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SeriousGames Tables of Contents: 14

Proceedings of the 2014 International Workshop on Serious Games

Fullname:Proceedings of the 2014 ACM International Workshop on Serious Games
Editors:Thomas Baranowski; Mark Claypool; Ralf Dörner; Wolfgang Effelsberg; Stefan Göbel; Florian 'Floyd' Mueller
Location:Orlando, Florida
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3121-0; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: SeriousGames14
Links:Workshop Website | Conference Website
  1. Keynote Address
  2. Serious Game Development
  3. Serious Games in Health
  4. Serious Games in Education, Training and Culture

Keynote Address

The Five Most Important Research Issues in Effective Game for Health Design (from a Behavioral Scientist's Perspective) BIBAFull-Text 1-2
  Tom Baranowski
Games for Health are a relatively new genre of games and an innovative intervention method for changing behavior to promote health or prevent disease. At the current time, most children and many adults wish to be entertained, not educated or "talked at". Video games which can be entertaining, thereby, provide an ideal modality for influencing health related behaviors. Given the recency of the genre, however, it is not clear how best to design video games to change behavior.
   The mediating variable model has been proposed as a conceptual model for understanding how behavior changes occur. Understanding how video games may influence behavior and health introduces a new variable, game play, into the mediating variable model.
   Adults and children generally play games in general, and video games in particular, because they are "fun". Approximately equivalent terms are "enjoyable" or "engaging". The concept of "fun" (or its related constructs) has not been precisely defined, nor operationalized. Psychosocial, physiological, and embodiment approaches to studying fun have been attempted, but not thoroughly researched. Better understanding is needed of what in the experience of video game play constitutes fun, and the relationships among the psychosocial, physiological, and related constructs and methods. This should enhance the design of video games for health, by enhancing the players' desire to continue game play, and thereby increasing the game players' exposure to the change inducing elements.
   Stories, or narratives, have been incorporated into many video games for health. Stories have been hypothesized to "transport" the player out of their attention to their immediate surroundings, or "immerse" the player in the story line, thereby enhancing the player's attention to messages or other intervention procedures embedded in the story, e.g. character modeling of desired behaviors. Cutscenes within games can be used to advance the storyline or stories can be used separate from the games (e.g. in parallel books). Better understanding of a) how stories immerse players should lead to stories which are more effective at influencing behavior; b) how to use stories in, or in parallel to, game play should enhance immersion; and c) which behavior change procedures, and how, to insert them in stories, should enhance resulting mediating variable and behavior change.

Serious Game Development

Serious Games Development as a Vehicle for Teaching Entertainment Technology and Interdisciplinary Teamwork: Perspectives and Pitfalls BIBAFull-Text 3-8
  Ralf Dörner; Ulrike Spierling
Teaching computer game development at university level provides many learning opportunities, for example about entertainment technology or modern software engineering methods. Teaching serious game development provides even more opportunities especially in terms of applicability and interdisciplinary team work. According courses need to be carefully planned as there are many parameters that affect the degree to which learning goals are met. Also, field reports are scarce. Consequently, instructors may find it difficult to develop suitable courses. This paper offers insights for instructors. Experiences are shared by reporting experiments with several course formats, the learning goals associated are identified, significant parameters are highlighted, lessons learned are discussed, and best practice is described. Not only playing serious games but also developing them in an interdisciplinary environment can prove to be fruitful for students of many disciplines.
Matching Game Mechanics and Human Computation Tasks in Games with a Purpose BIBAFull-Text 9-14
  Luca Galli
The massive amount of time that people spend in online gaming is being increasingly exploited by a particular kind of Serious Games, the Games with a Purpose (GWAP), used to solve complex problems as a byproduct of their gameplay. The design of the tasks and the choice of game mechanics able to solve them has been done so far without consolidated guidelines and with few considerations with respect to traditional game design principles. Without proper best practices to follow, the design of a GWAP may incur in increased development time and costs or even failures. This work attempts to solve these shortcomings for novel designers by providing: 1) a development process to follow when designing new GWAPs 2) the definition of the multimedia refinement tasks best suited to be solved with GWAPs and 3) the list of traditional game mechanics that best match these tasks.
A Method for Simulating Players in a Collaborative Multiplayer Serious Game BIBAFull-Text 15-20
  Viktor Wendel; Johannes Alef; Stefan Göbel; Ralf Steinemtz
Multiplayer Serious Games are a promising concept to combine the features of Serious Games with the concept of collaborative learning. Multiplayer games, however, are hard to model, especially as interaction between players is often hard to predict. For the design of multiplayer Serious Games, especially considering adaptation algorithms for multiplayer Serious Games, exhaustive tests are desirable. As real players are often hard to obtain, simulation of players might be a solution. In this paper we propose an approach to simulate human player behavior in collaborative multiplayer Serious Games. Our approach considers behavior in terms of gaming (player model), learning (learner model), and collaboration and teamwork (interaction model). The aim of our model is to have a sound foundation of realistic player behavior as a basis for evaluation of adaptation mechanisms in collaborative multiplayer Serious Games. We implemented our approach as an extension of the collaborative multiplayer Serious Game 'Escape From Wilson Island' and carried out a first evaluation. The results are promising as they indicate that it is possible to soundly and reproducibly simulate player behavior based on a player model, player skills as well as on teamwork and communication.
Learning Analytics and Serious Games: Trends and Considerations BIBAFull-Text 21-26
  Laila Shoukry; Stefan Göbel; Ralf Steinmetz
This paper reviews the current status of Learning Analytics with special focus on their application in Serious Games. After presenting the advantages of incorporating Learning Analytics into game-based learning applications, different aspects regarding the integration process including modeling, tracing, aggregation, visualisation, analysis and employment of gameplay data are discussed. Associated challenges in this field as well as examples of best practices are also examined.

Serious Games in Health

A Natural and Immersive Virtual Interface for the Surgical Safety Checklist Training BIBAFull-Text 27-32
  Andrea Ferracani; Daniele Pezzatini; Alberto Del Bimbo
Serious games have been widely exploited in medicine training and rehabilitations. Although many medical simulators exist with the aim to train personal skills of medical operators, only few of them take into account cooperation between team members. After the introduction of the Surgical Safety Checklist by the World Health Organization (WHO), that has to be carried out by surgical team members, several studies have proved that the adoption of this procedure can remarkably reduce the risk of surgical crisis. In this paper we introduce a natural interface featuring an interactive virtual environment that aims to train medical professionals in following security procedures proposed by the WHO adopting a 'serious game' approach. The system presents a realistic and immersive 3D interface and allows multiple users to interact using vocal input and hand gestures. Natural interactions between users and the simulator are obtained exploiting the Microsoft Kinect™ sensor. The game can be seen as a role play game in which every trainee has to perform the correct steps of the checklist accordingly to his/her professional role in the medical team.
Serious Games in Neurorehabilitation: A Systematic Review of Recent Evidence BIBAFull-Text 33-38
  Josef Wiemeyer
Serious Games (SG) have been conceptualized for various target groups (particularly stroke) in neurorehabilitation. SG claim to be effective at two levels: achieving the serious goal (effectiveness) and eliciting game experience (attractiveness). A systematic review of recent studies (4 RCT and 30 further studies) retrieved from four data bases (PubMed, Google scholar, IEEE, and ACM) was performed addressing two main issues: (1) applied game technologies and (2) the effectiveness and attractiveness of rehabilitation games. The study reveals heterogeneous features of the studies concerning game technology, target group, duration and volume of intervention, and outcome variables. The outcomes concerning functional improvement and attitude are sparsely documented and show a positive tendency. However, the evidence is not yet convincing. In the future, more studies with improved methods are needed to substantiate the evidence.
Serious Game Development: Case Study of the 2013 CDC Games For Health Game Jam BIBAFull-Text 39-43
  Jon A. Preston
In this paper, we describe the use of a large-scale game jam weekend in coordination with HHS and CDC to leverage 300+ participants in developing 30 games focused on "winnable battles" in the field of public health. We present our scalable and repeatable process to focus participant creativity through constrained design to rapidly prototype games that have the potential for behavioral change intent and knowledge retention among players. Our initial results suggest that participant awareness of health issues and interest in healthcare careers can be positively improved.

Serious Games in Education, Training and Culture

Lessons Learned from Testing a Children's Educational Game through Web Deployment BIBAFull-Text 45-50
  Michael G. Christel; Scott M. Stevens; Bryan S. Maher; Matthew Champer; Samantha Collier; Ricardo Merchan Benavides; Sean Brice
Beanstalk is an educational game that teaches balance-fulcrum principles, targeting children ages 5-11. Four versions of the game were deployed on the web through the educational portal Learning.com. Two of the versions incorporate non-player characters that offer opportunities for socio-emotional learning (SEL). Two of the versions include a scientific process of "predict-observe-hypothesize-explain" (POHE), which in effect is in-game testing. This paper reports on a first look into the game logs collected from child players via the portal, allowing for a 2x2 SEL crossed with POHE analysis. Lessons learned from testing variants of an educational game are shared, as well as conclusions drawn from the logs. Surprisingly, the version with both SEL and POHE caused children to stop playing the game sooner. The POHE performance was weakest for the players in the SEL treatment. Rather than help with the science educational goals, SEL may have diminished the experience.
Study-Town: a Game for Cultural Awareness BIBAFull-Text 51-56
  Jennifer Bohn; Maximilian Eibl; Arne Berger; Stefanie Müller
Games are a convenient method of preparing foreign exchange students for the challenges they are going to encounter living in a foreign country. In this paper, we describe the background, concept, and usage of a game called Study-Town created for the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. The game prepares the foreign exchange students coming to Germany for typical German peculiarities.
What Makes Games Challenging?: Considerations on How to Determine the "Challenge" Posed by an Exergame for Balance Training BIBAFull-Text 57-62
  Sandro Hardy; Angelika Kern; Tim Dutz; Christoph Weber; Stefan Göbel; Ralf Steinmetz
Exergames are expected to induce desired health-related effects by incorporating a players' bodily movements into their gameplay. The effectiveness of these games is determined by the compliance to the training goals and by the frequency and the duration of playing. The latter is influenced by the player's motivation and increasing it is therefore essential for the effectiveness of exergames. Findings suggest that one of the main elements influencing motivation through the game is the "perceived challenge", consisting of the difficulty level posed by the physical interaction required for playing the game on the one hand, and the difficulty posed by the game mechanic itself one the other. If challenge could somehow be measured and intentionally varied, it might be possible to achieve a specific "level of motivation" for a given user. In this paper we present an approach that aims to quantify the amount of challenge induced by the variation of individual features of an exergames. In addition, the psychological self-determination and goal-setting theories are brought into the context of game research and evaluation, suggesting that setting a personal goal might influence the outcomes, too. Therefore, the dependence of motivation, perceived difficulty and performance on specific level features as well as goal-setting are being tested, aiming to find whether the effectiveness of the training can be increased intentionally by changing level features or setting personal goals.