DIMEA Conference 2008


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DIMEA Conference 2008

  1. 1. Exploring Gaming Mechanisms to Enhance Knowledge Acquisition in Virtual Worlds ELIOS Lab Riccardo Berta ELIOS Lab, DIBE, University of Genoa [email_address]
  2. 2. Travel in Europe (TiE) project <ul><li>Travel in Europe (TiE): European project co-funded by Culture 2000 programme </li></ul><ul><li>Implement an innovative mean to promote and divulgate the European heritage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The main target audience: high-school students aged 14 to 18 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An easy-to-access online environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users will live challenging and compelling game experiences by interacting with virtual representations of European heritage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The project exploits the concept of travel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaging by itself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports geographic contextualization </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Pedagogical foundations <ul><li>Constructivistic learning philosophies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructing knowledge by situating cognitive experiences in real-world, authentic activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three main modalities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn by doing (or playing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inviting players to operate in the virtual field, observing attentively the documents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pictures, sketches, graphics, texts, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn by thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating reflection, critical reasoning and concatenation of experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn through social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>inviting players to play together for cooperative purposes and to comment on their experience during the game. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Vision <ul><li>A player of TiE moves in a 2D space representing the map of Europe </li></ul><ul><li>The player visits some cities and regions that are reconstructed in 3D </li></ul><ul><li>He faces 2D trials (microGames: mGs) embedded in the 3D reconstructions to obtain scores </li></ul><ul><ul><li>mGs will concern the local artistic heritage and will be contextualized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. an art game concerning the Van Cleve’s “Adoration of the Magi” picture will be played in the 3D reconstruction of the San Donato church in Genoa’s historical center, where the picture is conserved </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 2D Europe Map
  6. 6. 3D world
  7. 7. Reconstructing 3D cities for educational/cultural purposes <ul><li>Trade-off </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Photorealism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highly impressive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Culturally correct and meaningful experience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The player as a sort of art/history detective </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Models’ weight and complexity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow interactive real-time online exploration </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. TiE 3D worlds <ul><li>3D models of urban environments completely geo-refereced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensibility/Compatibility with various GISs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Point of Interests (PoI) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High-detail, rigorous reconstructions of a building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cathedral, theather, Renaissance palace </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Random Building Areas (RBA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamically built using a statistical template-based algorithm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exploit a statistical description of the architectonic parameters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use a limited set of textures that are instances of architectonic features representative of that area (e.g windows, portals, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. PoIs
  10. 10. RBA
  11. 11. TiE 3D worlds <ul><li>Architectonic-style likelihood principle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows users to live experiences similar to a real visit of a city limiting the effort in 3D modelling: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Like in a real visit: a visitor perceives the feeling of being in a precise place but usually does not perceive/remember the particulars of each distinct building </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. mGames <ul><li>mGs are a sort of “links” in the “hypertext” represented by the 3D environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. mGs as “portals” to live a short adventure in the past times in the same place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joining the spatial knowledge acquisition potential of 3D with the possibility of getting more in depth information </li></ul><ul><li>“ digital analogy” of a visit of a city/region </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically enhanced by visits at museums, etc </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. mGames typologies <ul><li>Observation games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The sight as a sense to investigate and explore the local environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploit the “knowledge in the world” in order to develop the cognition activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate spatial processing skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflection games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favor reflection, analysis of questions and possible answers considering available clues and concepts previously learned </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arcade games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate similar skills as observation games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Animated graphics and engaging interaction, which helps to create a convincing and pleasant experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convey educational messages which are easily memorized by players. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. mGame example
  15. 15. Support for User Generated Contents <ul><li>Microgames instances can be created from templates and users can use their own contents </li></ul><ul><li>Whole games can be created over the environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treasure-hunt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-playing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple visit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Visual development by pedagogical experts thorugh a Creative Toolkit </li></ul>
  16. 16. The TiE creative toolkit
  17. 17. Conversational Virtual Humans <ul><li>The player can interact in natural language with Conversational Virtual Humans (CVHs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information and hints about the surrounding environment and game mechanics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CVHs have roles that characterize their kn. basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policeman, handicraftsman, expert of art, disguiser </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feature a personality and express emotions also in relation with learning goals, and social interaction aspects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acquiring knowledge through a smart dialog with CVHs is necessary to advance levels </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. CVHs
  19. 19. Social Interaction <ul><li>Social interaction as a hook for fidelization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chat-like interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generic chatting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cooperation in games and exploration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location-aware chatting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contact list based on proximity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Conclusions and Future Works <ul><li>Project started in Nov 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>User needs analysis performed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students, teachers, art experts from 8 countries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Design deliverable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game engine, cultural environment mechanisms, MMORG architecture, trial games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content Collection (semi-automatic) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules for 3 rd parties to provide maps and pictures from the cities to be implemented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contents for the trial-games </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation has started, and we have a demo that include some cities </li></ul>