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Proceedings of the 4th International Conference Fun and Games

Fullname:Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Fun and Games
Editors:Katherine Isbister; Florian 'Floyd' Mueller; Regina Bernhaupt
Location:Toulouse, France
Dates:2012-Sep-04 to 2012-Sep-06
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-1570-8; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: FNG12
Links:Conference Website
Summary:FnG 2012 is a single-track conference where academics and practitioners can interact together in a playful event that marries the best of academic writing with the most innovative play experiences. The conference brings together contributions from designers, developers and researchers in computer games, digital play, experience design and fun.
    FnG 2012 is the fourth edition of the Fun and Games conference series. FnG started in 2006 in Preston, UK, continued in 2008 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and then took place in 2010 in Leuven, Belgium. In 2012, it is in lovely Toulouse, France. The dates reveal that the conference happens every 2 years featuring state-of-the art academic as well as design work in the field of computer games and digital play. This includes topics as diverse as serious games, game theories, game design methods, measurement of player experiences, games for special target groups such as children and the elderly, games for health, persuasive aspects of play, mobile games, pervasive games, tangible games, exertion games, usability in games, game production, smart toys, play with robots, game engines, dynamic difficulty adjustment and sensors for games and play.
    This year's edition of FnG focuses on contributions that cross the traditional disciplines of human-computer interaction, games design, and game development. It provides a venue for presenting and discussing peer reviewed academic and practitioner papers. All paper submissions were subjected to a blind peer review process of at least 3 reviewers. Accepted papers are published in the ACM Digital Library. In addition to papers, this year's conference also features workshops and a tutorial, work-in-progress posters and game demonstrations. Celebrating FnG's location in France and the associated love for food, the conference also hosts Fun and Food concepts, a new interactive event that marries fun, food and digital play. Furthermore, FnG this year features a student design competition that invites the future game and play talents of the world to exhibit their work at the conference and let everyone play, with the winners of the competition being announced at the conference.
Designing tablet-based games for seniors: the example of CogniPlay, a cognitive gaming platform BIBAFull-Text 1-10
  Ana Vasconcelos; Paula Alexandra Silva; João Caseiro; Francisco Nunes; Luís F. Teixeira
This paper describes the analysis and design of a tablet-based gaming platform for seniors that promotes their quality-of-life and well-being by incorporating cognitive training mechanisms. A literature review of age-related changes and games for seniors indicated 'casual games' have the characteristics necessary to provide an enjoyable user experience for the senior audience. Having concluded that these games should target cognitive stimulation, the authors analysed mechanisms to achieve this purpose and compiled them into a matrix to be used as a starting point for the games design process. In parallel, the authors also gathered seniors' preferences and requirements regarding games, through observations and a game book. Low-, medium-, and high-fidelity prototypes for a gaming cognitive platform were developed, evaluated with end-users, and iteratively improved. Results showed that seniors easily interacted with the platform and were willing to use it in the future. Results and experience led to the identification of 10 rules of thumb that can be beneficial if applied to related projects. This paper concludes by identifying exciting areas for future research and development.
DOGeometry: teaching geometry through play BIBAFull-Text 11-18
  Günter Wallner; Simone Kriglstein
This paper describes the evaluation of DOGeometry, an educational game which combines problem-solving tasks with artistic expression to teach concepts of transformation geometry. In contrast to many other educational games in this domain, the game does not use abstract figures but objects from nature to awake children's interest. Results of the study reveal that the game has been to some extent successful to teach the concepts to the intended age group of 8- to 10-year-old children. Visualizations of automatically tracked gameplay data make a compelling argument for not only considering the learning outcomes but to also observe the intermediate processes to obtain a more thorough understanding of player behavior.
Double fine adventure and the double hermeneutic videogame BIBAFull-Text 19-26
  Veli-Matti Karhulahti
This paper establishes a hermeneutic method for interpreting videogames. The method is termed double hermeneutic because of the player's ability to affect the interpreted information. The double hermeneutic differs between games and game types, forming different double hermeneutic circles (DHCs) that players must access in order to experience games according to their designs. The paper bases its argument on the adventure game and suggests that the traditional point-and-click interface and 2D representation support the adventure game hermeneutic, which functions in synergy with the form's aesthetic discourse.
Expanding the comics canvas: GPS comics BIBAFull-Text 27-34
  Ozge Samanci; Anuj Tewari
Seeing thru Walls is the first location-based comic story for the GPS environment. Current digital comics (web comics or online comics) are confined to a computer screen and use the affordances of digital medium in a limited way. Our aim is to produce an environment where we can tie sensory details of the physical environment to comic frames. We are exploring the design problems and new meaning making opportunities that can arise when GPS technology is contextualized in an interactive comics storytelling environment.
Introducing PALLA, a novel input device for leisure activities: a case study on a tangible video game for seniors BIBAFull-Text 35-44
  Fabio Varesano; Fabiana Vernero
In this paper we introduce PALLA, a spherical wireless input device with simple feedback capabilities to be used in video games and leisure activities. PALLA allows users to exploit their perceptual-motor skills and primarily targets people who may not be used to technologies, such as seniors.
   We first provide a description of the human interaction possibilities that PALLA enables, enriched by a brief presentation of the device hardware design and of the algorithmic solutions we adopted. Then, we present the results of a user study we conducted with senior players in the context of PandaGolf, a tangible video game we developed and used as a test bed, with the aim of assessing the acceptability of PALLA.
Involving players earlier in the game design process using cultural probes BIBAFull-Text 45-54
  Filip Lange-Nielsen; Xavier Vijay Lafont; Benjamin Cassar; Rilla Khaled
This paper reports on how the cultural probes method was used to generate games. The paper reviews cultural probes and how we applied the method. It also provides a detailed description of the probes designed for this project and how the output informed the design process.
   We have used a user-centered methodology with game related content at the stage of conceptualization for a digital game, with a mixed audience (parent-children) to gain insights into what game elements would interest them or motivate them to play. In the paper, researchers and designers of games or other interactive media can find inspiration for their own probes or decide whether or not to use cultural probes in their own projects. The cultural probes approach can be applied to evoke personal, situated responses from the participants, responses that may serve as concrete focus points for group brainstorming of game mechanics and themes. It is important to discuss these types of approaches in the games community. Game design as a practice is still relatively under-documented compared to other design discipline. Although similar methodological experiments have taken place, we have not encountered any in-depth reports involving cultural probes yet.
Power me Up!: an interactive and physiological perspective on videogames' temporary bonus rewards BIBAFull-Text 55-63
  Luís Duarte; Luís Carriço
The videogame industry has suffered significant modifications in the last years, broadening its horizons towards a more casual market. This market expansion not only brings new opportunities from an interaction point-of-view, but also new challenges with the inclusion of users who are not accustomed to these games. This paper presents part of an ongoing study which aims at providing a better understanding of player behavior both from an interactive and a physiological standpoint. The experiment addressed here assesses how the presence of two different types of bonuses, commonly found in videogames, are capable of altering certain user interaction patterns and how these affect a subset of their physiological signals. Results are accompanied with statistical tests which reinforce the empirical data.
Puzzle games: player strategies across different interaction modalities BIBAFull-Text 64-72
  Jaime Carvalho; Luís Duarte; Luís Carriço
This paper presents the design of a puzzle game for the Android platform along with a study on puzzle solving strategies across different interaction modalities. Solving puzzles is among the oldest challenges and entertainment activities available to us. However, despite major technological advances, the design of such games has never provided individuals with challenges beyond visual puzzles. We capitalized on this opportunity to tackle the design of puzzles which go beyond visual cues, utilizing sound and vibration feedback as well to offer a fresh challenge to players. Along with the design of this game, our research focused on analyzing puzzle solving strategies applied by users. In particular, this paper details a study in which we analyzed if players apply the same strategy to solve a visual and a audio puzzle. Results point that players often opt to solve prominent areas first, leaving more abstract zones to the end, independently from the interaction modality involved.
Rapid assessment of game experiences in public settings BIBAFull-Text 73-82
  Christiane Moser; Verena Fuchsberger; Manfred Tscheligi
Enjoyment and curiosity are an essential motivation for children to play games in order to engage them in the game play. When two users play against each other they also share experiences, i.e. co-experience. The evaluation of these experiences exceeds usability (or playability) by not only investigating the relation between the player and the game, but also between several players. We assessed users' game experiences in a public setting (shopping mall), which is challenging. This specific context is very diverse, as in the morning it is very quiet until the shops open, then it fills up with people and during the rush hours it is sometimes very crowded. In order to best suit this context for evaluating the different experiences children have while playing games we adapted and extended our previous feedback questionnaire, which originally investigated only the fun/enjoyment of games, by rapidly assessing also curiosity and co-experience.
World of Golf: a socially relevant simulation game BIBAFull-Text 83-92
  Ramin Tadayon; Winslow Burleson; Ashish Amresh
Socially Relevant Simulation Games (SRSG), a new medium for social interaction, based on real-world skills and skill development, creates a single gaming framework that connects both serious and casual players. Through a detailed case study this paper presents a design process and framework for SRSG, in the context of mixed-reality golf swing simulations. The "World of Golf" SRSG utilizes a real-time expert system to capture, analyze, and evaluate golf swing metrics combining swing data with players' backgrounds, e.g., golf-handicaps, to form individual profiles. Simulation and assessment modules provide the serious player with tools to build golf skills while allowing casual players to engage within a simulated social world. A framework that incorporates simulated golf competitions among these social agents is presented and validated by comparing the usage statistics of 10 PGA Golf Management (PGM) students with 10 non-PGM students.
"Blue pill or red pill?": placebo effect and the outcome on physiological & player performance metrics BIBAFull-Text 93-96
  Luís Duarte; Luís Carriço
In the videogame industry, designers have always explored techniques which provide incentives to keep the players' interest and temporarily boost their performance to accomplish the game's goals. Current literature and research is yet to properly assess the effects this type of mechanic has on players. Taking inspiration from other domains, we present a research which aims at assessing the usage of placebos to incentivize players without directly giving them an edge on the game. This paper presents recent results of an analysis on how the introduction of placebo incentives affects players from both a physiological and performance perspectives. We conducted the experiment with a casual game, addressing metrics such as the players' heartbeat rate, heart rate variability, accuracy and score. Results have shown that a placebo incentive has similar effects to a real counterpart. We finalize this contribution with the discussion of strategies for the inclusion and dissemination of this design option in videogames.
Bubble Popper: considering body contact in games BIBAFull-Text 97-100
  Cagdas 'Chad' Toprak; Joshua Platt; Florian 'Floyd' Mueller
Exertion games, digital games that involve physical effort, are becoming more popular. Although some of these games support social experiences, they rarely consider or support body contact. We believe overlooking body contact as part of social play experiences limits opportunities to design engaging exertion games. To explore this opportunity, we present Bubble Popper, an exertion game that considers and facilitates body contact. Bubble Popper, which uses very simple technology, also demonstrates that considering and facilitating body contact can be achieved without the need to sense body contact. Through reflecting on our design and analyzing observations of play we are able to articulate what impact physical space layout in relation to digital game elements, and physical disparity between input and digital display can have on body contact. Our results aid game designers in creating engaging exertion game experiences by guiding them when considering body contact, ultimately helping players benefiting from more engaging exertion games.
Control vs. complexity in games: comparing arousal in 2D game prototypes BIBAFull-Text 101-104
  Michael Lankes; Wolfgang Hochleitner; Christina Hochleitner; Nina Lehner
In this paper, we investigate the relationship between the feeling of being in control in a game situation and the interaction complexity in regard to the degree of arousal within subjects. To address this topic a comparative study consisting of two similar prototypes of a 2D jump-and-run game was set up. Both versions of the game were made up of identical art assets and shared the same level structure. The main difference constitutes in the type of interaction. Prototype A offers less control (through an auto-jump ability) and requires input only via one hand (mouse input). Contrary, prototype B enables players to have a stronger influence on the current game situation (manual jump ability) and requires them to use both hands (mouse and keyboard input). In order to assess the arousal of the test subjects, physiological measurements were carried out via galvanic skin response (GSR). Results show that the loss of control creates less arousal than a more complex game situation.
Exploring player perceptions that contribute to the appeal of World of Warcraft BIBAFull-Text 105-108
  Georgios Christou
In this paper we examine the factors that contribute to the general appeal of World of Warcraft through the use of the AttrakDiff questionnaire. AttrakDiff is a questionnaire that measures the users' perceptions in four categories: Pragmatic Quality, Hedonic Identification, Hedonic Stimulation and General Appeal. 40 players and non-players of World of Warcraft were requested to have a brief play session on the game, and then answer the AttrakDiff questionnaire. After correlation analysis we found that usability and appeal are intimately related attributes for the game of World of Warcraft.
No sweat, no fun: large-gesture recognition for computer games BIBAFull-Text 109-112
  Luc Geurts; Andy Van Woensel; Vero Vanden Abeele
Controlling computer games and other applications with motion-based gestures has become common in the last decade. In this paper we present a method to recognize relatively complex gestures with a simple, fast and yet reliable classifier algorithm. More specifically, the purpose of the classifier is to recognize large gestures, as measured with the accelerometers and gyro sensors present in the Wii remote controller. The classifier is used and tested in the context of a computer game that forces the player to make large movements. The outcomes confirm that only large gestures are recognized correctly, leading to successful play. Therefore, the classifier might be particular useful for designers of exertion games.
Personality and player types in Fallout New Vegas BIBAFull-Text 113-116
  Nicole McMahon; Peta Wyeth; Daniel Johnson
The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between personality and videogame player types. Study participants completed an online survey that gathered information regarding the individual's personality, via the Big Five Inventory, and player types. The study was focused on understanding this relationship in the context of the action role-playing videogame, Fallout New Vegas (FNV). A relationship between personality and player type was found, specifically with respect to the personality traits of openness to experience and conscientiousness.
Personality, genre and videogame play experience BIBAFull-Text 117-120
  Daniel Johnson; Peta Wyeth; Penny Sweetser; John Gardner
This study explored relationships between personality, videogame preference and gaming experiences. Four hundred and sixty-six participants completed an online survey in which they recalled a recent gaming experience, and provided measures of personality and their gaming experience via the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ). Relationships between game genre, personality and gaming experience were found. Results are interpreted with reference to possible implications for a positive impact on wellbeing of videogame play and possible means of improving the breadth of appeal of specific genres.