Lot’s of Moyments and Playification
Stefan Rank explained how to model player behaviour and the related chellenges. One major aspect is the meta-communication happening between players outside of the game, game actions and intended play. In extremes the fun of the game is not the game itself, but the gatherings, talking about and “beside the rules” acting. A so called meta enjoyment = moyments of play. It is basically the discourse between emergent and bounded narrative. Examples he mentioned are 60 tons, Ultimatum, The Resistance.
More notes to Stefan’s and all other presenters’ talks can be accessed via the researching games barcamp provided etherpad pages for both event days Satuday and Sunday, October 5 and 6 (text in German mainly).
Jan Quadflieg explained why Computational Intelligence is not KI and how neuronal networks and fuzzy logic can be used to design more authentic movements of crowds and opponents in games (flocking, inlfluence maps, self-organizing maps, ..). For his implementations the open-source RPG Glest was used. There is even an extended version MegaGlest. Could be worth it for ones own Serious Games development/extensions.
Angelika Beranek and Beate Kremser from infocafe.org presented their daily work with computer games and kids in Neu-Isenburg/Germany. Even paper-pased role play games (called digitali) are played for half a year in elementary school. They do use Lego and Minecraft in combination and do city development plans with kids via The Sims. As they have a bunch of kids (15-20 aged 10-21, mostly 15year olds) playing the popular as well as newcoming and indi games several times a week in their open space, it is nearby that they can be a great partner for evaluation studies for (serious) games and social aspects related to games and kids.
Rudolf Inderst of the culture magazine ‘titel’ gave interesting insights into his work and the value of a cultural perspective on computer games. The game as the bearer of ideologie vs. the game as a awe-inspiring driver with entertainment value. In this field he mentioned the game bionetta for example and encouraged the audience to write articles or offer interviews to the online-magazine.
Day 2: Sunday
Prof. Ulrike Spierling explained the approach towards emergent storytelling with KI. To enable a story engine to elaborate the story and flow further it needs other “input” of authors. Thus tools are needed that enable authors to write in a more formal way (precondition, action, postcondition) without the pain of a programming language or a formal model. Thus maybe GUI tools that generate formalized language can help. She presented parts of IRIS and was refereing to the Foley Model of user perception (conceptual, semantical, syntactical and lexical level).
Five guys from TU München were explaining their approach towards narration in games from the literature science perspective. From my computer science point of view the wording and descriptions were quite…different; simply said: I did not understand all of their remarks unfortunately. One memorized statement:
“Die Literatur ist das Ende des Computerspiels” (the literature is the end of the computer game).
Even though this was maybe said with an ironic tone, I still would say it can be valuabe the other way: Can’t literature be the beginning of the computer game?
A narration focussing game presented in this context was Dear Esther.
(speakers: Tobias Eder, Marcel Schellong, Robert Baumgartner, Andreas Schöffmann, Tobias Unterhuber)
Matthias Löwe explained why he is not really happy with gamification (points, badgets, leaderbords). He draws a picture of bringing play into every day life by using well known persuasive design approaches to create playful interactions. As far as I recognized, Playification is making every day things and actions unnecessarily a little more complicated or restricted as they need to, to make them more interesting.
Thus it is not about Usability, it is about User Experience.
In consequence, I conclude, that such playification-infected actions or things are only as long interesting, as long as the player has new experiences within this (new) rule set. Otherwise it becomes an unnessesary obstacle and the additional restrictions/rules will be removed, ignored or disliked.
Norman Geist* presented an analysis model for narrativity in games as an valuable approach from literature science to computer games from Mela Kocher (ludo-literary type circle). Basically the model has 3 achses of
- Interactivity (between static and dynamic)
- Modus (between mimetic and diegetic)**
- Perspective (between internal and external)
Within these dimensions a game can be characterized. Connecting then the points in this space you get something like a balanced-score-card. He presented a diagram resulting of Assassin’s Creed 2. The circle is a great approach towards discussing games from a literature perspective.
(** mimetic=Acting like the drama style; diegetic=Telling like in epos style)
(* Name can be mis-spelled)
Florian Berger (organization team, thank you for all the work done for us!) described why a level-based adaptation is not enough for game-based learning. His approach towards high-resolution adaptivity aims to have a rule-based adaptation once per second. In the project management game he uses for the concept, a domain expert first playes the game/quest as he assumes it is the best/correct way. This recording is the baseline for comparisons during gameplay of learners. The closed control loop then compares each second the progress with the baseline and differentiates between under-performer and over-performer. The first gets advice as known from intelligent tutoring systems, the later is contronted with adaptive testing reactions like defects, obstacles, uncertainty. He mentioned an promising approach towards the evaluation of interactive adaptive systems by Paramythis et al.
I truely see the value of such a high-resolution adaptivity. Creating a versatile, flexible baseline might be tough, though (compare keynote of Esphen Aarseth at ICEC 2012 concerning the chronosphere and that one story is only one possible path of correct pathes).
Jan Smeddinck had the honour to present as last speaker for all tracks. He explained how hard it can be to fullfill the different requirements a Serious Games has when it is about exergaming with seniors suffering from stroke impact or diseases like parkinson and dementia. He presented different adaptive kineastic serious games like WuppDi and Spiel Dich Fit and references the adaptation and adaptability that has been integrated to Sheridan’s Scale of Automation in Human-Computer Interaction.
Of course I had only the chance to attend only only one talk of the parallel three (Sunday: two) tracks. I picked the ones (by title) that seem to be most related to Serious Games and/or Social Media.