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A Simple Multi-player Video Game Framework for Experimenting and Teaching Cultural Understanding

Peter Jamieson, Miami University
Lindsay Grace, American University
Naoki Mizuno; Chris Bell; Darrell Davis, Miami University

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A Simple Multi-player Video Game Framework for Experimenting and Teaching Cultural Understanding

  1. 1. A Simple Multi-player Video Game Framework for Experimenting and Teaching Cultural Understanding Lindsay Grace Lindsay D. Grace Associate Professor – Film and Media Arts School of Communication Founding Director: American University Game Lab Grace@American.edu http://www.American.edu/GameLab @mindtoggle
  2. 2. @mindtoggle
  3. 3. @mindtoggle
  4. 4. Lindsay D. Grace Associate Professor – Film and Media Arts School of Communication Founding Director: American University Game Lab & Studio @mindtoggle @mindtoggle
  5. 5. @mindtoggle
  6. 6. “Culture is always a collective phenomenon, because it is at least partly shared with people who live or lived within the same social environment, which is where it was learned. It is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another. “ @mindtoggle Hofstede’s 1991
  7. 7. Cross-cultural communication: Sociopragmatics @mindtoggle
  8. 8. Cultural rules around appropriate behavior (e.g. social distance, eye contact, etc) @mindtoggle
  9. 9. “Project Perdido” M. Treanor, J.McCoy, et al. @mindtoggle
  10. 10. Cross-cultural communication: Sociolinguistics @mindtoggle
  11. 11. T. Jackson, L.Grace, et al. @mindtoggle
  12. 12. Cross-cultural communication: Cultural empathy @mindtoggle
  13. 13. Empathy toward advantage and disadvantage @mindtoggle
  14. 14. @mindtoggle interactioninstitute.org
  15. 15. Design a framework to facilitate experiments and teaching related to cultural advantages and disadvantages. @mindtoggle
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  17. 17. “Provide an experiential event in which players are embedded in a cultural phenomena of not knowing the rules, but having to play the game” @mindtoggle
  18. 18. Scale @mindtoggle
  19. 19. Distribution @mindtoggle
  20. 20. Synthetic Cultures 3 hours+ to play @mindtoggle
  21. 21. Paige’s 10 identified cultural differences @mindtoggle  ethnocentrism  language  cultural immersion  cultural isolation  prior intercultural experience  expectations  visibility/invisibility  status  power  control
  22. 22. “Culture Code” @mindtoggle
  23. 23. Our Goals • Create a game as simple as the Barnga framework • Make this game scalable to a minimum of 50 players • Create an online game playable online • Build a rule set to elicit culture disadvantage for specific players • Release the game as open source software @mindtoggle
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  25. 25. • Client Side: JavaScript • Server Side: Java @mindtoggle
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  27. 27. Goal: Move your avatar to collect points @mindtoggle
  28. 28. Player @mindtoggle
  29. 29. Player @mindtoggle Team Scores
  30. 30. Each Team is limited in: • What they can see • How they see it • Who can collect certain points. @mindtoggle
  31. 31. Each Team is limited in: • What they can see • How they see it • Who can collect certain points. @mindtoggle
  32. 32. In Diagram: Green will see the red team as red, blue team will appear as green; making it difficult to understand who is on your team. @mindtoggle
  33. 33. Configurable: 1. How many teams there are in the game? 2. How big the world is? 3. How many points start in the world? 4. Is the end game triggered by all points collected or a set goal? 5. How people are assigned to teams, which includes a biased assignment? 6. Do new points appear as points are captured? @mindtoggle
  34. 34. Configurable: 7. How many points your team gets per capture? 8. How teams see each other? 9. How teams see points? 10.What points teams can capture? 11.How fast are the avatars on your team? 12.Can you see the global score? @mindtoggle
  35. 35. 6. Do new points appear as points are captured? Allows a biased assignment of teams, some teams have more players and can collect items faster. @mindtoggle
  36. 36. Allow the designers to give different players physical (sense and movement) advantages @mindtoggle 7. How teams see points? 8. What points teams can capture? 9. What points teams can capture?
  37. 37. Discriminate by behavior, not appearance Lindsay Grace | American University Gaming Initiative
  38. 38. Pilot Study @mindtoggle
  39. 39. 2 teams of equal size: One team represents the players who know about the rules of the game - they can see all types of points as unique to a team, can see all types of players as unique to their respective teams, and can collect any type of point. The other team represents the players who can’t understand the rules - they see everything as looking the same as them, but can only collect their type of points. @mindtoggle
  40. 40. Team 1: players who know about the rules of the game - they can see all types of points as unique to a team, can see all types of players as unique to their respective teams, and can collect any type of point. @mindtoggle
  41. 41. Team 2: The other team represents the players who can’t understand the rules - they see everything as looking the same as them, but can only collect their type of points. @mindtoggle
  42. 42. Educational Psychology, and the game will be played by 25 classroom participants @mindtoggle
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  44. 44. Thank You Lindsay Grace Lindsay D. Grace Associate Professor Director, Game Lab and Studio American University School of Communication Film and Media Art Grace@American.edu http://www.ProfessorGrace.com Twitter: @mindtoggle @mindtoggle

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