0.014). The presence of narrative content was not found to have a statistically significant effect. Under an influential (though controversial) model of VVG effects known as the General Aggression Model, increased access to aggressive concepts causally contributes to anti-social behaviour by players of VVGs. These findings suggest that even if playing modern VVGs did lead to these negative effects, they would not be influenced by the increased graphical fidelity of modern VVGs.
Exploring Gameplay Experiences on the Oculus Rift BIBAFull-Text 253-263
  Chek Tien Tan; Tuck Wah Leong; Songjia Shen; Christopher Dubravs; Chen Si
Compared to previous head-mounted displays, the compact and low-cost Oculus Rift has claimed to offer improved virtual reality experiences. However, how and what kinds of user experiences are encountered by people when using the Rift in actual gameplay has not been examined. We present an exploration of 10 participants' experiences of playing a first-person shooter game using the Rift. Despite cybersickness and a lack of control, participants experienced heightened experiences, a richer engagement with passive game elements, a higher degree of flow and a deeper immersion on the Rift than on a desktop setup. Overly demanding movements, such as the large range of head motion required to navigate the game environment were found to adversely affect gaming experiences. Based on these and other findings, we also present some insights for designing games for the Rift.

Novel Interactions

Player Identity Dissonance and Voice Interaction in Games BIBAFull-Text 265-269
  Marcus Carter; Fraser Allison; John Downs; Martin Gibbs
In the past half-decade, advances in voice recognition technology and the proliferation of consumer devices like the Microsoft Kinect have seen a significant rise in the use of voice interaction in games. While the use of player-to-player voice is widespread and well-researched, the use of voice as an input is relatively unexplored. In this paper we make the argument that notions of player and avatar identity are inextricable from the successful implementation of voice interaction in games, and consequently identify opportunities for future research and design.
Arcade+: A Platform for Public Deployment and Evaluation of Multi-Modal Games BIBAFull-Text 271-275
  Eduardo Velloso; Carl Oechsner; Katharina Sachmann; Markus Wirth; Hans Gellersen
We describe the design and implementation of Arcade+, a custom-built arcade machine augmented with modern input devices to deploy and evaluate novel multi-modal interaction techniques for gaming. Arcade+ has gaze, feet, mid-air gestures, and multi touch sensing capabilities, as well as traditional arcade controls. Our modular design also allows for extending current capabilities or replacing them with others. To demonstrate the system's capabilities, we describe and discuss three games that explore how multi-modal input can inspire new play concepts and mechanics.
Anticipatory Gaze Shifts during Navigation in a Naturalistic Virtual Environment BIBAFull-Text 277-283
  Jeremy B. Badler; Alessandro Canossa
In the real world, coupled eye and head movements are used by humans and other animals to orient their gaze toward objects or scenes of interest. In virtual environments a mouse is often used as a proxy for head movements, orienting the camera towards a desired view direction. The mouse also controls body direction during navigation, orienting the user's avatar to a desired movement direction. The interaction between gaze and mouse actions in realistic virtual environments has received only limited study. Using a desktop eye tracker, we recorded the participants while they explored a virtual tropical island for ten minutes. We found evidence for anticipatory gaze shifts prior to mouse movement. The results suggest that despite the loss of eye-head coupling, gaze behavior in virtual environments resembles that of real life.
Operation Citadel: Exploring the Role of Docents in Mixed Reality BIBAFull-Text 285-294
  Daniel Yule; Bonnie MacKay; Derek Reilly
In this paper we describe the role of docents in a mixed reality game at a historic site called Operation: Citadel. The docents act as intermediaries between the system and the participants, providing interpretation and understanding of the game and managing interaction. This permits the integration of sophisticated interactions and rich narrative while maintaining the walk-up-and-use, casual nature of the exhibit. We describe the implementation and design, and examine the effect that docents had on enjoyment of and frustration with the game. Our results indicate that docents can serve an important role in augmenting participant experience. We identify and describe a set of roles unique to docents of Mixed Reality experiences.
Player-Computer Interaction Features for Designing Digital Play Experiences across Six Degrees of Water Contact BIBAFull-Text 295-305
  William L. Raffe; Marco Tamassia; Fabio Zambetta; Xiaodong Li; Sarah Jane Pell; Florian "Floyd" Mueller
Physical games involving the use of water or that are played in a water environment can be found in many cultures throughout history. However, these experiences have yet to see much benefit from advancements in digital technology. With advances in interactive technology that is waterproof, we see a great potential for digital water play. This paper provides a guide for commencing projects that aim to design and develop digital water-play experiences. A series of interaction features are provided as a result of reflecting on prior work as well as our own practice in designing playful experiences for water environments. These features are examined in terms of the effect that water has on them in relation to a taxonomy of six degrees of water contact, ranging from the player being in the vicinity of water to them being completely underwater. The intent of this paper is to prompt forward thinking in the prototype design phase of digital water-play experiences, allowing designers to learn and gain inspiration from similar past projects before development begins.

Changing and Measuring Behaviour

Tough Shift: Exploring the Complexities of Shifting Residential Electricity Use Through a Casual Mobile Game BIBAFull-Text 307-317
  Robert S. Brewer; Nervo Verdezoto; Thomas Holst; Mia Kruse Rasmussen
Modern electrical grids are increasingly reliant on generation from renewable sources that can vary from hour to hour. This variability has led to the desire to shift the times of the day when electricity is consumed to better match generation. One way to achieve these shifts is by encouraging people to change their behavior at home. Leveraging prior research on encouraging reductions in residential energy use through game play, we introduce ShareBuddy: a casual mobile game intended to encourage players not only to reduce, but also to shift their electricity use. We conducted two field studies in a student dormitory and found that players did not shift their electricity use, because they were unwilling to change their schedules and found it easier to focus on reducing electricity use. Based on our findings, we discuss the implications for encouraging shifting, and also the challenges of integrating real-world resource use into a game.
Increasing Donating Behavior Through a Game for Change: The Role of Interactivity and Appreciation BIBAFull-Text 319-329
  Sharon T. Steinemann; Elisa D. Mekler; Klaus Opwis
Games for change have attracted the interest of humanitarian aid organizations and researchers alike. However, their effectiveness to promote behavior such as donating remains unclear. Furthermore, little is known about how key game properties interactivity and presentation mode impact the effectiveness of these games, or how player attitudes and experiences relate to the interplay between game properties and donating behavior. In this study, experimental conditions were systematically varied in their interactivity and presentation mode. Thereby, 234 participants played, watched, or read through one of six variations of the narrative of the game Darfur is Dying. Following this, they were asked to choose the percentage of an unexpected bonus to donate to a charity. While interactivity increased donating by an average of 12%, presentation mode had no significant impact on the percentage donated. Thus, between presentation mode and interactivity, interactivity was found to be the more impactful game property. Moreover, appreciation fully mediated the relationship between interactivity and donating, hinting at its relevance for the evaluation of the effectiveness of games for change.
Game-based Assessment of Psycho-acoustic Thresholds: Not All Games Are Equal! BIBAFull-Text 331-341
  Vero Vanden Abeele; Jan Wouters; Pol Ghesquière; Ann Goeleven; Luc Geurts
This paper first presents a critical analysis of an existing game (APEX), designed by researchers in psychoacoustics only, to measure psychoacoustic thresholds in preschoolers. Next it presents another game (DIESEL-X), designed by dyslexia researchers and game designers, to remediate the shortcomings of the former game. Via a repeated measures experiment (n = 95), the game experience, attention, and psychoacoustic thresholds are compared. It is shown that the children prefer the game experience of DIESEL-X over APEX. Moreover, the former game was able to measure lower frequency-modulation thresholds than APEX. These results demonstrate that when it comes down to game-based assessment of children's perceptual capabilities, the quality of game design not only has an effect on game experience, but equally on the scientific measurements obtained via such a game-based assessment.

Analytics and Questionnaires

Gaze-Supported Gaming: MAGIC Techniques for First Person Shooters BIBAFull-Text 343-347
  Eduardo Velloso; Amy Fleming; Jason Alexander; Hans Gellersen
MAGIC -- Manual And Gaze Input Cascaded-pointing techniques have been proposed as an efficient way in which the eyes can support the mouse input in pointing tasks. MAGIC Sense is one of such techniques in which the cursor speed is modulated by how far it is from the gaze point. In this work, we implemented a continuous and a discrete adaptations of MAGIC Sense for First-Person Shooter input. We evaluated the performance of these techniques in an experiment with 15 participants and found no significant gain in performance, but moderate user preference for the discrete technique.
Sequential Analysis of Player Behavior BIBAFull-Text 349-358
  Guenter Wallner
Understanding how interaction unfolds over time is a key factor for understanding the dynamics aspects of player behavior. Thus far, analysis of sequential patterns of player behavior has, however, mainly focused on discovering frequently recurring patterns. However, frequency of occurrence is not always a reliable indicator of a pattern's importance as infrequent patterns can also offer valuable insights about in-game behavior. In this paper we thus propose the use of lag sequential analysis (LSA) -- which, rather than relying on frequency counts, makes use of statistical methods to determine the significance of sequential transitions -- to aid analysis of behavioral streams of players. For this purpose we apply LSA to in-game data of two well-known games. The meaningfulness of the identified sequences is verified by comparing them to documented and established strategies. In addition, results obtained through LSA are discussed in relation to results from frequency-based sequence mining. Our results suggest that LSA is a promising complement to frequency based methods for analyzing sequential behavior patterns of players.
Integrated Questionnaires: Maintaining Presence in Game Environments for Self-Reported Data Acquisition BIBAFull-Text 359-368
  Julian Frommel; Katja Rogers; Julia Brich; Daniel Besserer; Leonard Bradatsch; Isabel Ortinau; Ramona Schabenberger; Valentin Riemer; Claudia Schrader; Michael Weber
Research in human-computer interaction often requires the acquisition of self-reported data. Particularly concerning serious games, the interaction between the game and the user still holds many unknown aspects, partly due to the user's double role as player and learner. An easy way of collecting data consists of questionnaires, mostly employed in pen-and-paper or electronic form. In order to gather data points during game play, the player is interrupted, potentially causing unintentional side effects. We suggest an integration of questionnaires into games as game elements, in order to mitigate the effects of interruption. A serious game prototype with an integrated survey was implemented, and evaluated regarding its effects on the players' experience of presence.
What Drives People: Creating Engagement Profiles of Players from Game Log Data BIBAFull-Text 369-379
  Erik Harpstead; Thomas Zimmermann; Nachiappan Nagapan; Jose J. Guajardo; Ryan Cooper; Tyson Solberg; Dan Greenawalt
A central interest of game designers and game user researchers is to understand why players enjoy their games. While a number of researchers have explored player enjoyment in general, few have talked about methods for enabling designers to understand the players of their specific game. In this paper we explore the creation of engagement profiles of game players based on log data. These profiles take into account the different ways that players engage with the game and highlight patterns associated with active play. We demonstrate our approach by performing a descriptive analysis of the game Forza Motorsport 5 using data from a sample of 1.2 million users of the game and discuss the implications of our findings.
PLEXQ: Towards a Playful Experiences Questionnaire BIBAFull-Text 381-391
  Marion Boberg; Evangelos Karapanos; Jussi Holopainen; Andrés Lucero
Playfulness is an important, but often neglected, design quality for interactive products. This paper presents a first step towards a validated questionnaire called PLEXQ, which measures 17 different facets of playful user experiences. We describe the development and validation of the questionnaire, from the generation of 231 items, to the current questionnaire consisting of 17 constructs of playfulness, each measured through three items. Using PLEXQ we discuss the nature of playfulness by looking at the role of age, gender, and product type in one's proclivity to experience playfulness differently. Finally, we reveal a four-factor structure of playfulness and discuss the implications for further theory development.

Keynote Address

Keynote Talk BIBFull-Text 393
  Jo Twist

Doctoral Consortium

Examining the Impact Narrative Interactivity Has on Fostering Identity Formation in an Educational Game BIBAFull-Text 395-398
  Philip Sheridan Buffum
Educational games often include elements of narrative, although little work has been done on establishing how best to leverage narrative interactivity in service of a game's purpose. My ongoing research on narrative-centered games is guided by the situative perspective, which considers the ultimate purpose of a learning task to be the student's increased sense of belonging and identity with the subject matter. In my proposed dissertation research, I am particularly interested in how differing degrees of narrative interactivity support an educational game's potential to impact students' identity formation and attitudes towards the subject of study. I pursue this research in the context of an educational game for middle school computer science.
Vertigo as a Design Resource for Bodily Play BIBAFull-Text 399-402
  Richard Byrne
This document presents my research as a doctoral student. Following a brief description about myself I then present a summary of my research, before describing my research area, research question and my approach to answering this question. Finally I conclude with my thesis statement and describe my expected contributions of this research.
Adaptive Engagement of Older Adults' Fitness through Gamification BIBAFull-Text 403-406
  Dennis L. Kappen
Many older adults lead sedentary lifestyles, as the challenges of aging can complicate efforts to maintain a healthy level of physical activity. These challenges can include decreasing strength, reduced mental capacity, social isolation, and the development of chronic health conditions. My PhD research attempts to analyze the needs and challenges of older adults and review their attitudes and motivations towards physical activity (PA). Furthermore, I aim to investigate various approaches in the development of socially interactive fitness activity programs, with the goal of increasing positive lifestyle motivations and quality of life (QoL). This research defines a taxonomy of motivational and personality characteristics of older adults to engage in PA. Lastly, this dissertation proposes the development of an adaptive application that addresses fitness gamification from the motivational perspective of an older adult. This application will empower older adults to engage in PA as a means to gain freedom, mobility and social interdependence within their public spheres.
Towards Design Strategies for the Persuasive Gameplay Experience BIBAFull-Text 407-410
  Martijn Kors
Games are increasingly used for purposes that stretch beyond their primary strength as medium for entertainment, including games used for training, education and critique. Among this stretch we also find games that argue a particular point of view; to shape attitudes and shift perspectives towards real-world concepts or objects. Unlike most contemporary media to persuade games are unique in their interactive affordances; providing players with the ability to evaluate given arguments to a system that responds, and essentially allows the player to engage in an indirect discussion with the designer(s). Although persuasion through games is not a new venue of research, the discipline unfortunately still lacks practical game design strategies aimed to aid designers in maximizing the persuasive potential of their games. The presented research is therefore concerned with how to design for persuasive gameplay and what strategies (models, frameworks, guidelines, methodologies, etc.) could support the designer throughout this design process.
User Experience of Mobile Proximity-Based Applications for Playful Social Interaction BIBAFull-Text 411-414
  Susanna Paasovaara
Mobile proximity-based connectivity technology like Wi-Fi Direct allows detecting nearby devices and establishing a direct data transfer between them. The opportunities provided by that are still underutilized. My doctoral research looks into proximity-based playful social interactions as a way to enhance interactivity between collocated people, both friends and strangers. I do qualitative user research on new research prototypes as well as on existing commercial systems like Nintendo's StreetPass.
Investigating the Influence of Game Elements in Civic Engagement BIBAFull-Text 415-418
  Sarah-Kristin Thiel
In my PhD thesis, I explore what elements in mobile e-participation (m-participation) tools encourage citizens' involvement in urban governance. My research aims to investigate how game elements such as achievement badges, reward systems and opportunities for social interaction can be utilized to achieve a continuous dialogue between a city and its citizens. Using prototypical m-participation systems, the effect of those elements is evaluated through user studies. The outcomes offer implications for both research and practice, who can benefit from resulting requirements for existing and future participation tools.
Engagement Through Play: Politics and Video Games BIBAFull-Text 419-422
  Hanne G. Wagner
Many post-industrial democracies are experiencing a growing friction between electorate and institutional politics, leading to an overall decrease in citizens' political engagement. My research is investigating how video games may help to counter this by promoting political awareness and interest. Of particular importance for this are games? properties to incorporate learning and the role of knowledge in developing political engagement. An initial explorative study is described and future plans outlined.
Determinants of Human Computation Game Acceptance BIBAFull-Text 423-426
  Xiaohui Wang
Human computation games (HCGs) are information systems that use video games to harness human intelligence to solve large-scale problems that are beyond the capacity of artificial intelligence. HCGs present researchers with opportunities to solve computational problems in an enjoyable way. Despite their increasing popularity, insufficient research has been conducted to examine the predictors of players' acceptance for HCGs based on sound theoretical frameworks. This study proposed an integrated model that incorporates hedonic and utilitarian factors to predict players' acceptance of a HCG for music tagging.

Works in Progress

SpielRaum: Perspectives for Collaborative Play BIBAFull-Text 427-432
  Michael Schmitz; Mert Akbal; Soenke Zehle
Created in a custom-designed interactive visualization studio, the virtual reality research project SpielRaum combines cave projections with first person virtual reality interfaces for collaborative games that exploit individual perspectives of players on a common virtual space. These games were tested by a large diverse audience, and user feedback was collected via semi-structured face-to-face interviews.
Air Tandem: A Collaborative Bodily Game Exploring Interpersonal Synchronization BIBAFull-Text 433-438
  Paula Alavesa; Julia Schmidt; Anton Fedosov; Richard Byrne; Florian "Floyd" Mueller
In this paper we introduce a game design that utilizes the synchronization and flow of the movement in contrast to the pace of movement (speed) utilized in many exertion games. We present Air Tandem, a bodily game that explorers synchronized limb movements to move a shared avatar from a start to a finish line on a projected route. The game is designed for a two player team. In the future we plan to use this game to gain insight on the sensory cues the players use to achieve synchrony.
Wordcraft: Playing with Sentence Structure BIBAFull-Text 439-444
  Divya Anand; A Shreyas; Sonali Sharma; Victor Starostenko; Ashley DeSouza; Kimiko Ryokai; Marti Hearst
We introduce Wordcraft, a new interactive tablet application that allows children to explore sentence structures and their meanings. Wordcraft uses a constructionist design: children manipulate word cards to build sentences, which come to life in a storybook-like animated world to illustrate meaning. Such visual feedback helps children play with parts of speech and understand how they fit together to form sentences. Preliminary studies suggest that children are able to observe and discuss how different sentence constructs result in different meanings.
Guiding Young Players As Designers BIBAFull-Text 445-450
  Josh Andres; Jennifer C. Lai; Florian "Floyd" Mueller
Players often have playfulness and motivation to play and make games on their own. By tapping into these instincts and guiding players in designing their own games to solve a problem, new models of collaboration between designers and players can be unlocked. In support of this, we present results from a five week case study with 25 children aged 8-10 where they designed their own games within a given context. This ongoing exploration resulted in three design themes: 1) Setting a common goal helps people design together, in this case using sensing data. 2) Focusing on spontaneity through autonomy. And 3) Supporting player mobility with the artefacts. We hope this ongoing exploration can be a starting point in aiding designers to guide players as designers.
Generating Consistent Game Levels BIBAFull-Text 451-456
  Jonathan Barbara
Stochastic data for procedural content generation is rarely specified in research, and left up to the game designer. Extending an existing set of levels, however, requires their consideration in order to generate spatially consistent levels. Stochastic analysis techniques are adopted from musical composition research and applied to level generation, giving promising results in terms of spatial consistency.
Towards a Competency-based Education with Gamification Design Elements BIBAFull-Text 457-462
  Alexander Bartel; Paula Figas; Georg Hagel
In this contribution we describe a theoretical way of linking dynamics as gamification design elements with competency-based education. Furthermore the value of the adoption of dynamics is addressed in order to support the design of gamified and competency-based learning on an abstract level of goal definition.
The Player is Chewing the Tablet!: Towards a Systematic Analysis of User Behavior in Animal-Computer Interaction BIBAFull-Text 463-468
  Sofya Baskin; Anna Zamansky
There is an increasing demand for digital games developed for pets, in particular for dogs and cats. However, play interactions between animals and technological devices still remain an uncharted territory both for animal behavior and user-computer interaction communities. While there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of pets playing digital games, the nature of animal-computer play interactions is far from being understood. In this work-in-progress we address the problem of analyzing and interpreting user behavior in such interactions using the tool of ethograms from applied ethology, which are catalogs of typical behavior patterns.
Investigating Perspectives on Play: The Lenses of Play Tool BIBAFull-Text 469-474
  Tilde Bekker; Linda de Valk; Pepijn Rijnbout; Mark de Graaf; Ben Schouten; Berry Eggen
This paper presents a new design tool for developing interactive playful environments. This design tool consists of a number of cards, which explain five perspectives or lenses on play. We describe three user evaluations that were carried out with the design tool and discuss how participants used the tool in their design activities and what they considered to be the value of the tool. The evaluations where mainly focused on two lenses: open-ended play and emergence. The tool provides inspiration for students, and other design researchers and practitioners working in the field of interactivity and play.
Dead Fun: Uncomfortable Interactions in a Virtual Reality Game for Coffins BIBAFull-Text 475-480
  James Brown; Kathrin Gerling; Patrick Dickinson; Ben Kirman
Uncomfortable interactions are a common aspect of daily life, and have been explored in Human-Computer Interaction; yet little is known about uncomfortable gaming experiences. In this paper, we report on the design and preliminary evaluation of a game in which one player is invited to lie down in a coffin. Results of an exploratory user study suggest that the restricted space of the coffin along with its unsettling cultural connotation led to an engaging, thought provoking experience. By combining the previously separately explored dimensions of physical and psychological discomfort, we hope to better understand the effects that such challenges can have on player experience.
Scientific Heroes: Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas Foster Players' Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning BIBAFull-Text 481-485
  Carlos Mauricio Castaño Díaz; Birgit Dorner; Heinrich Hussmann; Jan-Willem Strijbos
Based on in-game behaviour, eye tracking data, and cued retrospective reports, the present study aims to evaluate how commercial video games, specifically Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas can foster hypothetico-deductive reasoning in everyday life contexts. At the same time, it aims to locate in-game behaviour patterns serving as indicators of hypothetico-deductive traits. The studies take place in a simulated-naturalistic environment using both an exploratory and a microgenetic design.
Extending the Impact of Digital Games by Supporting Analogical Reasoning BIBAFull-Text 487-492
  Katherine McMillan Culp; Wendy Martin; Megan Silander
The potential of digital games to support learning has been well documented, and yet the empirical evidence on the impacts of digital games on student learning finds varied effects. This paper explores an issue that we believe is central to realizing the potential of digital games for influencing learning: the relationship between games and the transfer of knowledge, and specifically the need to support the meaningful integration of games into instruction. We examine the theoretical and empirical literature on how middle-grade students can transfer knowledge and skills gained from digital gameplay to develop new conceptual models of the science concepts that the games target, focusing on the research on the use of analogical reasoning in science. Finally, we illustrate this approach with an example of using analogies with digital games in middle school science classes.
UKKO: Enriching Persuasive Location based Games with Environmental Sensor Data BIBAFull-Text 493-498
  Andrew Dickinson; Mark Lochrie; Paul Egglestone
The number of children walking to school is at an all-time low and car use on the rise. The walk to school is seen as an opportunity to promote exercise and tackle the effects of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle amongst young people. At the same time we have a growing understanding of the harmful effects of air pollution on our health. Walking to school would not only make for healthier kids, it would reduce traffic and create a healthier, safer environment but we still drive our kids to school. This paper describes the initial design and development of UKKO, a novel persuasive game to encourage walking to school and engagement with local data. UKKO uses real time environmental data captured by the player to create a virtual environment for a digital pet. The more the student walks and avoids areas of high pollution the more healthy their pet.
Measuring Implicit Science Learning with Networks of Player-Game Interactions BIBAFull-Text 499-504
  Michael Eagle; Elizabeth Rowe; Drew Hicks; Rebecca Brown; Tiffany Barnes; Jodi Asbell-Clarke; Teon Edwards
Visualizing player behavior in complex problem solving tasks such as games is important for both assessing learning and for the design of content. We collected data from 195 high school students playing an optics puzzle game, Quantum Spectre, and modeled their game play as an interaction network, examining errors hypothesized to be related to a lack of implicit understanding of the science concepts embedded in the game. We found that the networks were useful for visualization of student behavior, identifying areas of student misconceptions and locating regions of the network where students become stuck. Preliminary regression analyses show a negative relationship between the science misconceptions identified during gameplay and implicit science learning.
Dendrogram Visualization as a Game Design Tool BIBAFull-Text 505-510
  Tom Feltwell; Grzegorz Cielniak; Patrick Dickinson; Ben J. Kirman; Shaun Lawson
With the advent of game telemetry, contemporary game designers have access to a huge amount of real-time data about player behavior. However, in design practice there is a lack of effective visualization tools. Activity histograms or heatmaps can suffer from data overcrowding, making it difficult for the designer to identify patterns and outliers within a large dataset. This work-in-progress explores a new meta-visualization tool for game designers that uses dendrogram representations to highlight pertinent features within large sets of heatmaps. Through interviews with professional game designers, we find that dendrograms can be used to identify outliers quickly, and are valuable in guiding designers through complex telemetry. This contributes to the ongoing work on supporting richer tools for game design practice amongst an increasingly data-filled environment.
Agents and Avatars: Event based analysis of competitive differences BIBAFull-Text 511-516
  Mikael Fodor; Pejman Mirza-Babaei; Judith Good
Investigations into playing against computer and human controlled opponents have shown higher levels of arousal against human opponents. Most experiments however measure this by using post play surveys. In contrast, the study reported in this paper used physiological measurements to allow for different events during competitive play to be analysed. Twenty participants played two death matches in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Although participants played against an agent in both matches, participants were told that they were playing against an agent in one match, and an avatar in the other. Significant differences in participants' arousal level were found when the enemy was first encountered, though measures became more mixed as the interactions played out. The believability of the avatar may have influenced the results, as not all participants seemed convinced of the humanity of the AI. Overall, the experimental results can form a basis for further investigation into this area.
Informational vs. Controlling Gamification: A Study Design BIBAFull-Text 517-522
  Seamus F. Forde; Elisa D. Mekler; Klaus Opwis
Recent research suggests that gamification has the potential to increase intrinsic motivation, as well as decrease users' intrinsic motivation. However, the understanding of why gamification sometimes is successful and other times not, is still not fully understood. One reason for this is that applied research has been lacking a theoretical foundation. Therefore, we are currently designing a study in which we examine the underlying psychological mechanisms on how gamification works. Based on self determination theory, in our approach we compare how autonomy, competence and intrinsic motivation differ between an informational and a controlling condition.
Designing Interactive Toys for Elephants BIBAFull-Text 523-528
  Fiona French; Clara Mancini; Helen Sharp
This research is investigating the potential for designing digital toys and games as playful cognitive enrichment activities for captive elephants. The new field of Animal Computer Interaction is exploring a range of approaches to the problem of designing user-centred systems for animals and this investigation into devices for elephants aims to directly contribute towards a methodological approach for designing smart and playful enrichment for all species.
Heuristic Guidelines for Playful Wearable Augmented Reality Applications BIBAFull-Text 529-534
  Nathan Gale; Pejman Mirza-Babaei; Isabel Pedersen
In recent years, new wearable platforms and peripherals requiring unique modes of interaction have been emerging in record numbers. Watches, necklaces, glasses, even pants [1] are beginning to incorporate technology. Wearable devices also offer many new ways for users to interact; therefore, more research is needed to evaluate these novel methods of interactions. Our research focuses on proposing a heuristic list to guide design and evaluation of wearable devices in playful applications. In this work-in-progress (WiP) article we show a prototype of a unique, playful, interaction application, META Museum, and propose the development of a heuristic list to evaluate it. This WiP reports on the early evaluation results based on user's inputs and discusses some common mistakes that users make and in what way this relates to how the application is designed.
Embracing Cheating in Gamified Fitness Applications BIBAFull-Text 535-540
  Ayelet Gal-Oz; Oren Zuckerman
Gamification of fitness applications opens the door to cheating by exploiting inherent limitations of sensing, in order to advance in the game without performing the required physical activity. While this type of behavior is usually conceptualized negatively, we propose it could actually be beneficial for encouraging physical activity. We integrate prior work on cheating in online games with prior work on embracing non-normative behavior, and suggest design opportunities for embracing cheating in gamified fitness applications.
Exploring Casual Exergames with Kids Using Wheelchairs BIBAFull-Text 541-546
  Kieran Hicks; Kathrin Gerling
Physical activity (PA) is important for health and well-being, but often PA is inaccessible for children using wheelchairs. In this work, we explore the potential of casual exergames to provide opportunities for physically active play. We apply existing wheelchair-controlled video games to explore children's and parents' perceptions of these games. Feedback shows that children and parents feel that casual exergames could be a valuable opportunity of offering wheelchair-accessible play, however, refinement of game concepts particularly regarding challenge and physical effort required to play is necessary. By integrating these findings into games for young people using wheelchairs in the future, we hope to provide opportunities for accessible and physically challenging play.
Uncomfortable yet Fun Messaging with Chachachat BIBAFull-Text 547-552
  Adrian Holzer; Andrii Vozniuk; Sten Govaerts; Harry Bloch; Angelo Benedetto; Denis Gillet
In order to improve user experience and to foster novel ideas, some voices in the HCI community have argued to break fundamental design rules, an approach well known in the art community.
   In this paper, we use this radical approach to design a playful mobile chat app called Chachachat, which allows users to send colorful 3-phrase messages from a limited set of phrases taken from dating websites and encourages intimate messaging with strangers with no possibility of meeting offline. We also present a case study of the usage of Chachachat in the wild over a period of six months and discuss ethical issues.
Play with your Food: Enjoyable Meals, Eatable Games BIBAFull-Text 553-558
  Jesús Ibáñez
This paper offers an approach that encourages children to play with food in a creative way. Children create video-games out of food while they cook or eat. We propose the use of Inventame, an App that allows the user to focus on the creative part. He crafts his own game in the real world with his preferred physical ingredients. Then, he takes a picture of his creation, configures a few options in the App, and the picture becomes playable. After this creative process, the user can play the digital version of his game once he has eaten the real one. This paper also describes four examples that illustrate the creation of playable food from several different ingredients and with different functions and playability.
WearLove: Affective Communication via Wearable Device with Gamification BIBAFull-Text 559-564
  Yeong Rae Joi; Beom Taek Jeong; Jin Hwang Kim; Ki Hyuk Park; Taehyun Lee; Jun Dong Cho
In this paper, we present WearLove, a wrist-worn device and mobile application for enhancing affective communication between users. It enables two users to send a heart symbol to each other's wristband monitors by touching the sensor on the band. Given that the gamification causes the user motivation, we add the gamification elements to the app. The more they express their love to each other via the wristband, the bigger a tree will be grown in the app. By using WearLove, we would like to figure out it can actually enhance the affective communication between users. Add to this, we also investigate the gamification elements in the app can evoke the user motivation for affective communication. To address these questions, three group interviews were conducted during one hour for each couple. (N = 6, 3 couples) Results indicated that WearLove may evoke user motivation for affective communication. Key findings and limitations are going to be discussed in the paper.
SHAPIO: Shape I/O Controller for Video Games BIBAFull-Text 565-570
  Hayato Kajiyama; Akifumi Inoue; Tohru Hoshi
In this paper, we propose "SHAPIO"', a game controller that inputs and outputs game events through its three-dimensional shape. SHAPIO consists of multiple triangular prisms, and its three-dimensional shape can be freely changed by twisting each prism. When a game player changes the shape of SHAPIO, the game system changes the shape of an item in the game into the same shape as SHAPIO, and vice versa. The player can feel the sense of unity with the game character, because SHAPIO always has the same shape as the item. We confirmed that the shape of our prototype could go hand-in-hand with the corresponding game item in a practical response time.
Exploring the Impact of Role Model Avatars on Game Experience in Educational Games BIBAFull-Text 571-576
  Dominic Kao; D. Fox Harrell
Studies show that role models can boost academic performance. In this paper, we describe an experiment (N = 890) exploring the use of (a) scientist role models, (b) athlete role models and (c) simple geometric shapes, as game avatars. Using the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ), we find that over all participants, the use of avatars that looked like scientist and athlete role models led to highest flow and immersion. For female participants, the use of scientist avatars led to highest immersion and positive affect, and lowest tension and negative affect. The results here indicate that role model avatars have the potential to positively affect player game experience. This may especially be impactful for educational games, in which higher engagement could in turn influence learning outcomes.
Exergame Development Using Body Composition Data for Obesity Care BIBAFull-Text 577-582
  Jeongho Keum; Ji Hwan Ryu; Yoo Jeong Moon; Hyerim Cheon; Nahyeon Lee; Byung-Chull Bae; Jun-Dong Cho
This study proposes an exergame for personal obesity management. This project called H-Run is implemented with a focus on exercise inducement for obese people. In this study, we particularly focus on aerobic exercises among the many obesity management exercise methods and develop them for enjoyment indoors.
   H-Run generates an avatar in the game by using the player's body composition data. Using the avatar reflecting his/her body type information, the player runs around the in-game spaces constructed on the basis of the actual environment. After finishing the game, the player can check the result of his/her actual exercises, and in the long term, the player can identify the body shape changes identical to those in the real environment. A pilot study showed that our H-Run game can potentially induce the players to exercise.
How Can I Interact?: Comparing Full Body Gesture Visualizations BIBAFull-Text 583-588
  Felix Kistler; Elisabeth André
This paper is dedicated to the question "How can I interact?", which may arise during a full body interaction game. To answer this question, a game needs to tell the players what actions are available and how those actions can be triggered. We focus on the video channel and use onscreen symbols to visualize how available input gestures have to be performed. We describe three symbol variants using recordings of a real person: color images, tracking shapes and skeletons, and solely tracking skeletons. An initial evaluation study shows clear advantages for the color images. We further outline how we extend the current implementation, for both improving the usability of the symbols, as well as easing their development.
StreetGamez: A Moving Projector Platform for Projected Street Games BIBAFull-Text 589-594
  Matjaz Kljun; Klen Copic Pucihar; Mark Lochrie; Paul Egglestone
Moving Projector Platform (MPP) is a concept of using an autonomous vehicle, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a 'drone', as a means to deliver and move the projection to arbitrary location. As a proof of concept this paper presents a design plan for a Moving Projector Game (MPG) called StreetGamez, which facilitates the game play through motion tracking and projection of a playing area, which can move and follow players in the game. This introduces novel abilities, such as: (i) to move the gaming platform before and during the game to the desired location and (ii) to free players from carrying the gaming equipment. Consequently this instigates possibilities to explore and study new exergame paradigms and players' attitudes towards the system as a whole. The concept also has the potential to provide a breakthrough in the social acceptance of drones in gaming scenarios whilst contributing to current debates on the legislation governing drone flights and furthering knowledge in human-drone interaction.
From Classes to Mechanics: Player Type Driven Persuasive Game Development BIBAFull-Text 595-600
  Michael Lankes; Wolfgang Hochleitner; Daniel Rammer; Marc Busch; Elke Mattheiss; Manfred Tscheligi
Research findings indicate that player types may serve as a theoretical basis for the design of persuasive games. However, until now no proof of concept is available that shows the applicability of this approach for tailoring games to player characteristics. We suggest a solution by formulating design concepts and by creating game prototypes that are driven by player types. Our strategies are composed of the three characteristics: first, design choices are based on the BrainHex player type model. Secondly, the concepts consider individual player styles and mechanics tailored to the various player types. Third, these individual game elements are combined into one game world. In order to evaluate our concepts we created two mobile game prototypes that foster physical activity. These prototypes are based on the Seeker and the Mastermind player type of the BrainHex model. First findings reveal that the usage of player types appears to be effective. Our efforts should enable designers to create persuasive games that are both engaging for individual players and allow the integration of several player types.
Racetime: Telepresence Racing Game with Multi-user Participation BIBAFull-Text 601-606
  Byungjoo Lee; Yunsil Heo; Hyunwoo Bang
In this study, we implemented a telepresence racing game that enables real-time, face-to-face interaction between the players. Both the spatial and social aspects of presence were achieved by integrating mature devices, which resulted in commercial RC cars equipped with both smartphones and augmented reality tags. Users drove their cars using the physical RF controllers and the interaction between the RC cars and the environment were guided by two laptops (one for each player) using a Wi-Fi network. Finally, a field demonstration was conducted and avenues for future studies are suggested.
The Rhythm's Going to Get You: Music's Effects on Gameplay and Experience BIBAFull-Text 607-612
  Laura Levy; Rob Solomon; Maribeth Gandy; Richard Catrambone
Music exerts powerful effects on human performance, behavior, and experience, yet very little is understood about how they are affected by game music. This paper describes a works-in-progress study examining the effects of music and music tempo on game play performance, behavior, and experience in a cognitive game. We found that music influenced mouse activity not directly related to game play, and increased players' feelings of flow.
Game of Drones BIBAFull-Text 613-618
  Joseph Lindley; Paul Coulton
In response to the recent European Directive the UK government sanctioned the use of drones by commercial providers subject to pilots holding an approved Drone Pilot Proficiency Certificate (DPPC). As the government anticipated the main use has been in providing services to local authorities that aid in the enforcement of local by-laws. Whilst many commercial providers have followed the traditional path of employing dedicated enforcement officers to pilot the drones, in this paper we present on-going research that 'gamifies' the enforcement activities to allow members of the local community to act as enforcement officers. In particular we have worked with retired members of the police and armed services as drone pilots in relation to the enforcement of by-laws relating to parking offences and dog fouling in a small UK city. The initial results indicate that not only does this age group find the game-like activity enjoyable they feel that they are providing an important service to their community.
Paper Gaming: Creating IoT Paper Interactions with Conductive Inks and Web-connectivity through EKKO BIBAFull-Text 619-624
  Mark Lochrie; John Mills; Paul Egglestone; Martin Skelly
Paper is ubiquitous. It forms a substantial part of our everyday activities and interactions; ranging from our take-away coffee cups -- to wallpaper -- to rail tickets -- to board and card games. Imagine if you could connect paper to the Internet, interact and update it with additional data but without recourse to reprinting or using e-ink alternatives. This paper explores work examining conductive inks and web-connectivity of printed objects, which form part of an emergent sub-field within the Internet of Things (IoT) and paper. Our research is starting to explore a range of media uses, such as interactive newspapers, books, beer mats and now gaming environments through prototype IoT device named EKKO; a clip that allows conductive ink frameworks to detect human touch interaction revealing rich media content through a mobile application as the 'second screen'.
Collaborate, Not Only as a Developer, but also as a PLAYER BIBAFull-Text 625-630
  Jun Ma; Paul Diefenbach; Justin Patterson
More and more players are participating in creating game content. The tools for player generation of game level content have increasingly rich functionality and capabilities, often rivaling developer tools. However, unlike the dedicated agile sprints of developers, players often have long iterations for the build-test cycle and rarely hear feedback from other players. All of these factors make it frustrating for players to finish and polish their creations. This paper introduces a new way for players to generate game level content by collaborating with another player as the level tester in real-time, thereby integrating the build-test cycle directly into a new type of gameplay.
Grand Push Auto: A Car Based Exertion Game BIBAFull-Text 631-636
  Joe Marshall; Frank Loesche; Conor Linehan; Daniel Johnson; Bruno Martelli
Grand Push Auto is an exertion game in which players aim to push a full sized car to ever increasing speeds. The re-appropriation of a car as essentially a large weight allows us to create a highly portable and distributable exertion game in which the main game element has a weight of over 1000 kilograms. In this paper we discuss initial experiences with GPA, and present 3 questions for ongoing study which have been identified from our early testing: How might we appropriate existing objects in exertion game design, and does appropriation change how we think about these objects in different contexts, for example environmental awareness? How does this relate to more traditional sled based weight training? How can we create exertion games that allow truly brutal levels of force?
From Challenges to Activities: Categories of Play in Videogames BIBAFull-Text 637-642
  Nicole McMahon; Peta Wyeth; Daniel Johnson
Creating better gameplay experiences is dependent upon understand the act of gameplay. An expert focus group of games researchers, designers and players refined 16 activity categories from an existing list of 30 commonly used videogame challenges. Identifying categories of play activities has future potential to facilitate better research design and game design.
User Reviews of Gamepad Controllers: A Source of User Requirements and User Experience BIBAFull-Text 643-648
  Burak Merdenyan; Helen Petrie
The development of the digital games industry has motivated game console makers to provide better gamepads for gamers. As gamepads provide the interaction between digital games and gamers, it is important to understand gamers' requirements for these devices. This study used content analysis to investigate whether existing gamepads satisfy gamers' requirements and provide good game experience, with a view to informing new designs. A content analysis of user reviews of four different game consoles was conducted. An emergent coding scheme with 11 categories was developed. 'Comfort' was the most frequently mentioned category, accounting for nearly 25% of all comments in the reviews. 'Material Quality' and 'Responsiveness' yielded the most negative comments. Implications for design improvements are discussed.
Blind Running: Perceptual Team Interdependency for Self-less Play BIBAFull-Text 649-654
  Robb Mitchell; Cynthia S. B. Bravo; Andreas Heiberg Skouby; Ragna Lisa Möller
This paper introduces self-less play -- a novel perspective upon how technology can foster teamwork through facilitating interpersonal interdependency. We illustrate this by presenting and analysing Blind Running -- a wearable game platform comprising a pair of different headsets, each worn by one of two players standing back to back. The headsets deprive both wearers of directly seeing the world exterior to their helmet, but a camera on the outside of one helmet transmits live video of the environment for viewing by a screen on the interior of their partner?s helmet. We report upon initial playtests that set pairs the challenge of performing a variety of navigational and manual tasks against the clock. Participants and spectators found the experience provoking and entertaining. We offer four attention points to support developers interested in exploring the facilitating of self-less play through similar technical set ups.
The Potentials of Gamification to Motivate Older Adults to Participate in a P2P Support Exchange Platform BIBAFull-Text 655-660
  Christiane Moser; Michaela Peterhansl; Thomas Kargl; Manfred Tscheligi
Gamification has gained popularity in the research community and has been studied in various contexts lately. In a research project, we aim at establishing a peer-to-peer exchange platform that supports informal care practices of older adults by mediating them online. Current research around gamification brought out our curiosity and we decided to investigate the potentials for motivating older adults to benefit from support exchange and characterizing them by showing badges in their profile. Thereby, we aim at positioning gamification in the form of rewards in the care context with a clear meaning for older adults.
Analyzing Chat Logs in Online Games for Tutorial Improvement BIBAFull-Text 661-666
  Ilya Musabirov; Paul Okopny; Denis Bulygin
Our current work is dedicated to research and development of methods for tutorial improvement and newcomers adaptation in online games. This report is focused on investigation of help-seeking patterns in online games' chat logs. Using text mining techniques we detect game-related questions from users, explore their contents, and show the changes across the server lifecycle.
Designing for Engaging BCI Training: A Jigsaw Puzzle BIBAFull-Text 667-672
  Viktoria Pammer; Jörg Simon; Karin Wilding; Stephan Keller; Reinhold Scherer
Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology translates brain activity to machine-intelligible patterns, thus serving as input "device" to computers. BCI training games make the process of acquiring training data for the machine learning more engaging for the users. In this work, we discuss the design space for BCIraining games based on existing literature, and a training game in form of a Jigsaw Puzzle. The game was trialled with four cerebral palsy patients. All patients were very acceptant of the involved technology, which, we argue, relates back to the concept of BCI training games plus the adaptations we made. On the other hand, the data quality was unsatisfactory. Hence, in future work both concept and implementation need to be finetuned to achieve a balance between user acceptance and data quality.
SnackBreaker: A Game Promoting Healthy Choice of Snack Foods BIBAFull-Text 673-678
  Joongsin Park; Bon-chang Koo; Jundong Cho; Byung-Chull Bae
In this paper we present a simple mobile game that we have developed with an intention of promoting the players' healthy choice of snack foods. While playing the game, the players are continuously given to choose their preference between two snacks until the final winner is decided. During the gameplay, various nutrition facts and information on the snacks are provided to the players to facilitate their choices.
   We conducted a study with 38 participants and interviewed them about the gameplay. The study results show that 36 percents of the participants are willing to change their eating habits for better health and 55 percents of the respondents mentioned that their interest and attention in the food information increased. The interview results from the participants suggests that the game can effectively help the players (or customers) choose snack foods in the market through the information provided by the gameplay.
Science and Gamification: The Odd Couple? BIBAFull-Text 679-684
  Marisa Ponti; Thomas Hillman; Igor Stankovic
This work-in-progress paper describes initial efforts to examine two opposite cases of citizen science projects, namely Galaxy Zoo and Foldit.
   Early findings from two case studies suggest that the use of gamification in these citizen science projects is contested. Statements from participants indicate that Foldit and Galaxy Zoo seem to fall, respectively, on the two dimensions of ludus and paidia, the former being rule-based and goal-oriented, and the latter being more oriented towards "playful experiences" in which participants can tap into motivations like curiosity and desire to learn.
Training While Playing?: Enhancing Cognitive Control Through Digital Games BIBAFull-Text 685-690
  Hannah Schmitt; Jutta Kray; Michael Schmitz; Mert Akbal
The rapidly increasing number of commercially game-based brain trainings offers great possibilities for applied interventions, but often warrant evidence for improved functioning. In contrast, established scientific training tasks often lack motivational layout and hence challenge training willingness. As a first step, we present three games for tablet PCs targeting different processes of cognitive control. All of these apps involve motivational elements to increase training willingness. In future work, having different versions of gamed-based cognitive control training will facilitate whether cognitive training in one function generalizes to training benefits in another, and which specific feature of the game-layout supports intrinsic training motivation.
Designing to Split Attention in a Mixed Reality Game BIBAFull-Text 691-696
  Hitesh Nidhi Sharma; Zachary O. Toups; Ajit Jain; Andruid Kerne
We design and study a mixed reality game, PhotoNav, to investigate wearable computing display modalities in which players need to split attention. PhotoNav requires that the player split attention between the physical world and display by using geotagged photographs as hints for navigation. Even though the head-mounted display requires a shorter shift in visual attention, we find players prefer the separation of the handheld. This research contributes ways in which mixed reality game UIs can focus players on the physical environment, leveraging its unique affordances.
Imperfect Robot Control in a Mixed Reality Game to Teach Hybrid Human-Robot Team Coordination BIBAFull-Text 697-702
  Adam Sosa; Richard Stanton; Stepheny Perez; Christian Keyes-Garcia; Sara Gonzalez; Zachary O. Toups
A key component of team coordination in real-world practice involves communication and work execution from multiple perspectives; this is especially true for unmanned robotic system operators. Previously, such communication skills have been challenging to train, requiring many users and/or high-fidelity simulations. The present research develops a mixed reality game using a small robot and alternate roles to engage two players in team communication through information distribution. The robot features imperfect controls, creating challenge and reflecting the real-world context. This paper presents the game design and development challenges, reflecting on the value of mixed reality for training hybrid human-robot teams.
Mobile and Sensor Integration for Increased Interactivity and Expandability in Mobile Gaming and Virtual Instruments BIBAFull-Text 703-708
  Rax Chun Lung Suen; Klarissa T. T. Chang; Maffee Peng-Hui Wan; Wen Yong Chua; Yeow Chuan Ng
AerialBeats is an interactive system that brings air drumming into reality. It comprises a set of drumsticks and feet bands equipped with motion sensors and a mobile application. AerialBeats brings a higher level of interactivity over standalone virtual drum mobile apps and digital drumsticks, yet retains the high ubiquity that is missing from physical drum sets. This creates a platform for learning, games and delivering entertaining performances. The integration of sensory hardware with mobile platform provides infinite possibilities for expansion interaction and customization surpassing physical instruments and mobile apps. In the larger context, this project seeks to 1) explore the benefits of bringing mobile interfaces into current standalone sensor equipment/toys and 2) utilize the addition of portable sensory hardware (e.g. wearables) to bring about a dimension to popular mobile gaming.
Understanding Player Attitudes Towards Digital Game Objects BIBAFull-Text 709-714
  Gustavo F. Tondello; Rina R. Wehbe; Zachary O. Toups; Lennart E. Nacke; Nicole K. Crenshaw
Humans collect; we examine this behavior in digital game contexts to understand how players' penchant for collecting items can inform game design. As part of an ongoing research agenda to understand player attitudes towards digital game objects, we conducted an online survey about player habits with interviews as future work. We present an initial analysis of our data. Our findings suggest that players value game objects most in Role-Playing Games (RPGs). Utility and Enjoyment were cited as the main reasons for a digital game objects' value, followed by Investment, Self-Expression and Memory. Dyes or color-changing features; physical placement adjustments; and naming or name-changing features were the most frequent personalization features desired for game object customization. We aim to improve game design through a deep understanding of player motivations regarding their game objects.
Collaborative Planning Gameplay from Disaster Response Practice BIBAFull-Text 715-720
  Zachary O. Toups; William A. Hamilton; Christian Keyes-Garcia; Stepheny Perez; Richard Stanton
Disaster response involves collaborative planning with contingencies, an activity rarely featured in gameplay. Working from years of ethnographic investigation of fire emergency response, urban search and rescue, and incident command, we develop design implications for game mechanics to support planning. We connect case studies of games that feature planning gameplay. Our objective is to inform future games for training disaster responders as well as gaming in general.
Validating Test Chambers to Study Cooperative Communication Mechanics in Portal 2 BIBAFull-Text 721-726
  Deepika Vaddi; Rina R. Wehbe; Zachary O. Toups; Samantha N. Stahlke; Rylan Koroluk; Lennart E. Nacke
Cooperative communication mechanics, such as avatar gestures or in-game visual pointers, enable player collaboration directly through gameplay. There remain open questions about how players use cooperative communication mechanics, and whether they can effectively supplement or even supplant traditional voice and chat communication. This paper describes a future study to investigate player communication in Portal 2, and chronicles the design and validation of test chambers for the study.
Modeling Routinization in Games: An Information Theory Approach BIBAFull-Text 727-732
  Simon Wallner; Martin Pichlmair; Michael Hecher; Michael Wimmer
Routinization is the result of practicing until an action stops being a goal-directed process. This paper formulates a definition of routinization in games based on prior research in the fields of activity theory and practice theory. Routinization is analyzed using the formal model of discrete-time, discrete-space Markov chains and information theory to measure the actual error between the dynamically trained models and the player interaction. Preliminary research supports the hypothesis that Markov chains can be effectively used to model routinization in games. A full study design is presented to further explore and verify this hypothesis.
Towards Understanding the Importance of Co-Located Gameplay BIBAFull-Text 733-738
  Rina R. Wehbe; Lennart E. Nacke
Analyzing the social context present in a gameplay environment and its effect on player experience can provide insights informing the design and social value of games. We investigate the influence of social condition (cooperative or competitive play with a human player versus computer-controlled character) on player experience. The study controlled for co-presence by ensuring that another individual attending to the same stimulus was present in all conditions. Although physiological measures were not significant, subjective measures of arousal and pleasure were significantly different under varying conditions.
Responsive Environmental Diegetic Audio Feedback for Hand Gestures in Audio-Only Games BIBAFull-Text 739-744
  Wenjie Wu; Stefan Rank
Touch-less hand gestures require a structured approach towards the design of audio feedback, especially in audio-only environments. We present an implementation approach for responsive audio feedback geared towards hand gestures in audio-only games, focusing on diegetic environmental feedback before, during, and after gestures. The developed framework is used in a project investigating the usefulness of different feedback designs. Preliminary results suggest that the implemented game variants are both rated highly in terms of usability and enjoyment, and that replacing explicit audio instructions for hand positions and movements with responsive audio feedback for suggesting interaction methods using environmental story-related audio cues leads to higher immersion.
Placeholder Content in Game Development: Benefits and Challenges BIBAFull-Text 745-750
  José P. Zagal; Roger Altizer
Literature on game design and development recommends using placeholder content and assets as a technique for, amongst other things, working around production bottlenecks (e.g. needs music to work but music is not ready) and streamlining development (e.g. focus on the "fun", without getting distracted by the art). However, this commonly accepted practice can cause problems that are rarely discussed or presented. We unpack this practice by discussing some of its issues. As a practice that is central to game development, it is important to better understand the interactions of social, technical, and cultural factors that result in the creation of sophisticated software artifacts, i.e. computer games. We discuss some of these issues and sketch out a research agenda for their further exploration.

Student Game Design Competition

Matsya: A Cultural Game of Flow and Balance BIBAFull-Text 751-754
  Joseph Baranoski; Erica Kleinman; Zheng Wang; Martina Tucker; Jonathan Ahnert; Jonas Schell; Rohan Doshi; Stefan Rank; Jichen Zhu
Matsya is a group project developed by seven students over two terms in a course on game design at Drexel University. Inspired by the Hindu Flood Myth, all art assets were developed to reflect design styles found in Indian culture. Intended to be played on iPad and to evoke a sense of balance and flow, the player must spin rings of water to help a fisherman catch fish and survive, while making sure not to overfish in the process. One of the primary intentions of the game's design is to introduce the player to aspects of a culture under-represented in Western games.
Tangible Widgets for a Multiplayer Tablet Game in Comparison to Finger Touch BIBAFull-Text 755-758
  Mads Bock; Martin Fisker; Kasper Fischer Topp; Martin Kraus
Tangible widgets are graspable physical objects that can be detected by a capacitive touch screen. These are used as an interaction method in the tablet game "Hover Wars", a 2-player competitive combat game. Hover Wars was designed to work mainly with tangible widgets and the affordances thereof in mind. A version using finger touch was also implemented and the controls were changed to work optimally with this interaction method. The two versions were compared to each other in a user study, revealing that players tend to prefer the usage of tangible widgets over finger touch. The study also uncovers some advantages and disadvantages of using tangible widgets as an interaction method.
Remembrance: Making Player Character's Inner World Playable BIBAFull-Text 759-762
  Kenneth Chen; Caroline Guevara; Ethan Burch; Jichen Zhu
Remembrance is an experimental puzzle platformer game we developed to explore new ways to make the character's inner world (e.g., memories, emotions, and imagination) playable. In this game, we used the landscape as a metaphor of the player character's inner world and gave the player the ability to transform the landscape through a core mechanic we call terraforming.
Corgi Defence: Building In A Virtual Reality Environment BIBAFull-Text 763-766
  Bernard Cheng; Mallory Ketcheson; Jordan van der Kroon; T. C. Nicholas Graham
This paper describes Corgi Defence, a puzzle-game in a three-dimensional virtual reality environment. We discuss Corgi Defence's design which gives players a set of intuitive interaction techniques and preserves their comfort in an unfamiliar virtual reality space. The resulting experience is enjoyable despite limitations of the hardware in recognizing hand postures.
Alaska Steve: Using Virtual Reality to Enhance a 2D Platforming Game BIBAFull-Text 767-770
  Liam Collins; Stefan Eylott; John Leedale; T. C. Nicholas Graham
Traditional virtual reality games foster immersion by giving the player a first-person perspective of a three-dimensional world. Alaska Steve: Bite Frost Back takes a different approach by using the Oculus Rift's orientation tracking as a core game mechanic for 2D platforming. The use of virtual reality allows the player to maintain context while navigating and manipulating the large two-dimensional game world as the main character travels through it. The game's obstacles complement the use of virtual reality by requiring the player to quickly scan the game world independently of the main character.
Penguin Peril: The Fun of Queuing Up! BIBAFull-Text 771-774
  Danilo Dumeljic; Dennis van Peer; Jonathan Raes; Olivier Dikken; Stephan Dumasy
Queues have been around since the law of the jungle has been abandoned, and they are outdated, boring and time consuming structures. Time spent waiting is time wasted and possibly even frustrating if the waiting process does not occur in comfortable conditions. Entertaining people present in such a situation would improve their quality of life and could make them have a more positive mindset towards the event they were queuing for. Our solution not only entertains queue participants but also allows them to experience a group dynamic with other people in the queue making them enjoy the company of their fellow queue members instead of wishing they were the only one there. Who would have thought queues could ever become enjoyable experiences instead of time consuming structures.
"Beam Me 'Round, Scotty!": Studying Asymmetry and Interdependence in a Prototype Cooperative Game BIBAFull-Text 775-778
  John Harris; Mark Hancock; Stacey D. Scott
In "Beam Me 'Round, Scotty!", pairs of players engage with asymmetric gameplay mechanics and interfaces (e.g. leading vs. support, action vs. strategy, gamepad vs. mouse interaction) in a cooperative adventure to escape a hostile alien world. "Beam Me 'Round, Scotty!" presents a multi-faceted play experience designed to bridge differences in player skills, styles, and interests. By introducing deliberate interdependence through asymmetry, different types of players can come together and have fun overcoming obstacles, defeating enemies, and escaping the alien planet via their unique contributions.
An Ant's Life: Storytelling in Virtual Reality BIBAFull-Text 779-782
  Cheryl-Jean Leo; Eric Tsai; Arim Yoon; Kyungik Lee; Jingyu Liu
An Ant's Life is a game that explores the use of virtual reality in connection with physical props to tell a captivating story and create a unique immersive experience through innovation in graphics, gameplay and design. It takes a new approach to the virtual reality space by integrating 2D art in a 3D environment, including props and theming alongside the use of the Oculus Rift and PS Move and focusing on storytelling for naïve guests with an unusual perspective from the point of view of an ant. The game hopes to bridge the virtual and physical worlds and make virtual reality games more accessible to a wide audience.
Brains & Brawn: A Strategy Card Game for Muscle-Strengthening Exercises BIBAFull-Text 783-786
  Chad Richards; T. C. Nicholas Graham
Participation rates in muscle-strengthening programs are low. Exergames show promise in encouraging people to exercise, but it is difficult to build compelling games around resistance training. Games involve players making meaningful choices, but workout programs are rigidly structured, making it difficult to find opportunities for such choices. As such, most muscle-strengthening exergames have chosen between engaging gameplay and high quality exercise. To solve this issue, we have developed a muscle-strengthening card game -- Brains & Brawn -- that exploits and enhances player agency.
Super Starfish Mania: Fish for Friends BIBAFull-Text 787-790
  Jurgen van Schagen; Martijn Gribnau; Jean de Leeuw; Benjamin Los; Nick Cleintuar; Rafael Bidarra
Sedentary lifestyles are becoming increasingly common in modern society. Living like this does however increase the risks on health problems and diseases. Although research on this topic has been done, it has been inconclusive. Super Starfish Mania is an Android application that attempts to increase the user's awareness of sedentary behavior through the use of gamification. By using notifications, games, rewards, collaboration and progression, we encourage the user to periodically take short -- but active -- breaks during their days. Consistently taking these breaks eventually leads to healthier habits and a better understanding of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.
CHI PLAYGUE: A Networking Game of Emergent Sociality BIBAFull-Text 791-794
  Gustavo F. Tondello; Rina R. Wehbe; Samantha N. Stahlke; Amanda Leo; Rylan Koroluk; Lennart E. Nacke
Modern professional networking is heavily reliant on social media. In recognition of this trend, we present CHI PLAYGUE, a conference game designed to facilitate interaction among strangers and encourage social networking to create a community. The game facilitates the emergence of social dynamics related to trust, allegiance, betrayal, selective interaction, and long-term strategic cooperation. By providing a platform for large-scale playful interaction, we will create an experience that will foster the development of mutually beneficial personal and professional relationships among players.
Talk About Sex: Designing Games to Facilitate Healthy Discussions around Sex BIBAFull-Text 795-798
  Matthew Wood; Gavin Wood; Madeline Balaam
We report on the design of Talk About Sex, a multiplayer mobile phone game designed for young people to facilitate and enable discussions around the subjects of sex, intimacy and relationships. We discuss how we used 'sex as a framing for design', combining concepts of consent, subtlety, intimacy and trust to develop a sensitive yet dynamic game design.

Workshops & Courses

The False Dichotomy between Positive and Negative Affect in Game Play BIBAFull-Text 799-804
  Max V. Birk; Ioanna Iacovides; Daniel Johnson; Regan L. Mandryk
Most of the time games make us happy, but sometimes they are frustrating or make us feel sad. They allow us to experience pleasure, success and joy, but they can also yield feelings of frustration, failure, or sorrow from darker themes. In games, we can experience the full range of emotions -- both positive and negative. While a positive experience is often the goal, there are many ways in which negative affect can enhance play. First, the almost masochistic experience of failure and frustration within play can lead to intense positive feelings when overcome. Second, negative emotional experiences, such as feeling uncomfortable, guilty, or sad can also provide additional emotional range that is valued by players. Third, a number of games have emerged in recent years that encourage players to think about difficult or challenging issues that are unlikely to engender positive emotions.
   The CHIPLAY 2015 False Dichotomy Workshop focuses on the range of valence in games and invites experts from across fields to contribute to our understanding of the interplay between positive and negative affect within play. The workshop goals are to investigate the interplay between positive and negative affect, identify gaps in our knowledge, determine future research directions, and build the community of people interested in the false dichotomy between positive and negative affect in games. The workshop will consist of a brief introduction game, followed by group brainstorming, small group interaction, and a closing plenary discussion.
Interdisciplinary Reflections on Games and Human Values BIBAFull-Text 805-810
  Dimitrios Paris Darzentas; Lachlan Urquhart
We explore the interaction between digital games and human values. HCI as a field is increasingly focused on the importance of engaging with broader discussions around human values. Games are an ideal medium for reflecting on social, ethical and political questions. Accordingly, we propose a multidisciplinary workshop to discuss existing work, consider the future and bring together a range of different epistemological perspectives.
Personalization in Serious and Persuasive Games and Gamified Interactions BIBAFull-Text 811-816
  Marc Busch; Elke Mattheiss; Rita Orji; Andrzej Marczewski; Wolfgang Hochleitner; Michael Lankes; Lennart E. Nacke; Manfred Tscheligi
Serious and persuasive games and gamified interactions have become popular in the last years, especially in the realm of behavior change support systems. They have been used as tools to support and influence human behavior in a variety of fields, such as health, sustainability, education, and security. It has been shown that personalized serious and persuasive games and gamified interactions can increase effectivity of supporting behavior change compared to "one-size-fits all"-systems. However, how serious games and gamified interactions can be personalized, which factors can be used to personalize (e.g. personality, gender, persuadability, player types, gamification user types, states, contextual/situational variables), what effect personalization has (e.g. on player/user experience) and whether there is any return on investment is still largely unexplored. This full-day workshop aims at bringing together the academic and industrial community as well as the gaming and gamification community to jointly explore these topics and define a future roadmap.
Ageing Playfully: Advancing Research on Games for Older Adults Beyond Accessibility and Health Benefits BIBAFull-Text 817-820
  Kathrin Gerling; Bob De Schutter; Julie Brown; Jason Allaire
Games for older adults have previously been explored with a focus on improving older adults' well-being by fostering social interaction, and providing cognitive and physical stimulation, suggesting that they are a means of encouraging older adults to better themselves and introducing an overly functionalist perspective on play. In this workshop, we aim to shift perspectives on games for older adults on hedonic aspects that extend beyond benefits they provide. We will explore challenges and opportunities in the design and development of games for older adults that primarily focus on entertainment to create empowering and engaging experiences, and we will explore how to consolidate efforts that aim to deliver benefits of games with a purpose beyond entertainment to older adults.
The Internet of Playful Things BIBAFull-Text 821-826
  Peta Wyeth; Margot Brereton; Paul Roe; Ann Morrison; Yvonne Rogers; Alessandro Soro; Daniel Johnson
This one-day workshop brings together researchers and practitioners to share knowledge and practices on how people can connect and interact with the Internet of Things in a playful way. Open to participants with a diverse range of interests and expertise, and by exploring novel ways to playfully connect people through their everyday objects and activities, the workshop will facilitate discussion across a range of HCI discipline areas. The outcomes from the workshop will include an archive of participants' initial position papers along with the materials created during the workshop. The result will be a road map to support the development of a Model of Playful Connectedness, focusing on how best to design and make playful networks of things, identifying the challenges that need to be addressed in order to do so.
Tool Design Jam: Designing tools for Games User Research BIBAFull-Text 827-831
  Chek Tien Tan; Pejman Mirza-Babaei; Veronica Zammitto; Alessandro Canossa; Genevieve Conley; Guenter Wallner
In both industry and academia, software tools are essential for games user research (GUR) in order to collect, integrate, analyze and report on games and players' data. GUR datasets are becoming more and more complex, detailed and multifaceted. Hence, tools are necessary to efficiently handle data. This one-day workshop explores the vast spectrum of tools used and created by current GUR researchers and provides a platform of discussion for advancing the development of such tools. This workshop will facilitate intersections from user researchers with diverse epistemologies, as well as from both academia and the industry, in an interactive Design Jam activity to collaboratively design future-proof GUR tools. The immediate outcome of the workshop is twofold: to collectively establish state-of-the-art tool design guidelines, and to archive the papers and discussions, which will extend the conversations and relationships beyond the workshop. Moreover, the long-term outcome will be the start of a community that focuses on creating better tools to aid the study of player experiences.