• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
An Introduction to Game Research
 

An Introduction to Game Research

on

  • 1,124 views

Lecture "An Introduction to Game Research" by Mirjam P Eladhari. Given in 2010 as part of the course International Game Production Studies I at Gotland University in Sweden.

Lecture "An Introduction to Game Research" by Mirjam P Eladhari. Given in 2010 as part of the course International Game Production Studies I at Gotland University in Sweden.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,124
Views on SlideShare
1,123
Embed Views
1

Actions

Likes
1
Downloads
24
Comments
0

1 Embed 1

http://www.linkedin.com 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • Never be afraid to share ideas!
  • ...40 years now.
  • So 39 years now.
  • You’ve probably all seen pictures of warlords moving armies as pieces. Chess – also a type of simulation – reflecting power structures and conflict.
  • OpportunismHow difficult it was to start doing the phd back in 2003.
  • 2002 – digra was formed. Now, many more conferences.
  • So, the other in academia. Locally, at their home universities game researchers are often stigmatised.Other researchers think that games are ’popular culture’. Not have proper methods.Reversely when game researchers are in industry contexts, they are seen as suspcious. Developers sometimes sense that researchers areReinventing the wheel doesn’t know their history write prescritive things without knowing about the reality of the every-day development process.All this is, unfortunately, sometimes true.Why is all this? No smoke without fire.BUT. Often its not about that at all. In industry, developers feel that their craft is not taken as what it is. That its only interesting as something else, as sociology, as literature, as anthropology, but not as GAMES. And also feel that they are not included.Also a deeper, very human thing. People want to be seen, to be recognised. When they don’t feel that they get that, or if they have bad self esteem for some other reason it can make people feel better if they see something else as ’bad’ in order to justapose themselves as ’good’. If you find yourself in a situation where you are ’the other’. Take a deep breath. Remember why you are doing what you are doing – your deep purpose.In the conversation – do you think that you can reach through? If so, try if you have time. You may find an interesting converestation.If you feel it is closed: is it worth trying to reach through? Is the person important to you for some reason? If so, it can be worth the effort. Advice: Be economic with your energy. You don’t need to proove anything in most situation. The *real* proof is the work you are doing. That is the important part. Personal: I’ve been lucky, because I can, in the industry, always fall back on my own industry experience. And in academia, I can fall back on previous academic work and good publication rate.So I was able to ride through the period where stigma was strong on all fronts.We are stronger now. We *are* a field. We have our own journals and our own conferences. We even invented the somewhat hilarous concept of ”serious games” wich is a vehicle for getting funding from funding bodies that *can’t* give away research money to something with seems too fun.But you people, you need to hold the ground. You studied GAMES and you DONT need any excuses.
  • A feeling of toghetheness. Industry closer.
  • ConclusionThis paper explored three ways in which games relate to thehuman condition and suggested three devices for thepurposeful design of games that teach us something aboutourselves. Device I “Fictional Alignment” focused onexpanding the emotional palette of games by aligning gamestructure and fictional theme. That way the affectivestrength of game emotions would carry the fiction, whilethe context provided by the fiction would alter the meaningof game emotions. Device II “Procedurality” referred togames’ potential to make statements about how things workby representing processes with processes. Proceduralexpression is a terrific tool to enhance our understanding ofthe social, mental and psychological processes that underlieour believes, behaviors and relationships towards the worldaround us. However, the power of procedural expressiondepends on a player’s comprehension of the modeledsystem. If it is unclear what the game is about, e.g. becauseits graphical surface is obscure, the potential insights therules convey are lost. While procedural expression focusedon cognitive understanding of the processes portrayed in thegame, Device III “Experiential Metaphor” addressed theimmediate, emotional comprehension of processes throughthe game’s aesthetics. Recognizing structural similaritiesbetween a gameplay experience and an experience fromreal life (e.g. this game feels like job hopping!) can help usunderstand the quality of these experiences and make senseof them. In combination, Device II and III can facilitategame comprehension. Since the interaction with a game’ssystem is the source for both aesthetic experience (howdoes it feel?) and cognitive comprehension (how does itwork?) “Procedurality” and “Experiential Metaphor” arenot principally different strategies, they only focus ondifferent aspects of how game rules relate to the humancondition.http://www.digra.org/dl/db/09287.01371.pdf
  • Coop with CCP. Eve online to get avatars.
  • Wrongness in wikipedia page on game studies.
  • Steven to have a lecture on Direct Theory and Games. A direct reference theory is a theory of meaning that claims that the meaning of an expression lies in what it points out in the world. It stands in contrast to mediated reference theories.//the artefact IS the theory.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_reference_theory
  • Steven to have a lecture on Direct Theory and Games. A direct reference theory is a theory of meaning that claims that the meaning of an expression lies in what it points out in the world. It stands in contrast to mediated reference theories.//the artefact IS the theory.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_reference_theory
  • We pretty unique in the world in explicitily doing this.
  • Your chance to dig into what interests you most.
  • Ref to the wikipedia page on game studies. Obs that the info on the engineering tradtion for games is somewhat cursive. See next lecture.
  • Obs – back to slide on sucess criteria.

An Introduction to Game Research An Introduction to Game Research Presentation Transcript

  • Introduction to Game Research
    2010
    Lecture in the course International Game Production Studies I
    Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari
    Gotland University, Sweden
  • Overview
    • Research
    • A new field?
    • The growth of the game research field
    • Approaches
    • Examples
  • A little about me
    Dr. Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari is associate professor at the GAMEdepartment of Gotland University.  Mirjam's main area of research isAI-driven game design. The research approach she has adopted includesexploration of the social multi-player game-design space throughexperimental implementations of prototypes where both novel andestablished AI-techniques are used. Her dissertation work (2009)explored characterization and story construction in MMO’s focusingsemi-autonomous avatars. Before Mirjam went into research (2003) shewas lead game programmer at Liquid Media in Stockholm. Her first brushwith game research was in the applied research studio Zero-Game of theInteractive Institute in Sweden where she was technical lead (2004)
    Academic bg: computing science, literary studies, behavioural studies
  • Basic research
    Basic research or fundamental research (sometimes pure research) is research carried out to increase understanding of fundamental principles. Many times the end results have no direct or immediate commercial benefits: basic research can be thought of as arising out of curiosity..
  • Applied research
    the search for knowledge or as any systematic investigation to establish facts.
    The primary purpose for applied research (as opposed to basic research) is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe.
  • The quest for new knowledge
    Sharing to advance field
    Validity - repeatability
  • New?
    Common to argue that games are a new field. Both as art form and as industry.
    This is FALSE. Not true. !=
    The oldest aretefacts of games are older than the first written stories.
    The industry isn’t that young anymore.
    Game research as a field however, is not very old. (old method though in military tradition)
  • New?
    Common to argue that games are a new field. Both as art form and as industry.
    This is FALSE. Not true. !=
    The oldest aretefacts of games are older than the first written stories.
    The industryisn’t that younganymore.
    Game research as a fieldhowever, is not veryold. (oldmethodthough in military tradition)
  • Earliest game and literary work
    Epic of Gilgamesh
    2100 BC
    Senet
    3500 BC
    Senet game, the Brooklyn Museum, New York City. Crypt of AmenhotepIII in Egypt
    Clay tablet with the Epic of Gilgamesh (dated to ca 700 BC)
  • Royal game of Ur
    3300 BC
    Royal game of Ur, British Museum. Found in The Royal Tomb of Ur, old Mesopotamia,(Irak)
  • New?
    Common to argue that games are a new field. Both as art form and as industry.
    This is FALSE. Not true. !=
    The oldest aretefacts of games are older than the first written stories.
    The industryisn’t that younganymore.
    Game research as a fieldhowever, is not veryold. (oldmethodthough in military tradition)
  • Supressed slide (PH’08)
  • From Richard Dansky’s talk at PH’08
  • New?
    Common to argue that games are a new field. Both as art form and as industry.
    This is FALSE. Not true. !=
    The oldest artefacts of games are older than the first written stories.
    The industry isn’t that young anymore.
    Game research as a field however, is not very old. (old method though in military tradition)
  • Kriegsspiel (1812)
    Early ’serious game’
    Kriegsspiel, from the German word for wargame, was a system used for training officers in the Prussian army. The first set of rules was created in 1812[1] and named Instructions for the Representation of Tactical Maneuvers under the Guise of a Wargame. It was originally produced and developed further by Lieutenant Georg Leopold von Reiswitz and his son Georg Heinrich Rudolf von Reiswitz of the Prussian Army.[1]
    Taktischer Kriegsspielapparat, von Domänen- und Kriegsrat Georg Leopold Baron von
    Reiswitz für Friedrich Wihelm III entworfen und 1812 angefertigt. Siftung Preußischer
    Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (Foto Roman März, Berlin). 
    http://www.boardgamestudies.info/pdf/issue3/BGS3Hilgers.pdf
  • Taktischer Kriegsspielapparat, von Domänen- und Kriegsrat Georg Leopold Baron von Reiswitzfür Friedrich Wihelm III entworfen und 1812 angefertigt. SiftungPreußischer Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg (Foto Roman März, Berlin) http://www.boardgamestudies.info/pdf/issue3/BGS3Hilgers.pdf
  • SituatingGame research
  • Pre-history: Anthropology and sociology (early study on native americans’ games, Callios, Huizinga)
    Study of digital games, in the beginning: Stigma
    Fields: CS (Hci and AI), Ethnology, Drama = fields that already had tools possible to tweak towards games.
    Then: oh, money! (important trigger: study that showed that game industry exceeded Hollywood box-office income)
    Then: “serious” games
    For some: a necessary rhetoric to keep going
    For others: a sudden new opportunity
    And for some: genuine interest
    The growth of the GR field (1)
  • The growth of the GR field (2)
    Early fields:
    Narrative (Film, literary studies, dramaturgy) – Study of the dramaturgy in existing games.
    HCI (Human Computer Interaction). Study of interaction between player(s) and game
    Anthropology and sociology – Study of players in MUDs and live RP settings
    These fields already had tools that ‘fitted’ research in games. (Read more: Chapter 6 in Designing Virtual Worlds, Bartle, 2003, New Riders)
  • The growth of the GR field (3)
    COSIGN 2001, the first international conference on Computational Semiotics for Games and New Media,.
    Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference 2002: Tampere, Finland (Digra was formed)
    Level Up | Gamesconference 2003, Utrecht, Netherlands
    A research community was born
  • Game researcher as the constant ’other’
    In academia: ”Games are not serious. They don’t cure cancers. And its popular cultur. Hardly worthy of interest”
    In industry: ”Game studies... They just waffle. Tell us how to do things when they don’t know the reality of development”.
    Negative patterns. ...Even in the subfield of AI there are polarities when people talk about ’game AI’ (”bah, just pathfinding and random seeds”) and ’academic AI’ (”bah, too heavy processing, useless if written in lisp, omg, i don’t need Deep Blue for this”.)
    But that’s only on the surface level! When you meet your peers you recognise them, no matter if they are in the industry, in research or hobbyists. That’s when you get down to buisness.
  • Now, annual and bi-annual conferences are organised
    International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE)
    International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC)
    Future Play
    SIGGRAPH Games Focus, SIGGRAPH Sandbox
    Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
    Foundations for Digital Games (FDG)
  • Approaches
    Social science approach
    Studying the effects of games on peopleWhat do games do to people?E.g.: Learning, effects of violence in gamesHow do people create and negotiate a game?
    Humanities approach
    Studying the meaning and context of gamesWhat meanings are made through game use?Studying games as artifacts in and of themselvesE.g.: Affordances of the medium, critical analysis, rhetoric
    Technological approach (Industry and engineering approach)
    Understanding the design and development of games E.g.: How to make better games Games as drivers of technological innovations E.g.: Graphics, AI, networking, etc.
  • Example, Social Sciences tradition
    Study people (players)
    Members of different types of guilds interviewed.Interviews with real-life leaders in different types of organisations. Big difference is that in a game the guild leader doesn’t have to report to anyone else, such as stockholders. Interviewed 6 leaders, but the useful ones in terms of similarity was the air-force and a student radio.
    Leadership Style in World of Warcraft Raid Guilds, Prax, NordicDigra 2010
  • Approaches
    Social science approach
    Studying the effects of games on peopleWhat do games do to people?E.g.: Learning, effects of violence in gamesHow do people create and negotiate a game?
    Humanities approach
    Studying the meaning and context of gamesWhat meanings are made through game use?Studying games as artifacts in and of themselvesE.g.: Affordances of the medium, critical analysis, rhetoric
    Technological approach (Industry and engineering approach)
    Understanding the design and development of games E.g.: How to make better games Games as drivers of technological innovations E.g.: Graphics, AI, networking, etc.
  • Example, Humanistic tradition
    Study existing games to get better understanding
    Conclusion
    This paper explored three ways in which games relate to the
    human condition and suggested three devices for the
    purposeful design of games that teach us something about
    ourselves. Device I “Fictional Alignment” focused on
    expanding the emotional palette of games by aligning game
    structure and fictional theme. That way the affective
    strength of game emotions would carry the fiction, while
    the context provided by the fiction would alter the meaning
    of game emotions. Device II “Procedurality” referred to
    games’ potential to make statements about how things work
    by representing processes with processes. Procedural
    expression is a terrific tool to enhance our understanding of
    the social, mental and psychological processes that underlie
    our believes, behaviors and relationships towards the world
    around us. However, [...]
    Mechanisms of the Soul – Tackling the Human Condition in Videogames, Doris Rusch, DIGRA 2009
  • Approaches
    Social science approach
    Studying the effects of games on peopleWhat do games do to people?E.g.: Learning, effects of violence in gamesHow do people create and negotiate a game?
    Humanities approach
    Studying the meaning and context of gamesWhat meanings are made through game use?Studying games as artifacts in and of themselvesE.g.: Affordances of the medium, critical analysis, rhetoric
    Technological approach (Industry and engineering approach)
    Understanding the design and development of games E.g.: How to make better games Games as drivers of technological innovations E.g.: Graphics, AI, networking, etc.
  • Example, Technological tradition
    Building something new
     'Multiparty Multimodal Dialogue Architecture withRealtimeTurntaking‘
    Kristinn R. Thórisson, Ólafur Gíslason, Gudny Jonsdottir, Hrafn Th. Thórisson
    IVA 2010
  • A bit on method cross pollination
    Social Sciences (sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc)
    In social sciences games are treated like any other field – an anthropologist may go to Second Life just as well as to a suburban area of New York to study aspects of human behaviour.
    In AI, especially modelling if virtual agents and virtual environments theories from social sciences is used when modelling and building.
    In testing, HCI and other fields use methods for experiments developed in psychology (often social psychology)
    Cultural studies (Literary studies, film studies, dramaturgy, performance studies etc.
    Each field has their theorists, and share many theories. All about studying an already existing artefact or a type of artefact by studying different instantiations. Goal: to achieve greater understanding by using theories and other patterns of understanding as tools. Also, to see if current theories are enough to understand. If not: make new theories, frameworks, models.
    Technology (computing science with subfields)
    Bordering fields: Cognitive science, HCI, interaction studies.
  • Recap
    Social Science tradition: Study the human subject (the player)
    Cultural studies: Study the cultural artefact (the game)
    Technological tradition: Build something new; (a better way of doing something existing(faster, more accurate), or an innovation – partial or completely new)
    Missing: Art. Hardly represented at all. Direct Theory could be a promising approach to the field.
  • Recap
    Social Science tradition: Study the human subject (the player)
    Cultural studies: Study the cultural artefact (the game)
    Technological tradition: Build something new; (a better way of doing something existing(faster, more accurate), or an innovation – partial or completely new)
    Missing: Art. Hardly represented at all. Direct Theory could be a promising approach to the field.
  • Game Design as a research area
    Historic debate. Common opinion that it is best to integrate game research as a subfield in already existing fields.
    Our stance: Games and Game design is a field of its own, that can use methods from other fields, as well as develop specific methods for games when necessary.
  • What this means for you.
    Will you solve a problem? Which one? Will you ask/explore a question? Which one? Now, how to best find the answers:
    Will you study or build?
    If you study; what to study
    the actual game or,
    players who play the game?
    If you build – what type of innovation?
    A better way of doing something?
    A new way of doing something?
    If you build, how will you know if it is new? (:thorough review of field)
    If you build, how will you know if it is better? Better how? (test it.)
  • Example: Study players
    Social Sciences tradition
    You are intrigued by how people cooperate in groups in MMOs.
    You study the field:
    Look at other writings on groupings in MMO’sWhen you play, you pay close attention to how people behaveYou read up on group dynamics in psychology, and other relavant literature
    You sharpen your research question or thesis. You pick your field (what MMO, what types of players, W1st or general etc)
    You design your own study. This can be done in many different ways. Perhaps you consider:
    Creating a specific scenario that you enact (ie you try to control the experiment. For example, to run the same dungeon over and over again with different or same patterns. You work out a way to deal with the ethics – your participants need to know they are part of an experiment.
    Making deep iterviews with a small number of players. You wonder if a small sample of players will say something about *general* behaviors, so when you have some theories you make a survey and get a massive amount of players to answer your questions.
    Asking the developers for logs of RT data that you then can build filters for, in order to pull out potential behavioral patterns. You find it difficult to find the right persons who can grant you access to the data, but finally you succeed and get cracking on your data.
    You analyse your data. Perhaps the results wasn’t what you expected, and that makes it even more interesting.
    Your write up your results.
  • Example. Study artefacts.
    Humanities tradition
    You want to know how different type of narrative elements are used in game worlds that has the same mythos, but are of different genres.
    Build or study? (How much time do I have?)
    Find object of study.
    WoW – as MMO, as board game, as novels and as pen&paper RPG.
    How study it? What parts to study? What theories can be useful as tools when I study it? (Be prepared to ditch theories if they don’t work – the question and the object of study must take precedence)
    Study it. Be prepared to reformulate your thesis.
    When you have studied it and analysed it, do you see better ways of doing it? (given that you are the only one who has studied this particular thing in your particular way, what you think will be interesting to others.) And: any news on Life, Universe and Everything?
  • Example: Build New
    You want to explore ways of using EEG feedback as part of a game design.
    You check out different EEG devices, and decide upon using one of them. (or several if you have person-hours for it)
    You check what others have done with game design and EEG. (You don’t want to repeat mistakes. You don’t want to spend time researching what is already known)
    You make an experimental game design using EEG input. (*This* is your theory/question/thesis – you propose a new way)
    You implement the game.
    You design a test for your game that can answer your questions using your game.
    You test. (Quantitative and/or Qualitative methods)
    You analyse and reflect. (How did it work? What can others use, what should others avoid?)
    You share your results, helping others with similar interests.
    Engineering/ industry tradition
  • Links
    Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_studies)
    DiGRA' digital library of game studies conference papers (http://www.digra.org/dl)
    More starting points at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_studies#External_links
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_simulation (Simulation and Gaming listed as one of the journals)
  • Game Studies Journal
    The International Journal of Computer Game Research
    Our Mission - To explore the rich cultural genre of games; to give scholars a peer-reviewed forum for their ideas and theories; to provide an academic channel for the ongoing discussions on games and gaming.
    Game Studies is a crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year at www.gamestudies.org.
    Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games, but any previously unpublished article focused on games and gaming is welcome. Proposed articles should be jargon-free, and should attempt to shed new light on games, rather than simply use games as metaphor or illustration of some other theory or phenomenon.
    http://gamestudies.org
  • Game Research and Industry
    GDC Top Ten – yearly picks.
    Project Horseshoe – aim: solving the toughest game design problems
  • Examples of researchTechnology tradition
  • Façade (2005)
    Façade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative – an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama.
    […] interactive character behavior and drama-managed plot.
    You play the character of a longtime friend of Grace and Trip, an attractive and materially successful couple in their early thirties. During an evening get-together at their apartment that quickly turns ugly, you become entangled in the high-conflict dissolution of Grace and Trip’s marriage.
    http://www.interactivestory.net/
  • A Behavior Language (ABL)
    A behavior language is a reactive planning language, based on the Oz Project language Hap, designed specifically for authoring believable agents-characters that express rich personality, and that, in this case, play roles in an interactive story called Facade.
    A Behavior Language for Story-based Believable Agents, Intelligent Systems, IEEE, by Mateas, Stern (July/Aug 2002)
  • Multi Agent Systems
    • PsychSim, an implemented multiagent-based simulation tool for modeling interactions and influence among groups or individuals. Each agent has its own decision-theoretic model of the world, including beliefs about its environment and recursive models of other agents. Having thus given the agents a theory of mind, PsychSim also provides them with a psychologically motivated mechanism for updating their beliefs in response to actions and messages of other agents.Stacy Marsella and David V. Pynadath, PsychSim: Agent-based modeling of social interactions and influence., in Proceedings of the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling, Pittsburg, 2004. Details. Download: PDF.
    • THESPIAN (builds on PsychSim)” key research challenge faced in the design of these systems is to support open-ended user interaction while ensuring dramatic user experiences and consistent character personalities.” ” Thespian is a framework for realizing interactive drama that seeks to reduce programming effort.” Si, Mei, Marsella, Stacy C., and Pynadath, David V. Thespian: Using Multi-Agent Fitting to Craft Interactive Drama. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi Agent Systems
  • Sims 3
    Player can design the personality of their sims, which governs how they behave.
    - character traits- likes, dislikes
  • Alice and Kev, http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/alice-and-kev/
  • Alice and Kev, http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/alice-and-kev/
  • Thank you for listening