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FP Tables of Contents: 0708

Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Future Play

Fullname:Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Future Play
Editors:Bill Kapralos; Mike Katchabaw; Jay Rajnovich
Location:Toronto, Canada
Dates:2007-Nov-14 to 2007-Nov-17
Standard No:ISBN 1-59593-943-1, 978-1-59593-943-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: FP07
Links:Conference Series Home Page
  1. Social, ethical and cultural perspectives on games
  2. Pervasive games
  3. Graphics, visual techniques, and sound in games (part 1)
  4. Psychology ("mind games")
  5. Educational games
  6. Storytelling in games
  7. Physical games
  8. Graphics, visual techniques, and sound in games (part 2)
  9. Short papers
  10. Posters

Social, ethical and cultural perspectives on games

Towards an ethics of video gaming BIBAKFull-Text 1-8
  Grant Tavinor
Video gaming continues to be an ethically contentious topic, not the least because of its claimed negative effects on individuals and the society they live within. By taking a consequentialist approach to the issue -- setting out the consequences of video games and gaming, and assessing those consequences for their ethically relevant propertiesi -- video gaming can be given a partial moral defence against its critics.
Keywords: consequentialism, ethics, philosophy, video games
Girls playing games: rethinking stereotypes BIBAKFull-Text 9-16
  Jennifer Jenson; Suzanne de Castell; Stephanie Fisher
This paper reports on findings from a three-year, Canadian federally funded research project entitled "Education, Gender and Gaming". Our study of gender and digital game-playing was driven by two significant factors: first, that far more boys than girls play video games, and boys' early and sustained experience with gaming places them at an advantage with respect to computer competence and confidence. Second, not only are computer-based media increasingly central tools for learning and work, but in fact games are increasingly being recruited in educational contexts. This eager uptake for educational deployment of game-based learning threatens to compound and intensify girls' disadvantage. It is therefore even more urgent that educationally-based research reinvestigates stereotypical presumptions about gender as they relate to computer-based game playing for children in order to make it possible for girls to participate more fully and equally in technology-related fields. In this way, the new push to design educational games might better be informed by as full an understanding as possible of girls' perspectives on and participation in gaming, and about the kinds of games, characters, and overall approaches to "play" that might better engage and involve girls, who are already very much participating in gaming culture.
Keywords: digital game play, gender, girls, social issues
Digital game design for elderly users BIBAKFull-Text 17-22
  Wijnand Ijsselsteijn; Henk Herman Nap; Yvonne de Kort; Karolien Poels
The current paper reviews and discusses digital game design for elderly users. The aim of the paper is to look beyond the traditional perspective of usability requirements imposed by age-related functional limitations, towards the design opportunities that exist to create digital games that will offer engaging content combined with an interface that seniors can easily and pleasurably use.
Keywords: digital game design, elderly users, review, social and cognitive benefits of games
Analyzing sociocultural perspectives on violence in digital games BIBAKFull-Text 23-29
  Alexander Thayer
This article reports the results of a content analysis that tested whether a significant difference in attitude toward violent digital games occurred in the news media as a result of the Columbine school shootings. This article lists attitudinal information about violent game content for more than 30 worldwide news sources, as well as the most frequently mentioned people, institutions, and digital games mentioned by these sources. A one-way ANOVA of authors' attitudes toward violent digital games prior to and after April 20, 1999, as well as ANOVAs testing geographic location, newspaper, and article type, showed no significant attitudinal difference toward violent digital games before and after the Columbine incident. Four cultural themes that relate to the control of violent digital games are also analyzed.
Keywords: Columbine, content analysis, cultural studies, digital games, game research, mass media, video games, violence

Pervasive games

Pervasive games in ludic society BIBAKFull-Text 30-37
  Jaakko Stenros; Markus Montola; Frans Mäyrä
In this paper we chart how pervasive games emerge from the intersection of two long-standing cultural trends, the increasing blurring of fact and fiction in media culture, and the movements struggling over public space. During the past few decades a third trend has given a new meaning to media fabrication and street cultures: the rise of ludus in the society through maturation of the gamer generations. As more and more activities are perceived as games in the contemporary society, fabricated media expression and performative sports pave the way for a new way of gaming. Born in the junction of playful, ordinary and fabricated, pervasive games toy with conventions and configurations of contemporary media.
Keywords: fabrication, game, ludus, magic circle, paidia, pervasive game, play, pretense, public space
Sensor networks as video game input devices BIBAKFull-Text 38-45
  Anthony Whitehead; Nick Crampton; Kaitlyn Fox; Hannah Johnston
In this work we are motivated by creating a network of sensors that can be used as input devices for video games. Our goal is to create an inexpensive network of off-the-shelf sensors that are used to force proper movement and engagement of the player. Our experience shows that a distributed set of sensors around the body prevents the player from cheating the system by using motion of the device alone to trick the system. In this work we show that a relatively simple sensor network configuration can enforce proper form and ensure that the player is actively participating in the game context.
Keywords: accelerometer, entertainment technologies, human computer interaction, sensor networks, video games
Where is the answer?: the importance of curiosity in pervasive mobile games BIBAKFull-Text 46-53
  Carolina Islas Sedano; Teemu H. Laine; Mikko Vinni; Erkki Sutinen
Today games are increasingly recognized not only for their entertainment value, but also for their positive impact on social interaction, educational potential, technical interests, publicity and economical power. A new game genre of pervasive games extends a virtual game world into the real world environment, allowing players to move seamlessly from one to the other. Our research is focused on identifying the elements that are important in a pervasive playful application that can trigger the interest of different individuals towards the reflection and understanding of the knowledge surrounding them. Our findings suggest that stimulating the curiosity of players is one of these key elements, and that it should be considered in the design of serious mobile games with pervasive characteristics, while looking to enrich the informal learning. In addition, mobile phones are well accepted as play tools. These results are based on the feedback given by 45 players of our game entitled SciMyst, which is a mobile adventure game with pervasive and multiplayer characteristics. In SciMyst the player has to solve different types of enigmas, which are based on the information from the real world. The player is required to become familiar with the surroundings in order to succeed, and at the same time s/he is learning from the environment in a playful manner. The game was in action and the data collection took place during SciFest 2007, a science festival in Joensuu, Finland, in March 2007.
Keywords: environment and player, mobile games, mobile learning, pervasive games, pervasive learning, playful learning

Graphics, visual techniques, and sound in games (part 1)

The virtual window simulator BIBAKFull-Text 54-60
  Eric Penner; J. R. Parker
Most virtual reality systems offer the option of viewing the space using a head mounted display or a head coupled display. These can provide a comfortable way of providing a 3D display while detecting head motion and using that to change the viewing position and angle. However, head mounted displays typically have limited resolution, can create neck and eye strain, and can create user disorientation. Head coupled displays, where the display is usually projected onto a screen and the head mount is used for 3D and orientation only, are now a focus of attention in research and in production systems. They are used in, and in fact have spurred the development of, systems like the CAVE, Immersadesk, and IWall to name just three. However, their use is limited by their high cost, fixed nature, and space requirements, and a focus of research is on making head-coupled displays more easily usable and less expensive. The VirtualWindow project is a simulation of a head-coupled display that can be used to develop software for such systems without the expense of owning one, or at least without using the very expensive space. The simulator uses two webcams to perform 3D head tracking rather than instrumenting the user, and provides a set of useful operations that enhance the development and the viewing experience.
Keywords: graphics, video gameo, virtual reality
Guidelines for 3D positioning techniques BIBAKFull-Text 61-68
  Robert J. Teather; Wolfgang Stuerzlinger
In this paper, we present a set of guidelines for designing 3D positioning techniques. These guidelines are intended for developers of object interaction schemes in 3D games, modeling packages, computer aided design systems, and virtual environments. The guidelines promote intuitive object movement techniques in these types of environments.
   We then present a study comparing 3D positioning techniques based on these guidelines with 2D and 3D/6D devices across VR display technologies. Display technologies such as stereoscopic graphics and head-coupled perspective provide additional depth cues and could affect how a user perceives and thus interacts with a 3D scene -- regardless of the input device/technique used. Thus they are examined as well. The results suggest that 2D devices using "smart" movement algorithms can outperform 3D devices.
Keywords: 3D object positioning, guidelines
Effective use of the periphery in game displays BIBAKFull-Text 69-76
  Kevin Grad; T. C. Nicholas Graham; A. James Stewart
The human eye can perceive visual information with high acuity within a narrow foveal view; outside the foveal view (in the periphery), vision has progressively less resolution, and ability to perceive colour is reduced. In this paper, we argue that game displays can be improved by accounting for the part of the visual field in which information is displayed. We present two games in which information is visually encoded for presentation in the periphery. We conclude that the use of peripheral displays may be an interesting way of improving the challenge and entertainment of games involving rich informational displays.
Keywords: computer games, display design, peripheral display

Psychology ("mind games")

Video game play: effects on nighttime dreams BIBAKFull-Text 77-82
  Jayne Gackenbach; Ian Matty; Bena Kuruvilla
Two sets of content analyses were computed on 56 dreams of 27 hard core video game players gathered during semi-structured interviews in the winter term of 2006 at a Canadian college. The standard dream content analysis system from Hall and VandeCastle [19] was used to analyze these dreams as was another content analysis focused upon lucid/control dreaming. As expected gamers dreamt about gaming and indeed well over half of the dreams reported included easily recognized references to games. Since emotional regulation is thought to be a central feature of dreams, emotions of gaming which range from joy to anger and sadness were investigated in their social contexts in dreams with mixed results. Although gamers evidenced more self negativity in these dreams other indicates of positive emotional environments were present. If hard core gaming created distorted world views at a deep level of consciousness (i.e., in dreams) then this would be expected to appear in their dreams. However, despite the differences from norms, the overall picture is one of dreams reflecting game play while not dramatically distorting their emotional lives as depicted in dreams.
Keywords: consciousness, dreams, lucid dreams, video games
"It is always a lot of fun!": exploring dimensions of digital game experience using focus group methodology BIBAKFull-Text 83-89
  Karolien Poels; Yvonne de Kort; Wijnand Ijsselsteijn
This paper focuses on digital game experience: the feelings and experiences people have when they play digital games. Digital game experience is not a one-dimensional concept. Great variety exists in game genres and game players, and game experiences will differ accordingly. To date, game experience is studied in a rather fragmented way. As such, the field still lacks a common vocabulary and a shared taxonomy of the different dimensions of game experience. In this paper we describe a focus group study and present a tentative, but comprehensive categorisation of game experience. Focus groups with various types of gamers were organised to capture a full first-hand account of game experiences and second, findings were discussed in an expert meeting in which empirical findings were consolidated with existing theoretical findings. The categorisation bears relevance for both game theorists and game developers wanting to get to the heart of digital game experience.
Keywords: categorisation, digital game experiences, emotions, focus group methodology
While the ball in the digital soccer is rolling, where the non-player characters should go in a defensive situation? BIBAKFull-Text 90-96
  Vadim Kyrylov; Eddie Hou
The non-player characters (NPCs), i.e. the artificial characters that are not under direct control by the user, are essential part of many digital games. Achieving the realistic behavior by NPCs in digital sports games such as the simulated soccer is challenging. Here we limit our scope to the defensive situation, i.e. when the ball is controlled by the opponents, and propose a systematic method for optimal NPC positioning. So far the methods for automatically finding defensive positions by the intelligent robotic soccer players have been investigated by some scholars within RoboCup, an international research and educational initiative in Artificial Intelligence and robotics. Although simulated soccer teams using these methods have proved to be reasonably good, the collaboration issue in defensive situations has been overlooked. In this paper we propose a systematic approach based on solving a multi-criteria assignment problem. This allows gracefully balancing the costs and rewards involved in defensive positioning to achieve better results.
Keywords: RoboCup, multi-criteria assignment problem, player collaboration, player positioning, simulated soccer
Cognitive dimensions of a game scripting tool BIBAKFull-Text 97-104
  Marty Kauhanen; Robert Biddle
In this paper we show how a heuristic evaluation can be applied to a game scripting tool, using the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework. We introduce an end-user development toolset that allows users to create custom modules and content for the popular Neverwinter Nights computer role-playing game. The use of the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations as a discussion aid is illustrated through the examination of the toolset using a select set of dimensions. We comment on the findings, and on the usefulness of this approach to study of game development.
Keywords: cognitive dimensions of notations, game development, heuristic evaluation
Casual games discussion BIBAKFull-Text 105-112
  Jussi Kuittinen; Annakaisa Kultima; Johannes Niemelä; Janne Paavilainen
Digital games have become a remarkable cultural phenomenon in the last ten years. The casual games sector especially has been growing rapidly in the last few years. However, there is no clear view on what is "casual" in games cultures and the area has not previously been rigorously studied. In the discussions on casual games, "casual" is often taken to refer to the player, the game or the playing style, but other factors such as business models and accessibility are also considered as characteristic of "casual" in games. Views on casual vary and confusion over different meanings can lead to paradoxical readings, which is especially the case when "casual gamer" is taken to mean both "someone who plays casual games" and someone who "plays casually". In this article we will analyse the ongoing discussion by providing clarification of the different meanings of casual and a framework for an overall understanding of casual in the level of expanded game experience.
Keywords: casual game player, casual gamer, casual games, casual gaming, casual playing, digital games, expanded game experience

Educational games

The impact of realism on learning engagement in educational games BIBAKFull-Text 113-120
  Jay Shiro Tashiro; David Dunlap
We describe an evidence-based model for improving the quality and outcomes of game-based instructional materials for K-12 and undergraduate science courses. Our educational game models have been able to address critical issues in developing improved learning outcomes, especially in areas of higher order thinking like clinical judgment, understanding what scientists "do" as they engage in the scientific method, and in language training. The current focus of our work is the importance of realism and learning engagement in instructional games and simulations. In this paper, we use educational frameworks from the Federation of American Scientists and the United States National Research Council as a foundation from which to consider how to study the impacts of realism and engagement in educational games. Using this guiding framework, we have developed a methodology for building and evaluating instructional simulations in the sciences and mathematics that meet exacting standards for evidence-based education. In this paper, we explore the impact of realism and engagement in instructional games and simulations within the context of creating an evidence-based framework for teaching, learning, and assessment of learning outcomes.
Keywords: educational games, engagement, realism, serious games, teaching and learning
Instructional ethology: reverse engineering for serious design of educational games BIBAKFull-Text 121-128
  Katrin Becker
The effective application and use of games and game technology for education requires examinations of existing artifacts, both in and out of formal educational settings, as well as the development of new theories and models for how to design games intended primarily to educate rather than entertain. One way to facilitate an understanding of how a medium like digital game technology can be used effectively in education is to study that medium's outstanding examples, regardless of their original purpose. This paper describes a methodology for analysing entertainment games that uses a synergy of reverse engineering and ethology, neither of which have been used in this context before. Normally, reverse engineering attempts to recover the original design of a software application, but in this case it will be used to generate an alternate design that can then in turn be used to inform instructional design. Ethology studies the observed behaviour of animals, but here is adapted as a method for the study of games. Through this perspective, it is possible to identify and classify built-in learning objectives and from there to associate the mechanisms and strategies employed to teach them. It is proposed that these strategies can then be used in educational games without compromising the essential qualities that have made digital games the most popular leisure activity in the western world today.
Keywords: cognition, direct manipulation, education, human-computer interaction, learning, learnware, reflection
A framework for socially communicative faces for game and interactive learning applications BIBAKFull-Text 129-136
  Steve DiPaola; Ali Arya
In this paper, we describe a modular multi-dimensional parameter space for real-time face game-based animation. Faces are our most expressive communication tools. Therefore a synthetic facial creation and animation system should have its own tailored authoring environment rather than using general purpose tools from image, 2D and 3D animation. This environment would take advantage of a knowledge space of faces types, expressions, and behavior, encoding known facial knowledge and meaning into a comprehensive, intuitive facial language and set of user tools. Since faces and face expression work on so many cognitive levels, we propose a multi-dimension parameter space called FaceSpace as the basic face model, and a comprehensive authoring environment based on this model. We describe the underlying mechanisms of our environment, and also demonstrate its early game applications and content process.
Keywords: communication systems, facial animation, gaming

Storytelling in games

DEAL: dialogue management in SCXML for believable game characters BIBAKFull-Text 137-144
  Jenny Brusk; Torbjörn Lager; Anna Hjalmarsson; Preben Wik
In order for game characters to be believable, they must appear to possess qualities such as emotions, the ability to learn and adapt as well as being able to communicate in natural language. With this paper we aim to contribute to the development of believable non-player characters (NPCs) in games, by presenting a method for managing NPC dialogues. We have selected the trade scenario as an example setting since it offers a well-known and limited domain common in games that support ownership, such as role-playing games. We have developed a dialogue manager in State Chart XML, a newly introduced W3C standard, as part of DEAL -- a research platform for exploring the challenges and potential benefits of combining elements from computer games, dialogue systems and language learning.
Keywords: SCXML, game dialogue, non-player characters, serious games, statecharts
True story: dynamically generated, contextually linked quests in persistent systems BIBAKFull-Text 145-151
  James Pita; Brian Magerko; Scott Brodie
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) typically use a handful of static conventions for involving players in stories, such as predefined quest or story paths (a quest or story path is one in which the user experiences a sequence of related quests that must be accomplished in a particular order). Beyond the work done in MMORPGs there has been strong research in designing adaptive approaches to interactive fiction/drama that dynamically author content for users of the interactions [10] [18]. The system architecture presented in this paper, TRUE STORY, is designed to address issues concerning dynamically generated quest or story paths in persistent worlds, such as MMORPGs, for users to engage in more enhanced, interactive and personal experiences. TRUE STORY empowers persistent world designers by offering a truly modular approach for dynamically generating and presenting compelling content that results in user experiences worth telling a story about. The current implementation is set in a game model to demonstrate a dynamic quest generation system built to present users with unique and compelling experiences linked by context to past quests and/or experiences. This is achieved by utilizing history and relationships developed through interaction between world objects and actions.
Keywords: MMORPG, contextually linked goals, dynamic quest generation, game AI, interactive narrative, multiplayer games, story generation
Story scripting for automating cinematics and cut-scenes in video games BIBAKFull-Text 152-159
  W. Zhang; M. McLaughlin; M. Katchabaw
Storytelling can play a very important role in the success of modern video games. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult for writers to directly create and integrate story content into games on their own, and they must instead rely upon programmers and others on the development team to implement their stories. This needlessly complicates the game development process, leading to increased costs, more strain on developer time, and loss of creative control and, potentially, story quality as a result. Consequently, tools and supports are necessary to enable writers to generate story content for games directly, with minimal programming or programmer assistance required, if any.
   This paper examines the use of specialized story scripting elements to automate the production of cinematics and cut-scenes for video games. These elements allow writers to specify their stories in a well-defined, structured format that can be acted out automatically by software. This paper discusses these story scripting elements in depth, along with a prototype software engine capable of using these elements for cinematic and cut-scene automation. This paper also presents experiences with using this engine to recreate cinematics and cut-scenes from existing commercial video games.
Keywords: automation, cinematics, cut-scenes, story scripting, storytelling, video games

Physical games

Save 'Em: physical gameplay using augmented reality techniques BIBAKFull-Text 160-165
  Cody Watts; Ehud Sharlin
We present Save 'Em, an augmented reality-based computer game designed to explore the challenge of making computer games more immersive and engaging by moving gameplay to the physical environment.
   As in the classic computer game, Lemmings, Save 'Em is based on maneuvering a group of slow-witted characters called Dudes through a treacherous maze. Using augmented reality techniques, Save 'Em places virtual game entities directly within the player's physical environment; gameplay takes place on a real game board rather than on a computer screen, and the Dudes' fate is tied directly to the player's physical actions.
   In this paper we discuss our Save 'Em game implementation and use our current findings to explain how moving game interaction from the virtual domain into the physical world using augmented reality can affect both gameplay and the players' overall experience.
Keywords: augmented reality, computer games, control methods, gaming, immersion, interfaces, mixed reality
Using games to increase exercise motivation BIBAKFull-Text 166-173
  Jeffrey Yim; T. C. Nicholas Graham
In recent years, there has been significant work in integrating physical activity into video games. One goal of this work has been to help motivate sedentary people to be more physically active. Konami's Dance Dance Revolution and Nintendo's Wii Sports have shown that exercise games can be both fun and commercially successful.
   To date, however, there has been little attempt to investigate what properties of exercise games will help motivate sedentary people to start and continue exercise programs. This paper reviews the literature on exercise motivation and derives from it requirements for computer-aided exercise games. The paper then introduces the new Life is a Village exercise game, and uses it to illustrate how these requirements can be met.
Keywords: computer-aided exercise, computer-supported cooperative work, exertion interfaces, video game design

Graphics, visual techniques, and sound in games (part 2)

Automated avatar creation for 3D games BIBAFull-Text 174-180
  Andrew Hogue; Sunbir Gill; Michael Jenkin
Immersion is a key factor in video games and virtual reality simulation environments. Users' presence in a virtual environment is highly dependent on the user's identification with their avatar. Creating more realistic looking avatars thus enables a higher level of presence. Current video games allow character customizability via techniques such as hue adjustment for stock models, or the ability to select from a variety of physical features, clothing and accessories in existing player models. Occasionally user uploadable facial texture is available for avatar customization. We propose a dramatic leap forward in avatar customization through the use of an inexpensive, non-invasive, portable stereo video camera to extract model geometry of real objects, including people, and to then use these textured 3D models to drive avatar creation. The system described here generates the 3D textured and normal-mapped geometry of a personalized photorealistic user avatar suitable for animation and real-time gaming applications.
IMTool: an open framework for interactive music composition BIBAKFull-Text 181-188
  Yves Chiricota; Jean-Michel Gilbert
In computer games, music often serves to create a more immersive and captivating experience for the target audience. As such, it often needs to adapt in real-time to changes in the game state. Otherwise, it might not blend well with the game environment and might even be detrimental to the players' experience of the game. In this paper, we describe IMTool: an open framework for interactive music composition. It includes an authoring tool whose interface is designed to maximize composers' productivity and a music engine which can be integrated to a game engine through an easy-to-grasp Application Programming Interface (API). Our model is based on finite state machines. We introduce a hybridization between extended and probabilistic finite state machines. This results in automata which include both registers and probabilities. The former allow to create nonlinear music which can adapt to the context of the game. The latter allow to create variations in musical themes more easily. The main motivation of our work is to create a reusable system that may facilitate the implementation of interactive music in future computer games.
Keywords: content creation, interactive music
Adaptive multiple texture approach to texture packing for 3D video games BIBAKFull-Text 189-196
  Alexander Wong; Andrew Kennings
This paper presents an adaptive multiple texture approach to the problem of texture packing for 3D video games. In modern graphics hardware, texture size is typically constrained to width and height dimensions that are powers of two. To reduce the texture management overhead caused by storing individual textures, texture packing algorithms are used to pack multiple textures into a single powers-of-two texture. Current texture packing techniques are very limiting as they are capable of packing textures only into a single texture of predefined size. This can result in significant wasted texture space due to the powers-of-two texture size restrictions. In the proposed technique, individual arbitrarily sized rectangular textures are packed into multiple textures in an adaptive manner. This approach reduces the amount of wasted texture space in a more efficient manner by adaptively determining the quantity as well as size of textures being used during the packing process. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique in packing textures in an efficient and automated fashion. This makes it well suited for improving texture management in future 3D video games, where resources are limited and a high frame rate needs to be achieved to provide a truly immersive experience.
Keywords: 3D, adaptive, texture packing, video games

Short papers

Filtering of analogue sticks on joypads for improved control precision BIBAKFull-Text 197-200
  Christoph Lürig
Analog joysticks especially on game pads present a major challenge to the game play programmer. The usable range of those joysticks that generates valid output data is normally very small. The difficulty is here to implement a system that makes the game easily controllable for the player. In this article we discuss a couple of filtering techniques that have been applied in several shipped games to overcome this problem. These techniques are derived from observations on how those analogue joysticks are used, from where the precision and latency problem stems and how to design an infinite impulse response filter to overcome this problem.
Keywords: filter, game development, joystick
Bridging the gap: balancing faculty expectations and student realities in computer gaming courses BIBAKFull-Text 201-204
  Christopher Egert; Stephen Jacobs; Andrew Phelps
As game design and game development emerges as an academic discipline, it is important for programs to balance the technical and creative aspects of the curriculum. Students must be exposed to both the technical and content creation experiences that define the field, and also be exposed to critical areas such as games and media history, games analysis, literature, media study, and psychology. Furthermore, students must understand the ramifications of cultural and societal factors as they intersect games and entertainment technology. In this paper, the authors examine how a technically focused game program can provide students with a broader exposure to the world of game development. In particular, the authors will discuss where their treatment succeeded and failed, and how the curriculum has evolved over several offerings.
Keywords: games education
Playscripts a new method for analyzing game design and play BIBAKFull-Text 205-208
  Jessica Aldred; Robert Biddle; Chris Eaket; Brian Greenspan; David Mastey; Minh Q. Tran; Jennifer Whitson
We propose a methodological framework for game analysis that uses the notion of 'scripting' as the basis for game interpretation and design. Drawing upon several disciplines and domains, this paper provides a template for critical analysis by outlining seven forms of scripting at work in games, and how these scripts either complement or compete with each other in various types of games. This system of analysis not only comprises the different technical, social or cognitive scripts that operate within the various modules of any given game, but also provides a method for the comparative study of different games, as well as a framework for building improved scripting and work flow tools for game designers.
Keywords: games, ludology, narrative, scripting, scripts
Wiizards: 3D gesture recognition for game play input BIBAKFull-Text 209-212
  Louis Kratz; Matthew Smith; Frank J. Lee
Gesture based input is an emerging technology gaining widespread popularity in interactive entertainment. The use of gestures provides intuitive and natural input mechanics for games, presenting an easy to learn yet richly immersive experience. In Wiizards, we explore the use of 3D accelerometer gestures in a multiplayer, zero sum game. Hidden Markov models are constructed for gesture recognition, providing increased flexibility and fluid tolerance. Users can strategically effect the outcome via combinations of gestures with limitless scalability.
Keywords: HMM, games, gestures, interactive systems, pattern recognition
Video game habits: a reasoned action approach BIBAKFull-Text 213-216
  Ryan Lange
This paper describes research done in the domain of habit as it pertains to habitual video game play. A reasoned action understanding of habit is provided to illustrate a potential research perspective.
Keywords: deficient self-regulation, habit, reasoned action, video games
Musical interaction in computer games BIBAKFull-Text 217-220
  J. R. Parker; J. Heerema
In general, the role of sound in interactive media environments, has been limited to the production of a soundtrack which will enhance the player's sensory experience of the game. Much less attention has been placed on the role of sound as an input to a game. This paper will explore such a game, with a view toward exploring the potential role of sound in computer games, and practical design ideas which may advance the current state of the art.
Keywords: audio games, audio interaction, video game audio
A fast temporal compression/expansion algorithm for sampled audio BIBAKFull-Text 221-224
  J. R. Parker; J. Drews; J. Owoc
An algorithm for compressing or expanding the duration of an arbitrary sound is presented, in which the frequencies present in the sound are not changed by the process. This means that music can be slowed without changing the key, and that sped up or slowed down voices can still be recognized. The process can be performed in a small fraction of real time, meaning that it can be done live, while the sounds are being captured.
Keywords: pitch, sound duration, transformation
Game development 2.0 BIBAKFull-Text 225-228
  Daniel Volk
In recent years a massive trend towards collaboratively created game modifications has appeared and changed the very way the game industry is working. A similar tendency towards user-participation is visible within the Web 2.0 movement, which is considered to be the Internet's next evolutionary step. This paper argues that both trends are caused by the same phenomenon. By bringing the two trends together, the concepts of what could be called Game Development 2.0 will become clear. In consequence, this also allows to interpret its latest occurrence as in-world player-centric and collaborative development as an important step towards an upcoming 'Web 3D 2.0'.
Keywords: game development 2.0, metaverse, web 2.0, web 3D 2.0
Oh, the thinks you can think: language barriers in serious game design BIBAKFull-Text 229-232
  Katrin Becker
It is well-known that problems in interdisciplinary communication between knowledge communities can seriously hinder innovation [1, 7, 8, 10]. The games studies community is a highly interdisciplinary community, and there are, not surprisingly, regular terminology debates that question the definitions of some of our most fundamental terms such as 'game' and 'simulation'. While game analysis and criticism for the purposes of social and humanities research may not require direct collaboration between disparate disciplines, game design does, especially when the game is being designed for serious purposes. This paper is a discussion of some of the accepted meanings of key terms, discuss some of the implications of an inability to agree on the meanings of basic terminology and offer several strategies to address this problem.
Keywords: communication, knowledge sharing
NDNWN: designing games with aboriginal stories using the Aurora Toolset BIBAKFull-Text 233-236
  Beth A. Dillon
Video games can provide an interactive digital space for the retelling of Aboriginal stories as interpreted by players. This project explores the Aurora Toolset from BioWare's Neverwinter Nights -- a computer role-playing game based largely around text branching conversations and quests -- as a game engine for modifying Aboriginal content into game space.
Keywords: aboriginal, game design, game modification, storytelling
Interactive community simulation environment for community health nursing BIBAKFull-Text 237-240
  Michelle Hogan; Hamed Sabri; Bill Kapralos
The majority of nursing curriculums continue to relate experiences and examples of nursing to the more familiar role of "nurse clinician". Specifically, the use of simulation and technology has been used in the undergraduate nursing program to assist learners in developing nursing skills and knowledge for treating individual patients with acute and chronic conditions. Nursing students are now able to apply learned concepts of nurse clinician when treating virtual patients and while engaging in simulation-based education. The use of such simulation in undergraduate nursing education allows learners to readily apply skills and knowledge within a safe learning environment; however, the use of such technology has not been widely adopted to address the learning needs of today's community health nursing students. In fact, despite its importance, the role and process of community health nursing is often unknown to many undergraduate nursing students. This paper presents a strategy-based, interactive community simulation environment that addresses the learning needs of millennial students within a community health nursing curriculum.
Keywords: community health nursing, game-based learning, interactive learning environment, serious games


Wildfire Wally: a volunteer computing game BIBAKFull-Text 241-242
  Evan Peck; Maria Riolo; Charles Cusack
Online casual games can be used to significantly enhance the productivity of volunteer computing. We call games which perform volunteer computing volunteer computing games. We introduce Wildfire Wally, a volunteer computing game capable of solving the maximum clique problem.
Keywords: casual games, distributed algorithms, distributed computing, human computing, online games, volunteer computing
Creativity techniques in game design BIBAKFull-Text 243-244
  Annakaisa Kultima; Janne Paavilainen
Innovation and novelty are seen as important elements in game design but systematic tools and methods for producing creative ideas may be little known or poorly available, and creativity itself can be seen as something mystical [2] that cannot be methodologically enhanced. However, modern creativity research claims that creativity is in the scope of learning and techniques for generating ideas are argued to give competitive advantage [1,2,6]. This may be an important message to designers, but also to the creative leaders.
   Even the most creative mind can commit the crime of repetition. This is because it is natural for the mind to create patterns [1]. Usually these patterns are helpful, but seeking new and innovative solutions as in product design, one should be able "to think outside" the common practices. Designers are required to be creative on demand, yet the procedures and methods for breaking the common approaches are often based on intuitive belief systems rather than on empirically validated theory [9].
   One of the solutions to enhance creativity in game design is to use idea generation techniques that help designers to be creative on demand. Studies from other industries suggest that there is a strong relationship between the number of idea generation techniques and the number of successful products [8,10]. However, brainstorming, the best known technique, does not necessarily lead to innovation [5], which is also acknowledged in game design [3]. Even though brainstorming is useful in some cases, no single creativity technique can provide the ultimate solution for innovation in general: different techniques are needed [10].
   Idea generation may seem a relatively easy task. However, while anybody can come up with some ideas, applicable and novel ideas do not come easily [9]. This is well established in those studies showing that one of the characteristics of companies successful in development is their ability to generate ideas [3]. In a successful ideating session, the generation of ideas is separated from idea evaluation and early criticism may be seen as harmful to the overall process[6].
   Whereas vertical thinking targets the one and only solution, lateral thinking targets quantity [1] as a tool for quality [6]. Additionally, since idea generation is not a random process governed solely by an individual's personal traits, but a relatively structured process that can be explained [8], a methodological approach is indeed possible.
   Since we believe that game ideas have their special characteristics, and that and general idea generation techniques may not be so very supportive of the nature of game design processes, we designed several experimental game-specific techniques in the GameSpace project (http://gamelab.uta.fi/GameSpace). These techniques are based on game-related stimuli and structural modules for ideating casual, multiplayer and mobile games. During the project, computer programs and other tools were created to help documenting, game analysis, randomization of stimuli and communicative aspects. These techniques are easy to approach from their functional aspects: the activity of idea generation is based on playing specific board games, card games, using small computer applications or other tools and toys.
   In light of our workshop experiences with Finnish game professionals in 2006 and 2007, these idea generation techniques can be successfully utilized and help designers to create applicable and novel game ideas that they would not otherwise come up with. Hence these techniques can be seen as a successful way to help "creativity on demand" in game design practices. Some of these techniques have already been fruitfully adopted by the Finnish mobile game industry. While we have already documented several positive user experiences and know that our techniques work, we are conducting a more extensive user study in autumn 2007 and spring 2008 to gain a systematic understanding of game specific idea generation techniques and game idea generation processes.
Keywords: brainstorming, creativity, game design, ideas, techniques
Playing for knowledge BIBAKFull-Text 245-246
  Dana R. Herrera; András Margitay-Becht
This paper focuses on the applicability of on-line games in pedagogy and social science research. The on-going experiments examine emerging virtual worlds, migratory practices, and developing markets.
Keywords: emerging markets, virtual immigration, virtual colonization, virtual worlds
mygamestudies.com: building a community for game design students BIBAKFull-Text 247-248
  Aki Järvinen
The author is about to defend his Ph.D. on methods of game studies and design. The major results of the study are methods with which to analyze game play from the perspectives of game design and player experience. The methods will be implemented online as a community service for teaching game studies and design. mygamestudies.com will be a site with community features that is open for contributions from students, educators, researchers, and game designers.
Keywords: game analysis methodology, game curriculum, game design, web 2.0
Making players laugh: the value of humour in computer games BIBAKFull-Text 249-250
  Claire Dormann; Robert Biddle
Humour is an important aspect of human communication and interaction, and it has cognitive, social, and affective functions. Yet there seems little humour in videogames, even while Machinima draws strongly on comical principles. Humour seems to be an important source of pleasure for game players, and its importance in videogames should be re-evaluated. This brief paper introduces our study of the experience of humour in videogames, and explores the value of humour for design.
Keywords: emotion, game design, humour
AudiOdyssey: an accessible video game for both sighted and non-sighted gamers BIBAKFull-Text 251-252
  Eitan Glinert; Lonce Wyse
Despite the growing number and demographics of video game players, most games are still completely inaccessible to disabled populations. To study the issue of gaming accessibility, we created AudiOdyssey, a prototype video game designed to be usable by both sighted and non-sighted audiences. Featuring multiple input control schemes, rhythm based game play, and fully accessible menus and play levels, the prototype allows all individuals to share a common gaming experience, regardless of level of vision.
Keywords: accessible design, accessible user interface, accessible video game, experimental game design, human computer interaction, sight impaired, vision impaired