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ICEC Tables of Contents: 040506070809101112131415

Proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Entertainment Computing

Fullname:ICEC 2008: 7th International Conference on Entertainment Computing
Editors:Scott M. Stevens; Shirley J. Saldamarco
Location:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dates:2008-Sep-25 to 2008-Sep-27
Publisher:Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5309
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-89222-9 hcibib: ICEC08; ISBN: 978-3-540-89221-2 (print), 978-3-540-89222-9 (online)
Links:Online Proceedings
  1. How I Learned to Love the Bomb: Defcon and the Ethics of Computer Games
  2. Posters

How I Learned to Love the Bomb: Defcon and the Ethics of Computer Games

How I Learned to Love the Bomb: Defcon and the Ethics of Computer Games BIBAKFull-Text 1-10
  Miguel Sicart
In this paper I present an analysis of the ontology and ethics of computer games from an Information Ethics perspective. This analysis uses the concepts of Level of Abstraction and Gradient of Abstraction, as defined by Luciano Floridi's Information Ethics, applied to the specific study of computer games. The goal of this paper is to argue for the consideration of games as interesting ethical objects and experiences. Computer games appeal to a player capable of ethical reasoning in her interaction with simulated environments and rule systems. This paper provides a theoretical model for the study of the ethics of computer games both as designed objects, and as player experiences.
Keywords: Information Ethics; Computer Game Ethics; Method of Abstraction
When Items Become Victims: Brand Memory in Violent and Nonviolent Games BIBAKFull-Text 11-22
  André Melzer; Brad J. Bushman; Ulrich G. Hofmann
This paper introduces the AdRacer system for multifaceted testing and in-depth analyses of game effects and in-game advertising efficiency. AdRacer combines an immersive driving simulator, 3D game environment, recording of players' gaze directions, and application of memory tests. A pilot study tested the effects of game violence on memory for brands shown as billboard ads in a racing game. In contrast to findings with TV violence, game violence did not impede brand memory. Memory results were also not mediated by visual attention during encoding. Compared to a matching nonviolent version, playing a violent game resulted in superior brand retrieval, yet participants showed fewer and shorter eye fixations on the billboard ads. Hence, caution seems to be recommended in transferring standard results from the "passive" TV medium to the interactive game medium.
Keywords: Game violence; in-game advertising; memory; media effects
Immersion, the Greatest Hook BIBAFull-Text 23-26
  Faisal Qureshi
People play certain genres of video games for definitive reasons. The underlying phenomenon of these manifested reasons, and the source of "hooking" a player to a game, is Game/World Immersion. Immersion, therefore, is the single most important factor as to why people play certain genres of video games. The various elements that are present in such games, such as audio or visual, are there to create the sense of immersion and are the building blocks of it.
Newsgames: Theory and Design BIBAKFull-Text 27-33
  Miguel Sicart
Computer games have a long history as entertainment media, but their use for educational or political communication is relatively recent. This paper explores the use of computer games as news media. Newsgames are computer games used to participate in the public sphere with the intention of explaining or commenting on current news. The paper provides a set of concepts for analyzing newsgames, based on public service theory. The paper expands this analytical approach with a reflection on game design methodologies for creating newsgames.
Keywords: Newsgames; Serious Games; Public Service Theory; Procedural Rhetorics; Political Games
Agents That Relate: Improving the Social Believability of Non-Player Characters in Role-Playing Games BIBAKFull-Text 34-45
  Nuno Afonso; Rui Prada
As the video games industry grows and video games become more part of our lives, we are eager for better gaming experiences. One field in which games still have much to gain is in Non-Player Character behavior in socially demanding games, like Role-Playing Games. In Role-Playing Games players have to interact constantly with very simple Non-Player Characters, with nosocial behavior in most of the cases, which contrasts with the rich social experience that was provided in its traditional pen-and-paper format. What we propose in this paper is that if we create a richer social behavior in Non-Player Characters the player's gaming experience can be improved. In order to attain this we propose a model that has at its core social relationships with/between Non-Player Characters. By doing an evaluation with players, we identified that 80% of them preferred such system, affirming that it created a better gaming experience.
Keywords: role-playing games; non-player characters; artificial intelligence; social; behavior; relationship; personality; theory of mind
A Surround Display Warp-Mesh Utility to Enhance Player Engagement BIBAKFull-Text 46-56
  Charles Henden; Erik Champion; Ralf Muhlberger; Jeffrey Jacobson
Surround displays are used in simulation, training, and other applications based on virtual worlds. A wide-view display engages the viewer's peripheral vision, providing a more accurate view of the virtual world and therefore a heightened sense of immersion. However, most commercially available surround displays are expensive and complex. We developed a low-cost alternative, which uses a standard digital projector, a hemispherical mirror, and any roughly spherical or cylindrical screen. The software can handle irregular surfaces and will be open-sourced in the next release of the CaveUT/VRGL freeware. We also conducted a pilot study comparing game play in our prototype and game play with a standard desktop monitor. Players using the surround display reported significantly shorter (P = 0.0051) perceived duration of time during play. Reduced awareness of the passage of time during game play was positively correlated with greater engagement and enjoyment.
Keywords: Virtual Environments; Virtual Reality; Immersion; Spherical Mirror Projection; Dome Projection; CaveUT; VRGL; Surround Gaming; Virtual Reality; Warp-Mesh; Texture-Mesh
Development and Evaluation of a Centaur Robot BIBAFull-Text 57-66
  Satoshi Tsuda; Kuniya Shinozaki; Ryohei Nakatsu
Recently various types of robots are being studied and developed, which can be classified into two groups: humanoid type and animal type. Since each group has its own merits and demerits, a new type of robot is expected to emerge with greater strengths and fewer weaknesses. We have proposed a new type of robot called the "Centaur Robot" by merging the concepts of these two types of robots. This robot has a human-like upper body and a four-legged animal-like lower body. Due to this basic architecture, we have found that the robot has several merits, including human-like behaviors and stable walking. This time we have carried out the experiments to evaluate the stability of its waling motion. This paper described the detailed results of the experiments as well as the construction of the software/hardware of the robot.
Analysis of Japanese Folktales for the Purpose of Story Generation BIBAKFull-Text 67-76
  Takaaki Kato; Takenori Wama; Koji Miyazaki; Ryohei Nakatsu
We are developing an interactive folktale system in which users can enjoy both the generation of Japanese folktales as well as interaction with the system. In order to generate any kind of Japanese folktale, the system must give each character appearing in the folktales the ability to achieve a sufficient number of motions. To determine the number of motions that need to be prepared for the system, we carried out an analysis of the verbs that appear in Japanese folktales. Based on the analysis of 50 representative Japanese folktales, we found that the total number of verbs used is more than 2,000. By deleting the overlap of verbs in different folktales, while giving consideration to their meanings in actual usage, the number decreased to about 900. In addition, by restricting the verbs to those that can be expressed by computer graphics, the total number of verbs further decreased to about 100. Then we carried out experiments on generating various scenes of Japanese folktales by using several motion sets, each of which is a subset of the 100 motions corresponding to the reduced verbs. Finally, we evaluated the least number of animations needed to generate animations of sufficient quality.
Keywords: folktale; story generation; verb; animation
Strategic Path Planning on the Basis of Risk vs. Time BIBAKFull-Text 77-87
  Ashish C. Singh; Lawrence Holder
The selection of path in an urban combat setting determines the survival to a greater extent. In this paper we propose an algorithm that finds strategic paths inside a map with a set of enemies without using predetermined waypoints. The strategic path calculation is based upon the hit probability calculated for each enemy's weapons and the risk vs. time preference and it is done at multiple levels of abstractions to address trade-off of efficiency and accuracy and the strategic path calculation minimizes both time and risk as per mission objectives.
Keywords: Strategic Path Planning; Visibility Algorithm; Risk; Time; Non-player character (NPC); Line-of-Sight (LOS); Heuristic Space Search (HSS); Military operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT)
Fear Inducer: A Mixed Reality Audio Experience BIBAKFull-Text 88-93
  Jurgen Westerhoff
In this paper I present the results from a design research project done at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In this project I explored the possibilities of mixing realities using sound. With this mixed reality I explored ways to make people scared for entertainment purposes, comparable to horror-movies or thrill rides. One of the main elements of the concept was to make the device mobile, so that a thrilling experience can be generated at any time and any place. The user will put on the audio-device and through a biofeedback-loop connect himself to the system. While walking around sounds come from the system that blend in with sounds from the real environment. This effect causes interesting situations, directed by the users own impulses sensed by the biofeedback-loop.
Keywords: mixed reality; audio experience; thrilling experience; biofeedback-loop
Game Bot Detection Based on Avatar Trajectory BIBAKFull-Text 94-105
  Kuan-Ta Chen; Andrew Liao; Hsing-Kuo Kenneth Pao; Hao-Hua Chu
In recent years, online gaming has become one of the most popular Internet activities, but cheating activity, such as the use of game bots, has increased as a consequence. Generally, the gaming community disagrees with the use of game bots, as bot users obtain unreasonable rewards without corresponding efforts. However, bots are hard to detect because they are designed to simulate human game playing behavior and they follow game rules exactly. Existing detection approaches either interrupt the players' gaming experience, or they assume game bots are run as standalone clients or assigned a specific goal, such as aim bots in FPS games.
   In this paper, we propose a trajectory-based approach to detect game bots. It is a general technique that can be applied to any game in which the avatar's movement is controlled directly by the players. Through real-life data traces, we show that the trajectories of human players and those of game bots are very different. In addition, although game bots may endeavor to simulate players' decisions, certain human behavior patterns are difficult to mimic because they are AI-hard. Taking Quake 2 as a case study, we evaluate our scheme's performance based on real-life traces. The results show that the scheme can achieve a detection accuracy of 95% or higher given a trace of 200 seconds or longer.
Keywords: Cheating Detection; Online Games; Quake; Security; Supervised Classification; User Behavior
Achievement of Carrying Objects by Small-Sized Humanoid Robot BIBAKFull-Text 106-115
  Hiroyuki Nakagawa; Ryohei Nakatsu
It is expected that the sphere of activity of robots will spread widely in the near future not only in fields of industry but to various aspects of our everyday life. On the basis of this expectation, in this research we aimed at the creation of a robot that supports our daily life and tried to develop a small-sized humanoid robot that can find an object, pick it up, and carry it. We developed an algorithm for a robot to recognize an object using color information. Also, based on the algorithm the robot calculates the direction and the distance to the object, moves to the precise position and picks up the object and carries it. Finally, we carried out an experiment to evaluate the performance and were able to obtain a high success rate.
Keywords: humanoid robot; object recognition; physical support
Interactive Multimedia Contents in the IllusionHole BIBAKFull-Text 116-121
  Tokuo Yamaguchi; Kazuhiro Asai; Yoshifumi Kitamura; Fumio Kishino
This paper proposes a system of interactive multimedia contents that allows multiple users to participate in a face-to-face manner and share the same time and space. It provides an interactive environment where multiple users can see and manipulate stereoscopic animation with individual sound. Two application examples are implemented; one is location-based content design and the other is user-based content design. Both effectively use a unique feature of the IllusionHole, i.e., a location-sensitive display device that provides a stereoscopic image with multiple users around the table.
Keywords: 3D user interface; entertainment computing; tabletop display; interactive; CSCW; game; stereoscopic display
Creating an Emotionally Adaptive Game BIBAKFull-Text 122-133
  Tim Tijs; Dirk Brokken; Wijnand IJsselsteijn
To optimize a player's experience, an emotionally adaptive game continuously adapts its mechanics to the player's emotional state, measured in terms of emotion-data. This paper presents the first of two studies that aim to realize an emotionally adaptive game. It investigates the relations between game mechanics, a player's emotional state and his/her emotion-data. In an experiment, one game mechanic (speed) was manipulated. Emotional state was self-reported in terms of valence, arousal and boredom-frustration-enjoyment. In addition, a number of (mainly physiology-based) emotion-data features were measured. Correlations were found between the valence/arousal reports and the emotion-data features. In addition, seven emotion-data features were found to distinguish between a boring, frustrating and enjoying game mode. Taken together, these features convey sufficient data to create a first version of an emotionally adaptive game.
Keywords: Adaptivity; personalization; computer games; affective loop; psychophysiology; emotions
Robust Interactive Storytelling Framework for Automatic TV Content/Story Production BIBAFull-Text 134-148
  Hussein Karam Hussein Abd El-Sattar
With the rapid advancement of hardware and software, entertainment computing industry has been popularized during the last decade. TV content/story production is a major bottleneck in the entertainment industry. Previous work has identified key problems, such as narrative control, the duality between character and plot, the tension between interactivity and storytelling, and the tools that artists can use to create interactive story worlds. Due to the tradeoff between narrative progression and user interaction, striking a balance between the two is a big challenge. As a solution to such a challenge, Bcreative system has been developed. It is a unified prototype of both plot-based and character-based interactive storytelling. The idea is derived from the study of both Petri nets (PN) and cinematography in interactive storytelling. The system architecture is composed of two engines: a story engine and a character engine through a smart user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI). The story engine models the story plot based on the Petri nets (PN) reachability analysis, while the character engine enhances the modeling of character behavior based on filmmaking theory. This paper discusses the development process of our proposed system, illustrating the design and implementation in detail. Comparisons with existing techniques are included, and the advantages of our proposed system over existing ones are examined. Evaluation and practical performance results are also demonstrated.
Designing Toys That Come Alive: Curious Robots for Creative Play BIBAKFull-Text 149-154
  Kathryn Merrick
Creative thinking requires imagination, creativity, play, sharing and reflection. This paper presents an architecture for a curious, reconfigurable robot that encourages creative design thinking by permitting designed structures to learn behaviours. These behaviours encourage designers to play with different structures, reflect on the relationship between structure and behaviour and imagine new structures. A demonstration of the architecture is described using the Lego Mindstorms platform. The demonstration shows how a curious robot can adapt new behaviours in response to changes in its structure, and how this can encourage the creative thinking spiral and creative design.
Keywords: Curiosity; motivated reinforcement learning; robots; creative design; creative play
Musical B-boying: A Wearable Musical Instrument by Dancing BIBAFull-Text 155-160
  Minoru Fujimoto; Naotaka Fujita; Yoshinari Takegawa; Tsutomu Terada; Masahiko Tsukamoto
Advances in computer technologies have enabled new means of musical expression with motion enabled musical instruments, which have attracted a great deal of attention. We created a new performance system that enables a dancer to make music while b-boying, which is a dance style. We implemented sensor-equipped shoes and a system that recognizes motions and that controls music. We used an implemented prototype on stage, and we found that dancers were able to control the music flexibly while b-boying. Our system will bring about a new style of musical performance for both musicians and dancers.
Hybrid Visual Tracking for Augmented Books BIBAKFull-Text 161-166
  Hyun S. Yang; Kyusung Cho; Jaemin Soh; Jinki Jung; Junseok Lee
The augmented book is the system augmenting multimedia elements onto a book to bring additional education effects or amusement. A book includes many pages and many duplicated designs so that tracking a book is quite difficult. For the augmented book, we propose the hybrid visual tracking which merges the merits of two traditional approaches: fiducial marker tracking and markerless tracking. The new method does not cause visual discomfort and can stabilizes camera pose estimation in real-time.
Keywords: hybrid visual tracking; augmented reality; augmented book
Towards Emotional Characters in Computer Games BIBAFull-Text 167-172
  Robert Schaap; Rafael Bidarra
This paper describes our research on integrating emotion aspects into characters of video games. Motivation for this is the significant absence of emotive expression in most characters of current games. In order to provide players with a more immersed game experience, it is essential that characters show compelling expressions, in particular, facial expressions. As a research methodology, we took several intense scenes from classic movies and evaluated what would be necessary to allow a virtual character to reenact the scenes inside a game. The recreated scenes should convey the same emotions as the original scenes. Our approach represents the internal state of a video game characters by using a PAD-based model, as well as modeling the impact on it of many relevant environment aspects. Representing this internal state also involves blending together animations to create lively facial expressions. We conclude that the resulting model is good enough to allow scenes to be recreated with an emotional load similar to the original scenes. The approach is also successful inimproving the consistency of the mood of the characters based on their personality.
Sense Cup: A Design of a New Interactive Holistic Sense Convergence Device for Digital Storytelling BIBAKFull-Text 173-178
  Hyun Sang Cho; Soohyun Lim; Tatsuya Yamazaki; Minsoo Hahn
In this paper, we propose "Sense cup" as a new design concept of a device for enhancing the digital storytelling by serving interactive five senses convergence experience. We designed the cup for providing holistic sense experiences with beverage that synchronized with digital contents such as movies and music and catch the user reaction to generate interaction between users and contents provider.
Keywords: Sense convergence; Digital storytelling; Immersion; User experience
Frame Selection for Automatic Comic Generation from Game Log BIBAFull-Text 179-184
  Tomonori Shuda; Ruck Thawonmas
Recently, we have presented a comic generating system that visualizes an online-game play. Our system was inspired by a former work of Shamir et al. However, comics generated in their work can have series of similar frames when multiple actions occur near each other in both time and space. In this paper, we first present a frame-selection module that uses Habituated Self-Organizing Map. Our method prevents comic readers from boredom by getting rid of resemble consecutive frame candidates. We then evaluate the method by a subject experiment using a play from the ICE, an online-game developed in our laboratory. Experimental result confirms that our method is effective in making output comics more interesting than a baseline method.
Conscientious Objector: Pacifism, Politics and Abusing the Player in Doom 3 BIBAKFull-Text 185-189
  Dan Pinchbeck
This paper describes Conscientious Objector, a research mod built using the idTech4 engine and assets from the commercial game Doom 3. It was designed to explore the potential for non-lethal force in FPS gaming, and player response to a radically different avatar-NPC relationship.
Keywords: Game; first-person shooter; Doom 3; development-led; modding; pacifism; non-player character
Experiences Employing Novice Wizard Operators in a Gallery Setting BIBAKFull-Text 190-196
  Steven Dow; Blair MacIntyre
During a eleven-week installation of an immersive augmented reality (AR) experience at an art and technology gallery, we faced the practical challenges of preparing for live public audiences and of training and motivating a group of nine modestly-paid undergraduate museum docents to not only usher the show, but to perform as "wizards". The docents played an integral part of the AR Façade experience, replacing imperfect recognition technology to achieve speech and gesture interaction for the players. Our investigation of the wizard docents revealed insights into two conceptually different wizard-of-oz implementations. The docents initially resisted the interface option that required more cognitive load, but after learning how to make it work, many preferred that interface because it provided them more agency within the system and freedom to diversify the experience for audiences.
Keywords: Immersive entertainment; gallery installations; user experience; wizard-of-oz methods; augmented reality
Fast Rendering of Large Crowds Using GPU BIBAKFull-Text 197-202
  HunKi Park; JungHyun Han
This paper proposes a fast rendering algorithm for real-time animation of large crowds, which is essential for video games with a large number of non-player characters. The proposed approach leaves the minimal work of rendering to CPU, and makes GPU take all the major work, including LOD assignment and view frustum culling, which have been the typical tasks of CPU. By offloading the rendering overhead from CPU, the approach enables the CPU to perform intensive computations for crowd simulation. The experiments show that tens of thousands of characters can be skin-animated in real time.
Keywords: crowd rendering; skinning; instancing; GPU
Physiological Player Sensing: New Interaction Devices for Video Games BIBAKFull-Text 203-208
  Jérôme Dupire; Viviane Gal; Alexandre Topol
In traditional video games, players are used to handle well known devices such as a keyboard or a mouse. In a pervasive game, no virtual world exists, since players evolve in a real environment. Hence, new kinds of interaction devices are needed. The physiological approach presented in this paper is one of the most promising solutions. We have build our own sensing tee-shirt on which physiological sensors are sewed. It makes it possible to monitor in real time the players' physiological states with a minimum of mechanical constraints.
Keywords: Wearable Computing; Physiological Sensor; Embedded System; Video Game
Hitch Haiku: An Interactive Supporting System for Composing Haiku Poem BIBAKFull-Text 209-216
  Naoko Tosa; Hideto Obara; Michihiko Minoh
Human communication is fostered in environments of regional communities and cultures and in different languages. Cultures are rooted in their unique histories. Communication media have been developed to circulate these cultural characteristics. The theme of our research is "Cultural Computing", which means the translation of cultures using scientific methods representing essential aspects of Japanese culture [1]. We study the reproduction of a traditional Japanese Haiku by computer. Our system can abstract an essence of human emotions and thoughts into a Haiku, a Japanese minimal poem form. A user chooses arbitrary phrases from a chapter of the essay "1000 Books and 1000 Nights" [2]. Using the phrases chosen by the user, our system generates the Haiku which includes the essence of these words.
Keywords: Poem; Haiku; Haiku generation; Art; Interactive art


Dome Displays for Educational Games and Activities in the Museum and on the Road BIBAKFull-Text 217-220
  Kerry Handron; Jeffrey Jacobson
The immersive Earth Theater at Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) uses CaveUT and the Unreal Engine for real time virtual tours as part of public and educational programming. Research conducted comparing the theater with desktop displays shows immersion is a powerful tool, helping people create more connections. Content builds on the museum's strengths and includes dinosaurs, an Egyptian temple and a Seneca village. CMNH has tremendous expertise in traditional tours, combining skills of storytelling, communication, leading group dynamics, timing and humor to convey and contextualize the topics. This background is just as critical to great virtual tours as the beautiful, complex and natural graphics.
Keywords: CaveUT; DomeUT; Earth Theater; Educational Games; Informal Education; Dome; Portable; Egypt; Oviraptor; Dinosaur; Virtual Reality; Mixed Reality; Unreal Tournament; Unreal Engine; Immersive; Tour; Constructivist
Game-Based Simulation for the Evaluation of Threat Detection in a Seaport Environment BIBAKFull-Text 221-224
  Allen Christiansen; Damian Johnson; Lawrence Holder
The ability to simulate a seaport environment, including illicit cargo and the sensors designed to detect such cargo, allows the evaluation of alternative detection methods in order to improve security at our nation's seaports. We describe our progress towards this goal. Specifically, we describe our modeling of threats at a particle emission level, modeling of sensors as particle detectors, modeling of the seaport dynamics (e.g, ships, cargo containers, cranes, trucks), and how the particles interact with the various structures and materials in the seaport environment as the cargo moves through the seaport. Ultimately, this simulation will serve as a testbed for the evaluation of sensor network data collection, fusion and decision making for threat detection in a seaport environment.
Keywords: Simulation; seaport; particle propagation; sensor modeling; security; threat detection
BCI for Games: A 'State of the Art' Survey BIBAFull-Text 225-228
  Anton Nijholt
Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) has found applications for disabled users. Progress in BCI research allows looking at applications for 'abled' users. For these applications users have other demands, and they will be critical about devices that limit physical movements and that require long periods of training. Prototype BCI applications now appear in the domain of games and entertainment that aim at adapting and controlling a game using brain signals in addition to traditional physical and mental abilities.
In-Depth Observation of Video Gamers BIBAKFull-Text 229-231
  Jorge Alves Lino; Ben Salem
In this poster we present the observations results of video gamers playing Halo 3 on the X-Box console. We report on the data we have gathered thanks to a Noldus Observer system. These data relate to gamer behaviour, game actions and basic biofeedback.
Keywords: Game; gamer observation; Behaviour; physiological data
BioMedia for Entertainment BIBAKFull-Text 232-242
  Ben Salem; Adrian Cheok; Adria Bassaganyes
In this paper we report on a novel form of media we call BioMedia. We introduce the concept and we explain its features. We then present two prototypes we have developed using BioMedia in entertainment.
Keywords: BioMedia; Multimedia; Empathy; Entertainment