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Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game

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In recent years, the interest to the area of computer games for educational purposes increased due to their positive outcomes and effects in technology-enhanced learning. One of their chief merits is retaining the learning motivation and engagement of players during all time of the game. Therefore, it is necessary educational games to be able to adjust their features such as task difficulty, object speed, learning content, etc. according to the current emotional state of the player and, as well, to his/her playing style. In this paper, we present a dynamic mechanism for affective game adaptation based on both emotion and arousal estimation. The mechanism is implemented within an applied video game named “Rush for Gold” designed for implicit recognition of playing or learning styles. The paper outlines, analyzes and discusses results of an experimental study related to player´s engagement in affective applied adaptation.

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Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game

  1. 1. Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game Boyan Bontchev and Dessislava Vassileva Dep. of Software Technologies, Fac. of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia Univ., Bulgaria TEEM-2016 Salamanca, November 2, 2016
  2. 2. Player-centric adaptation Player-centric adaptation in video games needs to answer some questions: Who – player character structural and behavioral changes => requires player modelling How – how adaptation will be realized => requires adaptive loop design What – which game features can be adapted => requires adaptive gameplay design Why – advantages of game adaptation => requires analysis of outcomes in playability and learning results 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 2
  3. 3. The ADAPTIMES FP7 project  ADAPTIve player-centric serious video gaMES  ADAPTIMES aims at investigating how cognitive abilities (the cognitive part), psycho-emotional status (the affective part) and playing style (the conative part – that of “desire, volition, and striving”)  can be used in a holistic approach for efficient and effective player-centric adaptation 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 3
  4. 4. Adaptation Model 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 4 Game dynamics Player Player style metrics Playing styles Performance and efficiency (abilities, skills and knowledge) Emotions (flow, immersion & intrinsic motivation)
  5. 5. Measuring process Measuring player’s performance – by tracking player’s results, incl. time, task difficulties and efficiency Measuring playing styles – based on tracking specific gaming metrics describing player’s style of playing Measuring player’s affect (emotions and arousal): By means of analysis of psychophysiology signals (arousal) By means of visual expressions analysis (emotional states) 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 5
  6. 6. Affect inferred by psychophysiology signals EDA (Electro-Dermal Activity) Custom EDA meter – custom hardware device and software (H2020 RAGE asset developed by SU) 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 6
  7. 7. Emotions inferred by visual expressions analysis Custom emotion recognizer using Affectiva SDK Recognizes: sadness, disgust, anger, surprise, fear, joy; engagement, attention (fixation), eye closures (saccades) 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 7
  8. 8. Workflow of emotion-based game dynamic adaptation control 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 8 Implicit Emotional Indicators (via sensors & other devices) Facial expr. GSR Heart Rhythm ECG EEG Pressure … Change Procedures Time Velocity Acceleration Route Size Defeat range Luminosity Contrast … Real-Time Explicit Player Feedback through Adaptation Control Panel Analysis Change Visuali- zation Triggering Events on Behavior Templates
  9. 9. Emotional Game Adaptation 1/2 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 9 Adaptation of flying objects’ velocity, puzzle difficulty, and ambient light for lower phasic arousal
  10. 10. Emotional Game Adaptation 2/2 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 10 Adaptation of flying objects’ velocity, puzzle difficulty, and ambient light for higher phasic arousal
  11. 11. Box plots of player’s average emotions inferred by facial expressions 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 11
  12. 12. Box plots of measured GEngQ terms 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 12 GEngQ = Game Engagement Questionnaire (Brockmyer et al., 2009)
  13. 13. Player´s joy, engagement, attention, eye closure, and SCR (skin conductance response) 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 13 Successful shot Unsuccessful shot
  14. 14. Correlations of psychological states (by facial expressions) and arousal with GEngQ terms 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 14 Game Engagement Questionnaire (GEngQ) State / arousal Presen- ce Absorp- tion Flow Immer- sion Engage- ment Atten- tion 0.3878 0.0645 0.1779 0.0139 0.1978 Enga- gement 0.0087 -0.0510 0.1870 -0.0532 0.0221 Eye closure 0.3818 0.0885 0.3711 0.1737 0.1554 SCL level 0.1341 -0.1312 0.0459 -0.1067 -0.0318 SCR level 0.0119 -0.0558 -0.2177 0.1042 -0.0674
  15. 15. Correlations of psychological states and arousal with emotions inferred by facial expressions 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 15 Emotions State / arousal Sad- ness Disgust Anger Surp- rise Fear Joy Atten- tion -0.0226 0.3712 0.2329 0.1835 -0.1677 0.2040 Enga- gement 0.0782 0.7049 0.1653 0.4296 0.1013 0.8346 Eye closure -0.1257 0.2293 0.0918 0.4657 0.1713 0.3196 SCL level 0.0226 -0.1484 -0.0759 0.3873 0.3007 -0.0027 SCR level -0.0275 0.3616 -0.0307 0.1285 -0.0959 0.4008
  16. 16. Conclusions 1/2 Statistically significant correlations found: attention and presence eye closure and presence eye closure and flow engagement and surprise engagement and joy SCL arousal level and surprise SCR and joy eye closure & average efficiency SCL & relative time Facial expressions (emotions) are complementary to EDA (arousal) 16 02/11/2016 Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game
  17. 17. Conclusions 2/2 Player-centric adaptive game play possesses essential advantages compared to the non-adaptive gameplay The synergy of using player´s performance, emotions, and playing styles is very promising All they are identified at run time and used for adapting game mechanics, dynamics and audio-visual content, in a dynamic and implicit way More experiments are needed for revealing how such emotion-based adaptations affect game experience and playability, learning outcomes and consequences of flow 17 02/11/2016 Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game
  18. 18. Future work Emotionally-adaptive games and other software app’s Dynamic adaptation control Software app’s using user affectation: HRV TEMP …. Web-based platforms for generation of educational games targeted to non-ICT people Semantic content management in applied games 02/11/2016Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game 18
  19. 19. Thank you for your attention! Discussion Videos at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSzM2RrceNw&index=1&li st=PLs4ZK9XAjRxpROiCNQ1kdDR8SFpH-itmY More info at: http://adaptimes.eu/ 19 02/11/2016 Assessing Engagement in an Emotionally-Adaptive Applied Game

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