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Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference Fun and Games

Fullname:Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Fun and Games
Editors:Vero Vanden Abeele; Bieke Zaman; Marianna Obrist; Wijnand IJsselsteijn
Location:Leuven, Belgium
Dates:2010-Sep-15 to 2010-Sep-17
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN: 1-60558-907-1, 978-1-60558-907-7; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: FNG10
Papers:19
Pages:170
Links:Conference Home Page
Looking for the heart of interactive media: reflections on video games' emotional expression BIBAKFull-Text 8-17
  Rui Craveirinha; Licínio Roque
Ever since they first originated, video games have been perceived as an inferior form of media expression. One major concern has been that they do not seem able to elicit a wide spectrum of emotions, thus being perceived as emotionally shallow. Sustained by a theoretical overview of the nature of play activities and studies on emotion elicitation by video games, this paper hypothesizes on a relationship between certain elements of traditional games and subsequent elicited emotions. From these ensue concerns regarding the narrow spectre of emotions elicited by certain prototypical game structures employed by the game design process.
Keywords: emotion, game design
Comparison of playtesting and expert review methods in mobile game evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 18-27
  Hannu Korhonen
Selecting an evaluation method for product evaluations depends on many issues, such as the development stage of the product, time schedule, resources, and money that can be invested on the evaluation. The user testing and expert review methods are probably the most common ones when productivity software is being evaluated. Conducting a playtesting with players is commonly used by game designers, but the expert review method has not received that much attention, although it has proven to be an efficient and useful method. In this paper, we present a comparison study of the playtesting and expert review methods in mobile game evaluation. Our objective is to compare the effectiveness of the expert review method with playtesting. Results indicate that the expert review method is able to identify playability problems as accurately as playtesting, but in addition, it identifies problems that are crucial for the playability of the game.
Keywords: comparison study, evaluation method, expert review, playability heuristics, playtesting
PLEX Cards: a source of inspiration when designing for playfulness BIBAKFull-Text 28-37
  Andrés Lucero; Juha Arrasvuori
Playfulness can be observed in all areas of human activity. It is an attitude of making activities more enjoyable. Designing for playfulness involves creating objects that elicit a playful approach and provide enjoyable experiences. In this paper we introduce the design and evaluation of the PLEX Cards and its two related idea generation techniques. The cards were created to communicate the 22 categories of a Playful Experiences framework to designers and other stakeholders who wish to design for playfulness. We have evaluated the practical use of the cards by applying them in three design cases. The results show that the PLEX Cards are a valuable source of inspiration when designing for playfulness and the techniques help create a large amount of ideas in a short time.
Keywords: card, design methods, inspiration, playfulness, workshop
Criminal cities and enchanted forests: a user-centred assessment of the applicability of the Pervasive GameFlow model BIBAKFull-Text 38-47
  Lizzy Bleumers; An Jacobs; Tim Van Lier
In this paper, we reflect on the opportunities and limitations of using the Pervasive GameFlow (PGF) model for evaluating player experience in pervasive games. In particular, we critically assess its applicability to pervasive games that are not technology-based. This assessment results from a review of two pervasive outdoor group games by means of the PGF model. While the first game (i.e. The Target) involves the use of digital technology, the latter (i.e. Magic Spell) does not. In order to produce an in-depth review, we observed groups during game play and we assessed players' experiences by means of a questionnaire.
Keywords: case studies, group play, outdoor games, pervasive games, player experience
ajME: making game engines autonomic BIBAKFull-Text 48-57
  Pedro Martins; Julie A. McCann
Autonomic Computing is now showing its value as a solution to the increased complexities of maintaining computer systems and has been applied to many different fields. In this paper, we demonstrate how a gaming application can benefit from autonomic principles. Currently, minimal adaptivity has been used in games and is typically manifested as bespoke mechanisms that cannot be shared, extended, reused etc. In this paper we show the advantages of Autonomic Computing in terms of not only improved performance, but also show that decoupling adaptivity mechanisms from the managed game can be done efficiently whilst improving its software engineering.
   To this end we implement and evaluate a proof of concept architecture using the popular Java game engine jMonkeyEngine and in doing so produce autonomic extensions for the jMonkeyEngine (namely ajME). We show that this framework enables easy adoption of autonomic computing in games created using this games engine but also how this relates to other engines. We conclude that autonomic computing in gaming is viable (i.e. performance is improved while leaving the game quality minimally changed), has advantages over other approaches from a software engineering point of view and all with a minimal overhead. We then discuss the difficulties that are still present in the implementation of autonomic gaming systems, and suggest some further work that could be done in order to improve this area.
Keywords: autonomic computing, game engine, self-adaptive, self-healing systems, software engineering
Emotion control system for MIDI excerpts: MOR2ART BIBAKFull-Text 58-65
  Noritaka Moriguchi; Emi Wada; Masanobu Miura
Emotional expression when performing music (singing or playing musical instruments) requires skill, but such a skill is generally difficult to learn. Computer systems that can make it easy for non-musicians to express any emotion have been proposed [1]. These systems can be used to express five or six emotions during a musical performance, but cannot be used to control the degree of an emotion such as savage or calm anger. It is necessary for the user, not only musicians but also non-musicians, to continuously manipulate emotions with immediate results for the audience. Therefore, we propose a system for controlling degrees of emotions in MIDI files. We call our proposed system Mood Operator Realized as an Application of Affective Rendering Techniques (MOR2ART), and it is designed to control expressed emotion during a musical performance using excerpts of a standard MIDI file (SMF) format. In musical performances, an emotion is expressed by the use of several performance profiles [2]. An emotion plane, which was defined in a previous study, is used in our system to allow manipulation of a pointer for continuously changing several performance profiles, such as timbre, tempo, number of performance tracks, and loudness of a given excerpt in that plane. Therefore, users can easily control the emotional expression in an excerpt. The emotions are expressed in the music when played back to the listener. Listeners can easily identify the expressed emotion with this playback. In an experimental evaluation, we confirmed that MOR2ART enables a non-musician to express emotion through his/her performance.
Keywords: MIDI, emotion, music
Recognizing self in puppet controlled virtual avatars BIBAKFull-Text 66-73
  Ali Mazalek; Michael Nitsche; Sanjay Chandrasekharan; Tim Welsh; Paul Clifton; Andrew Quitmeyer; Firaz Peer; Friedrich Kirschner
Recent work in neuroscience suggests that there is a common coding in the brain between perception, imagination and execution of movement. Further, this common coding is considered to allow people to recognize their own movements when presented as abstract representations, and coordinate with these movements better. We are investigating how this 'own movement effect' could be extended to improve the interaction between players and game avatars, and how it might be leveraged to augment players' cognition. To examine this question, we have designed and developed a tangible puppet interface and 3D virtual environment that are tailored to investigate the mapping between player and avatar movements. In a set of two experiments, we show that when the puppet interface is used to transfer players' movements to the avatar, the players are able to recognize their own movements, when presented alongside others' movements. In both experiments, players did not observe their movements being transferred to the avatar, and the recognition occurred after a week of the transfer. Since the recognition effect persisted even with these two handicaps, we conclude that this is a robust effect, and the puppet interface is effective in personalizing an avatar, by transferring a player's own movements to the virtual character.
Keywords: body memory, common coding, creativity, puppet, tangible user interface, video game, virtual character
Out of sight, out of mind: co-player effects on seniors' player experience BIBAKFull-Text 74-83
  Brian J. Gajadhar; Henk Herman Nap; Yvonne A. W. de Kort; Wijnand A. IJsselsteijn
Digital games are an excellent means to meet and socialize with others in leisure time. Online co-play could in particular be of great value for isolated and less mobile seniors. However, recent findings suggest that seniors have negative perceptions about mediated co-play over the Internet. Since no empirical results are available for senior gamers, we studied seniors' player experience in three play configurations with increasing levels of social presence: virtual, mediated, and co-located co-play. Results showed that -- in contrast to young adults -- the increase in a positive player experience as a result from the presence of social elements does not entirely hold for senior gamers. Online co-play is experienced as least enjoyable and seniors' sense of social presence is not affected when a computer controlled co-player is substituted by a distant human co-player.
Keywords: game experience questionnaire, player experience, senior gamers, social gaming, social presence
Designing meaningful play within the psycho-social context of older adults BIBAKFull-Text 84-93
  Bob De Schutter; Vero Vanden Abeele
In this paper we report on a qualitative study, investigating the meaning of digital games in the lives of older adults. Using a combination of semi-structured interviews and observations (n=35) we research the meaning of digital games from a lifespan perspective, and explore the specific role of playing digital games in a social setting. We conclude that the meaning of these games is derived from the extent to which games are perceived to 1) foster connectedness, 2) cultivate oneself and others, and 3) contribute to society. Finally, we use these findings to formulate design guidelines to facilitate digital gaming experiences that are meaningful with regards to the psychosocial context of this specific demographic.
Keywords: elderly, game design, meaningful play, older adults, seniors
Videogames in therapy: a therapist's perspective BIBAKFull-Text 94-98
  Jan-Henk Annema; Mathijs Verstraete; Vero Vanden Abeele; Stef Desmet; David Geerts
This paper describes a user and task analysis that was conducted in order to examine the role of therapists in the use of video games in therapy. The results show that video games were used often, but improvements could be made to make them more effective for the therapist. From these results recommendations for video game design were derived. Recommendations include that a therapeutic video game should be easy to startup and configure, should allow the therapist to support a patient during play, and should support the therapist in tracking a patient's performance.
Keywords: rehabilitation, requirements, therapy, user centered design, video games
Prolonged play with the ColorFlares: how does open-ended play behavior change over time? BIBAKFull-Text 99-106
  Lisa op't Hof; Jente de Pee; Janienke Sturm; Tilde Bekker; Jos Verbeek
This paper describes an explorative user study with interactive objects for open-ended play, i.e. play with flexible game goals and rules. Children were asked to play with interactive objects, called the ColorFlares, in three free play sessions over a period of three weeks. We measured social interaction in terms of social play and social communication. We found that group play over all three sessions remained high. We also found that communication in the first session was mainly about the possibilities of the ColorFlares. Later on, communication was related more to the games that were played, giving each other feedback. We also discuss the personal and situational factors that have influence on the test results.
Keywords: design for children, interactive play objects, open-ended play, prolonged use, social interaction
Uncharted waters?: exploring experts' opinions on the opportunities and limitations of serious games for foreign language learning BIBAKFull-Text 107-115
  De Grove Frederik; Mechant Peter; Van Looy Jan
The use of serious games has seen a remarkable growth in the past decade. This resulted in a substantial number of people with hands-on experience. However, to our knowledge, no research has been performed to harvest this source of information. By means of a survey with closed and open-ended questions, we explore the opinions of 50 serious game and CALL experts on serious games' potential for foreign language learning. The first part of the paper discusses attitudes on serious games and learning. In general, we discern a rather strong belief in the potential of learning games. The second part of the paper zooms in on foreign language learning through games whereby some remarkable results emerge on the possibilities and limitations of foreign language learning games. Next, we discuss respondents' opinions on issues regarding the integration of foreign language learning games in a classroom context and on their design. The final part of the paper elaborates on a SWOT analysis of foreign language learning games resulting in a nuanced view on the opportunities and limitations of foreign language learning games. As a consequence, this paper not only identifies topics which bear a broad consensus among experts, but also shows that strong differences in opinion exist.
Keywords: SWOT, experts, foreign language learning, gaming, limitations, opportunities, qualitative, quantitative, serious games, survey
To persevere is to save the world: exploring expertise in gaming BIBAKFull-Text 116-125
  J. L. D. Neys; J. Jansz; E. S. H. Tan
This paper applies a psychological theory of motivation (Self-determination theory) to gamer motivation and persistence. By comparing three different expertise groups (casual gamers, heavy gamers, hardcore gamers) we found that the more experienced gamers not surprisingly exhibit the highest levels of persistence, need satisfaction and motivation, where intrinsic motivation is more important than extrinsic motivation. A similar structure is found for the less experienced gamers, even if their general levels of need fulfillment and motivation are lower. When comparing the motivational structure of the three groups with use of structural equation modeling we found that the difference between the more and less experienced gamers becomes more apparent. While casual and heavy gamers exhibit identical structures in their motivational mechanism, hardcore gamers differ significantly regarding the importance of relatedness when trying to explain their heightened levels of persistence.
Keywords: expertise, gamers, motivation, persistence, self-determination theory
Player identification in online games: validation of a scale for measuring identification in MMORPGs BIBAKFull-Text 126-134
  Jan Van Looy; Cédric Courtois; Melanie De Vocht
In this paper, we present a Player Identification (PI) scale for measuring identification in MMORPGs. Three main dimensions were derived from the literature (1) Avatar (character) Identification, (2) Group (guild) Identification and (3) Game (community) Identification whereby Avatar Identification is a second-order factor consisting of (1a) Perceived Similarity, (1b) Wishful Identification and (1c) Embodied Presence. Based on the results of a cross-sectional survey of 544 World of Warcraft players the measurement instrument's proposed factorial structure was confirmed. Subsequently, the constructs were successfully tested both for convergent and discriminant validity. Finally, evidence for nomological validity was gathered by testing ten theoretically rooted hypotheses regarding the effects of Player Identification. The results showed that Avatar Identification positively predicts Empathy, Proteus effect and the motivations role-play, customization and escapism. Group Identification predicts socializing and relationship, and Game Identification predicts advancement, mechanics and escapism.
Keywords: MMORPG, World of Warcraft, avatar, identification, measurement scale
Forces in play: the business and culture of videogame production BIBAKFull-Text 135-143
  Robin Potanin
This paper is a cultural analysis of the business of videogame production, the industry's personalities, its development practices and market influences. It is a critique of the 'I' methodology of game design and its influence on game content, especially characterization. It provides insight into the impact of US publishers and markets on Australian game development 2004-2009. Results of related studies and literature are reviewed and supplemented with anecdotal reports to construct a picture of the current forces in play in videogame production. While it may be fun to play games, it is often far from fun to make them.
Keywords: 'I' methodology, character design, cultural analysis, game design, videogame production
Rule customization in head-up games BIBAKFull-Text 144-148
  Eric Toering; Iris Soute; Panos Markopoulos
This research examines the feasibility of rule customization for a genre of pervasive games for children called Head-Up Games [11], which are intended to be played outdoors by children and to encourage physical activity and social interaction. An interface to allow customization of game rules was created. An evaluation involving 22 children aged 11-13, showed that children are able to customize the game and this can be an effective means of keeping them engaged with such games for longer periods.
Keywords: children, customization, head up games, outdoor, pervasive gaming, rules
Design, implementation and evaluation of audio for a location aware augmented reality game BIBAKFull-Text 149-156
  Natasa Paterson; Katsiaryna Naliuka; Soren Kristian Jensen; Tara Carrigy; Mads Haahr; Fionnuala Conway
In this paper, the development and implementation of a rich sound design, reminiscent of console gaming for a location aware game, Viking Ghost Hunt (VGH) is presented. The role of audio was assessed with particular attention to the effect on immersion and emotional engagement. Because immersion also involves the interaction and the creation of presence (the feeling of being in a particular place) these aspects of the sound design were also investigated. Evaluation of the game was undertaken over a three-day period with the participation of 19 subjects. The results gained imply that audio plays an important role in immersing a player within the game space and in emotionally engaging with the virtual world. However, challenges in regards to GPS inaccuracy and unpredictability remain, as well as device processor constraints, in order to create an accurate audio sound field and for the real-time rendering of audio files.
Keywords: engagement, immersion, location aware gaming, sound design
panOULU conqueror: pervasive location-aware multiplayer game for city-wide wireless network BIBAKFull-Text 157-165
  Juha Tiensyrjä; Timo Ojala; Toni Hakanen; Ossi Salmi
We present the design, implementation and evaluation of a novel pervasive location-aware multiplayer game. In the game teams of players try to score points by conquering the real-world access points of a large municipal wireless network. The game is implemented as a web service so that playing the game does not require any dedicated game software or hardware, but a general purpose WLAN device such as a laptop or a smart phone equipped with a web browser is sufficient. The game was empirically evaluated with a four-week long tournament involving 96 players in 31 teams. The players found pervasiveness, location-awareness, social interaction and addictivity as the best parts of the game. The main finding of our study is that location-awareness combined with a rather modest level of pervasiveness can go a long way in creating engaging gaming experiences.
Keywords: pervasive computing, pervasive gaming
OutRandom: addressing an underrated skill BIBAKFull-Text 166-170
  Tiago Borges Coelho; Maarten Wesselius; Christina Papakonstantinou
This paper describes the concept, design and results of a computer game that addresses human's ability to produce random binary sequences. The game was realized in the form of an interactive installation and featured at several events. Because of its inherent motivational characteristics, it is well suited for scientific research on the production and assessment of randomness by humans.
Keywords: crowdsourcing, game design, human factors, independent games, random, research through gaming, serious games