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IE Tables of Contents: 0607080910121314

Proceedings of the 2007 Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment

Fullname:Proceedings of the 4th Australasian conference on Interactive entertainment
Editors:Larissa Hjorth; Esther Milne; Martin Gibbs; Pisan Yusuf
Location:Melbourne, Australia
Dates:2007-Dec-03 to 2007-Dec-05
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-921166-87-7; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: IE07
Papers:28
Links:Conference Website
Implementation and evaluation of a background music reactive game BIBAFull-Text 1
  Khalid Aallouche; Homam Albeiriss; Redouane Zarghoune; Juha Arrasvuori; Antti Eronen; Jukka Holm
This paper discusses further work on the authors' "background music reactive games" concept, where background music is used to modify video game parameters and thus actions on the screen. Each song selected by the player makes the game look different and behave variedly. The concept is explored by modifying an open-source game called Briquolo, which is based on the well-known arcade game Breakout. Several audio signal features such as magnitude, energy, centroid, and spectral flux are calculated from the background music MP3 file and mapped to relevant game parameters. In order to verify how well the features work in practice, a user study with 20 participants was arranged. The results suggest strongly that people appreciate the concept of background music reactive games. The selected analysis algorithms and mapping worked nicely, and 90% of participants felt that the music truly affected the game. In addition, 90% of participants also felt that the modified version was more entertaining than the original.
Citizenship and consumption: convergence culture, transmedia narratives and the digital divide BIBAFull-Text 2
  Thomas Apperley
Henry Jenkins' recent publications on convergence have focused on the way that the active audience, equipped with the productive and distributive tools of digital technology might transform the waning public sphere in the USA, at the expense of effectively excluding discussion of the transnational and uneven practices of cultural convergence. However, in his work the stakes of convergence culture are clearly established: empowered consumers (potentially) have an active role in transforming -- and democratizing -- governments and corporations. This paper will examine what this emergent politicized form of consumption/production means in the context of the unevenness of global participation in the information economy.
   By focusing on the tactics of participation that are deployed in the global 'South' through a case study of the consumption of transmedia narratives in Venezuela this paper will demonstrate what is at stake in the shift to a media paradigm of convergence.
Rhythms of gaming bodies BIBAFull-Text 3
  Thomas Apperley
In Martin Amis' description of Pac-Man (Namco, 1979) from The Invasion of Space Invaders (1982) he notes: 'I have seen bloodstains on the PacMan joystick... ...I know a young actress with a case of PacMan Hand so severe that her index finger looked like a section of blood pudding -- yet still she played, and played through her tears of pain'. This is a far cry from notions of videogames as immersive virtual worlds, and the player as an actor in those worlds! Amis is highly aware of the way that videogames engaged both the mind and the body of the player: 'the vivid melodrama of these games doesn't just involve and absorb the player: it makes him sweat and pant. With his lips thinning and his eyes bulging, he seems to take it all very personally'.
   The body of the game player is an under-theorized area of videogame scholarship. Martti Lahti is 'As We Become Machines: Corporealized Pleasures in Video Games' (2003), argues that the focus on the cerebral process of play in early videogame scholarship ignored the ways in which videogames were increasingly seeking to immediately realise the audio-visual aspect of the human sensorium. In this paper I wish to move beyond this examination of representational strategies to explore the role that the body of the gamer has in game play.
   This approach, exploring the game beyond the screen, demands a more open, contextual approach to the praxis and processes of videogame play. Using data from fieldwork conducted in Caracas, Venezuela and Melbourne, Australia during 2005, this paper will explore the role that the body of the gamer has in videogame play.
Beings in the game-world: characters, avatars, and players BIBAFull-Text 4
  Peter Bayliss
Immersive and engaging are words often used interchangeably to describe the player's experience of gameplay without clear distinction between what these terms refer to, and without investigation of the underlying basis of each experience. This paper aims to build upon previous work by other authors on the nature of the player's experience of gameplay by focusing on how these experiences are mediated by the player's point of control within the game-world. The relationship between the player and their point of control in the game-world is discussed in terms of embodiment to articulate differences between the terms avatar and character, distinctions that are in turn used as a basis for understanding how different attitudes towards the activity of gameplay arise from the interplay of different relationships between the player and their point of control. Finally there is a consideration of how the relationship between the player and their point of control and resultantly their attitudes towards the activity of gameplay may influence different types of an experience of being-in-the-game-world, namely immersion, engagement, presence, and telepresence.
Sam Fisher versus Immanuel Kant: the ethics of interactive media BIBAFull-Text 5
  Scott Beattie
This paper explores the notion of ethical engagement in interactive media through an examination of the Splinter Cell series of games.
Exploring terra incognita: wayfinding devices for games BIBAFull-Text 6
  Nicola J. Bidwell; Colin Lemmon; Mihai Roturu; Christopher Lueg
The ludic experience of exploring wilderness in gameworlds may be compromised by either the negative affects of disorientation or the conspicuous application of architectural principles known to support wayfinding. We use a novel device, inspired by insect navigation, to examine players' situated acquisition of spatial knowledge to enable them return to the origin of their route while they explore an unfamiliar, synthetic natural world. We describe qualitative and quantitative data on player behaviour and distill themes to inform subsequent designs to assist players fulfillment when exploring settings and interpreting them spatially.
Place as media in pervasive games BIBAFull-Text 7
  Hugh Davies
By blurring the boundary between game fiction and reality, Pervasive Games impact the shared space of the city areas that they use as gaming platform. Drawing on notions of spatial theory and Pervasive Gaming practice, this paper discusses ways in which game designers can navigate the constraints and possibilities of gaming in social and physical spaces towards creating greater immersion for players and generating new associations for city spaces. This design challenge within Pervasive Gaming represents a broader shift in interest from representing spatial reality in gaming, to being a part of shaping it.
Capturing polymorphic creations: towards ontological heterogeneity and transmodiology BIBAFull-Text 8
  Christy Dena
This paper addresses the vast practice encompassed under the placeholder term polymorphic creations: contemporary tie-ins, pervasive gaming, telematic arts and so on. A position is put forward where a heterogenous model is championed in favour of a shared ontology. This is contextualized according to polymorphic practices and larger cultural shifts. This paper is, therefore, a theoretical analysis of potential polymorphic-specific methodologies.
Portal-based sound propagation for first-person computer games BIBAFull-Text 9
  Cameron Foale; Peter Vamplew
First-person computer games are a popular modern video game genre. A new method is proposed, the Directional Propagation Cache, that takes advantage of the very common portal spatial subdivision method to accelerate environmental acoustics simulation for first-person games, by caching sound propagation information between portals.
An evaluation framework for videogame based tasking of remote vehicles BIBAFull-Text 10
  Adam J. Hassell; Philip Smith; David Stratton
Unmanned vehicles (UV's) are increasingly being employed in civil and military domains often for operations in dangerous environments. Typically these vehicles require some level of human supervision and therefore require a user interface to enable tasking and feedback. Most existing interfaces are specific to the UV and may require significant user training. One potential solution to this is to exploit proven videogame interfaces to improve UV control. There is however a lack of organised means by which these approaches can be evaluated. This paper describes an interface developed to serve as an experimental platform for investigating the potential benefits of various videogame based interfaces for remote vehicle tasking.
Nonverbal communication in multiplayer game worlds BIBAFull-Text 11
  Troy Innocent; Stewart Haines
In this paper, methods for nonverbal communication in digital games and virtual worlds are explored as alternatives to chat and other text-based forms of communication. Inspired by pre-linguistic societies and pictographic languages, the design of a new system called 'symbolchat' for virtual worlds is described. An online game is developed that uses this system at various levels in the game world. Reflecting upon the design and development of this system, and observation of it in use by players the application and role of nonverbal communication in digital games and virtual worlds is explored.
The nonsense of the aura BIBAFull-Text 12
  Darshana Jayemanne
An examination of Walter Benjamin's notion of the aura as it appears in videogames, and the relation between the non-directional sense of smell, non-directional visual fields, and the representation or active exclusion of cultural memory.
Dramatic flow in interactive 3D narrative BIBAFull-Text 13
  Alyx Macfadyen; Andrew Stranieri; John Yearwood
The concept of dramatic level is crucial for a model of dramatic flow. We present a framework to maintain optimal dramatic flow in an interactive 3D environment where both linear and emergent narratives co-exist. Unlike all other interactive narrative prototypes the framework advanced focuses on the optimal dramatic flow of the emerging user narrative so that although fragmented, it can be engaging and make sense. Using a sample narrative from Ovid's Metamorphoses [18] we demonstrate a method to evaluate dramatic levels as plot points so that movement across narratives retains a strong dramatic flow. Although users may never choose to explore any given linear narrative in its entirety, the result is an engaging and rich narrative experience.
Then, suddenly, I was moved: nostalgia and the media history of games BIBAFull-Text 14
  Christian McCrea
Gaming has a past; it cannot escape the rearticulation of genres, traditions and images of its history. The haunting of the present is all the more visible here than in other forms, as non-digital media are bound by types of material traces. But what traces does gaming leave -- what breadcrumbs to follow? This paper seeks a telling of the inner life of game history, the force that surges through game culture to forever remember its roots and seek out the infinite regress of its future.
Dismembers of the audience: the expulsive, explosive force of bodies in games BIBAFull-Text 15
  Christian McCrea
In this paper, a conceptual framework is developed for critiquing extreme violence in computer and videogames from an aesthetic perspective. In particular focus is the common play element of 'corpseplay' and the reduction of the physical form into 'gibs', chunks and blood.
   What occurs when the player turns enemies into a screaming ballet of slow-motion meat? The mechanics underlying games suggest a release of forces and tensions, so how does it become possible, if at all, to speak in general and specific terms about extreme videogame violence?
Patterns and computer game design innovation BIBAFull-Text 16
  Kevin McGee
How can we help people design well-formed and innovative games? The design Patterns of Christopher Alexander is one methodology that has been proposed to assist in the design of well-formed artifacts. However, most work on gamedesign Patterns to date has opted either for "best practice" style Patterns -- or for an alternative model of Patterns to support game innovation. This paper describes initial work to develop materials to help developers identify and formulate "best practice" game design Patterns -- and to use the resulting Patterns as part of creating innovative games.
Observing the learning curve of videogames in architectural design BIBAFull-Text 17
  Greg More; Andrew Burrow
This paper presents innovative research into the use of videogame environments within architectural design studios. In this context, 3D videogame environments encourage new understandings of design process by virtue of their immediacy and interactivity. A difficulty however of integrating these environments into design studios, is that the media has fewer established representational norms when compared to traditional design media, and inexperienced designers have difficulties in progressing through typical design milestones. This paper reports on a series of architectural design studios that utilise videogame technology for design enquiry, outlining both the techniques used by the authors to aid designers working with this media, and observations and understandings gained from the outcomes.
A physical three-way interactive game based on table tennis BIBAFull-Text 18
  Florian 'Floyd' Mueller; Martin R. Gibbs
Physical leisure activities such as table tennis provide healthy exercise and can offer a means to connect with others socially; however, players have to be in the same physical location to play. We have developed a networked table tennis-like game that is played with a real paddle and ball, augmented with a large-scale videoconference. Similar to networked computer games, this concept can support more than two locations: our "Table Tennis for Three" is a physical interactive game, based on traditional table tennis; however, it is playable by three players in three geographically distant locations. We hope that Table Tennis for Three has potential to achieve similar benefits known from traditional collocated physical leisure activity such as exercise, enjoyment and bringing people together to socialize.
Real time art engines 3: post-convergent creative practice in MUVEs BIBAFull-Text 19
  Adam Nash
In this paper, I describe a possible creative model for approaching realtime 3D Multi-user Virtual Environments (MUVEs) as formal, abstract audio-visual composition environments. The model is a result of my practice-based research, creating audio-visual art work in Second Life and other realtime 3D MUVEs. Some of the conventions and approaches of musical composition, sound art and visual art are considered and compared. These approaches are evaluated within the context of realtime 3D MUVEs, and compared to a post-convergent approach attempting to identify some qualities native to the realtime 3D MUVE.
My guild, my people: role of guilds in massively multiplayer online games BIBAFull-Text 20
  Yusuf Pisan
Massively Multiplayer Online Games continue to grow and attract more users. The social aspect of MMOs differentiates them from single person games, increase user loyalty and often result in users spending increasing amounts of time in these virtual environments. We examine World of Warcraft guilds and identify three components of group identity: affective, behavioral and cognitive components. We present the results of our online survey indicating that the affective component, users liking each other and enjoying their interaction with each other is the strongest component of group identity. The result is significant in understanding user behavior and loyalty in MMOs.
Eleven programmers seven artists and five kilograms of Play-Doh: games for teaching game design BIBAFull-Text 21
  Malcolm Ryan
Aristotle once wrote: The things we learn to do, we learn by doing. This is the motto of the Game Design Workshop subject I run at the University of New South Wales. The class brings together artists and programmers to learn about designing games. To do this, we play games. Then we reflect on why they work. Then we change the rules and play some more. Reflecting on this experience helps us to learn the principles behind designing good games.
   In this paper I share some of the games we have played. I have deliberately chosen these games to illustrate key elements of game design, while also being fun to play, and easy to change. My experience shows that they provide an effective way to teach concepts which students can transfer to the analysis and design of more complex games.
The tale of Peter Rabbit: a case-study in story-sense reasoning BIBAFull-Text 22
  Malcolm Ryan; Nicholas Hannah; Joshua Lobb
The telling and understanding of stories is a universal part of human experience. If we could reproduce even part of the process inside a computer, it could expand the possibilities for human-computer interaction enormously. We argue that in order to do so, we need to model narrative at three levels of abstraction, in terms of physics, characters and plot. Taking four scenes from the children's story The Tale of Peter Rabbit, we describe some of the challenges they present for modeling this kind of "story-sense reasoning".
Through the looking glass: game worlds as representations and views from elsewhere BIBAFull-Text 23
  J. Turner; Nicola J. Bidwell
This paper describes the rationale and subsequent development stages of a work in progress: a graffiti toolkit for rich spatial 3D environments and an actual world mnemonic collection enterprise using mobile technologies. The driving concept for the design of the toolkit is enabling participants to tell their own stories within the virtually represented landscapes of rich 3D spatial worlds, minimising the autocracy of software conditioning and recognising that such stories belong within a place, context. It is inspired by work which explores the possibilities of visualisation engines to transmit intangible culture. The use of graffiti as a means to give voice to those outside the official writing and recording of culture dates back to antiquity. As a practice, making marks on objects and the world holds the undercurrent of claiming the intangible or otherwise unreachable, a memory or voice which has no other platform. This project is informed by the social context of meaning and intangible culture and the manner in which interface design conditions the nature of stories. It takes the reader on a walk which connects the design of spatial worlds with the representation of landscapes through painting and maps in order to find ways to exploit "views from elsewhere" and enable connections between a lived sense of place with the navigable representations constructed within the screen.
Speaking in character: using voice-over-IP to communicate within MMORPGs BIBAFull-Text 24
  Greg Wadley; Martin Gibbs; Peter Benda
While voice-over-IP has long been favoured as a communication medium by players of team-based online shooter games, it has recently also been appropriated by players of MMORPGs, and some recent MMORPGs have included voice facilities in the game software. However voice communication has provoked controversy among players and designers, some of whom believe that it is not suited to some of the communication tasks required in this genre of games, such as role-play, coordination of large groups, and interaction with strangers. Little research has been published on VoIP use in MMORPGs. We studied the use of voice by three groups playing Dungeons and Dragons Online and World of Warcraft over a period of three months. The players kept diaries, were interviewed individually, and participated in focus groups. We organized this data into themes which are presented here. We discuss our findings with regard to prior research into computer-mediated communication.
Utzon's studio as a collaborative virtual environment BIBAFull-Text 25
  Viveka Weiley
In order to investigate the design of virtual place for creative collaboration, I have modeled scenes from a real place of creative collaboration -- Jørn Utzon's studios, which embody a number of principles of design for real creative place. From this vantage point we may begin to draw conclusions about which elements of that place are important for creative collaboration, and how the qualities of those elements may be transported into collaborative virtual environments (CVEs).
Evolving images for entertainment BIBAFull-Text 26
  Qinying Xu; Daryl D'Souza; Vic Ciesielski
Images are widely used in media contexts such as web design, games and video animation. The process of creating interesting images can be enjoyable if a useful tool is involved. In this paper we describe an interactive image generation tool called IMAGENE based on genetic programming, which can be used to create novel, surprising, and sometimes stunning images. A new method for presenting colour images is also proposed, which results in more colourful images being generated. The system permits the user to progressively evaluate and generate new images from previous sets of images. In doing so, the user is also able to control various settings and parameters. From a user perspective, the system has the following qualities which make generating images entertaining: can be created by choosing different function settings and families of images which have common characteristics between parents and children can be generated.
Simulating sensory perception in 3D game characters BIBAFull-Text 27
  Fabio Zambetta
Extensive simulation of sensory perception for NPCs (Non Playing Characters) or bots in 3D games has been quite rare if not absent until recently. However, a few games have proven that proper simulation of senses can lead to interesting and novel gameplay, and it is likely that the trend towards more sophisticated simulation will continue. In this paper we analyze the existing techniques to simulate virtual senses, highlight their weaknesses and propose some ideas to improve over the main existing approaches. The work presented here is part of an ongoing research on 3D learning characters, funded by the RMIT Emerging Researchers Grant.
Two families: dynamical policy models in interactive storytelling BIBAFull-Text 28
  Fabio Zambetta; Adam Nash; Paul Smith
In this paper we introduce a mathematical model of conflict that enhances Richardson's model of Arms Race accounting for interactive scenarios, such as the ones provided by CRPGs (Computer Role Playing Games). Such an improvement translates the model into an HCP (Hybrid Control Process). We also provide a sneak peek at the multi-disciplinary project Two Families (A Tale of New Florence), set up to illustrate the applications of the model.
   Two Families will result in a Neverwinter Nights 2 module featuring non-linear interactive storytelling, and a substantially different user experience based on complex political interaction between in-game factions and the overall plot.