Theme 4: Serious Games and Game Based Learning

Overview

Games, of course, are not simply for entertainment. Increasingly, game structures are being adopted to advance learning outcomes. Here our core question is, How can we better use game technologies to improve transfer and retention of knowledge?

Projects include:

  • Player motivation (implicit versus explicit learning): How can we use games for learning without being too obvious about the educative elements of the game?
  • Simulations for first responders and other emergency situations: How can we use games to better train first responders?
  • Historical re-creations and understandings: Does being “immersed” in the past increase our understanding and comprehension of time and place over traditional means of knowledge dissemination? How have immersive media changed throughout history?

Publications & Presentations

You can search all of the publications and presentations on ‘Serious Games and Game Based Learning’ in the table below (start typing to get live results).

NameTitleThemeMediumInstitution
Cowan, B., D. Rojas, B. Kapralos, F. Moussa, and A. Dubrowski"Effects of sound on visual realism perception and task performance." Visual Computer 31(9): 1207-1216, 2015. (2014 IF: 0.957).Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Navarro-Newball, A. A., V.E. Contreras, A Alvarado, F.J. Herrera, J.D. Mejia, A. Arya, E. Mike-Ifeta, E.C. Prakash, I. Moreno"Graphics and Interaction for Education and Entertainment at Museums," ACM Journal of Computers in Entertainment, 2013Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Arya, Ali, Jeff Chastine, Allan Fowler, Jon Preston“An International Study on Learning and Process Choices in the Global Game Jam,” International Journal of Game-Based Learning, 2013 Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Roberts-Smith, Jennifer, Shawn DeSouza-Coelho. “Game and Play: Designing Games in Shakespeare Studies.” Bishop, Tom, Gina Bloom, and Erika T. Lin, eds. Games and Theatre in Early Modern England. Cultures of Play, 1300-1700. Ashgate Press.Serious Games and Game Based LearningJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Jackson, R., Robinson, W., Simon, B. “Gleaning Strategies for Knowledge Sharing and Collective Assessment in the Art Classroom from the Video game Little Big Planet’s Creator Spotlights.” In V. Venkatesh, J.C. Castro, J.E. Lewis, J.Wallin, Educational, Behavioral, and Psychological Considerations in Niche Online Communities. Pennsylvania: IGI Global. (Chapter by Bart Simon) 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Arya, Ali and Luciara Nardon“GOOGLE IT: CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING IN THE INTERNET AGE,” Proceedings of EduLearn, Barcelona, Spain, July 7-9, 2014 .Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperCarleton
Camlot, Jason“PoetryLab: a close listening game for iOS.” Co-author with Ian A. Arawjo and Christine Mitchell. Presented by Ian Arawjo at CHI PLAY ’14, Toronto, Ontario, 22 October 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperConcordia
Roberts-Smith, Jennifer, Shawn DeSouza-Coelho, and Toby Malone. “Staging Shakespeare in Social Games: Towards a Theory of Theatrical Game Design.” Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare Appropriation 10.1. Special Issue: Social Media Shakespeare. Ed. Maurizio Calbi and Stephen O’Neill. 2016.Serious Games and Game Based LearningJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Kapralos, B., and B. Cowan.A “hands-on” introduction to serious games, and (virtual) simulation for health professions education. 3rd Annual Sunnybrook Education Conference: Technology-Enhanced Learning, Toronto, Canada, October 17, 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationMultiple Institutions
Kapralos, B., S. Fisher, J. Clarkson, and R. van OostveenA course on serious game design and development using an online problem-based learning approach. Interactive Technology and Smart Education , 12(2):116-136.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Kapralos, B. A course on the design and development of serious games and virtual simulations. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Games Innovation Conference. Rochester, NY, USA, September 7-9, 2012, pp. 83-86.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Northam, Leslie, G. V. G. Baranoski. A Novel First Principles Approach for the Estimation of the Sieve Factor of Blood Samples. Optics Express, Vol. 18, Iss. 7, pp. 7456-7469, 2010.Serious Games and Game Based Learning Journal ArticleUWaterloo
Tawadrous, M., S. Kevan, B. Kapralos, and A. HogueA serious game for incidence response education and training. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society, 8(4):177-184, 2012.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Cowan, B., and B. KapralosA survey of engines for serious games development. The 14th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT2014), Athens, Greece, pp. 662-664, July 7-10, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B., K. Kanev, and M. Jenkin. Advanced sound integration for toy-based computing. In P. C. K. Hung (Ed.) Mobile Services for Toy Computing, Springer, International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology, Chapter 6, pp. 107-127, 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Shewaga, R., D. Rojas, B. Kapralos, and J. BrennanAlpha testing of the Rapid Recovery kayaking-based exergame. In Proceedings of the IEEE Games Entertainment and Media (GEM) 2015 Conference, Toronto, Canada, pp. 1-4, October 14-16, 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Sangi, M., Thompson, B., Turuwhenua, J. An optokinetic nystagmus detection method for use with young children. IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, 99, 1-10. (2015). Serious Games and Game Based LearningJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Kapralos, B. An overview. Presentation given to the AboutKidsHealth group at the Hospital for Sick Children, Torono, Canada, Tuesday, March 4, 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Soto, C., M. Vargas, A. U. J. Quevedo, and B. KapralosAR Stereoscopic 3D examination  app. 9th IEEE International Conference on Interactive Mobile and Communication Technologies and Learning 2015, Thessaloniki, Greece, November 19-20, 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B. Audio-visual interactions and perceptual-based rendering in virtual environments and games. Audiovisual Arts Festival 2013: Art and Interculturalislm in the Mediterranean . Corfu, Greece, June 20-30, 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kamaleswaran, R., Wehbe, R.R., Edward Pugh, J., Nacke, L., McGregor, C., James, A. Collaborative multi-touch clinical handover system for the neonatal intensive care unit. Electronic Journal of Health Informatics, 9 (1), art. no. e5. (2015). Serious Games and Game Based Learning; Interactions and Gameplay MechanicsJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Kappen, D. L., Johannsmeier, J., & Nacke, L. E. Deconstructing “Gamified” Task-Management Applications. In Proceedings of Gamification 2013 (pp. 139–142). Stratford, ON, Canada: ACM. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/257347223_Deconstructing_Gamified_Task-Management_Applications/file/60b7d524f93ac2ff24.pdf. 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Wehbe, R. R., Robb, J., Clarke, J., Costa, J. P., & Nacke, L. E. Design Guidelines for Gamifying Reading Applications. In Proceedings of IEEE GEM 2014. Toronto, ON, Canada: IEEE. 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Wehbe, R. R., Robb, J., Clarke, J., Costa, J. P., & Nacke, L. E. Design Guidelines for Gamifying Reading Applications. In Proceedings of IEEE GEM 2014. Toronto, ON, Canada: IEEE. 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Collins, Karen., U. Önen and R. Stevens. Designing an International Curriculum Guideline: Problems and Solutions. Journal of Game Design and Development Education 1/1. 2011 Serious Games and Game Based LearningJournal Article
Rojas, D., B. Kapralos, S. Cristancho, K. Collins, A. Hogue, C. Conati, and A. Dubrowski Developing effective serious games: The effect of background sound on visual fidelity perception with varying texture resolution. Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 19, Newport Beach, CA, USA, February 9-11, 2012. Appears in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics,173:386-392, 2012.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B. Game on: Gaming in Medical Education. The 2nd Annual Sunnybrook Education Conference: Digital Learning , Toronto, Canada, October 10, 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Game-based learning, serious games, and computer science. 13 th Conference of the Association for Computer Studies Educators (ACSE) 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, November 24, 2012.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Gamification and serious games for health professions education and health care. GRAND Digital Health Forum , Vancouver, Canada, November 24, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Nacke, L. Gamification in your Classroom: Avoiding Stale Water in Fancy Juice Boxes. Guest lecture at University of Waterloo CEL and CTE, Kitchener, ON, Canada. (2014, April 22). Serious Games and Game Based LearningGuest LectureUWaterloo
Kapralos, B. Gaming, gamification, and serious games. Faculty of Engineering, The Nueva Granada Military University, Bogota, Colombia, September 18, 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Cowan, B. and B. KapralosGPU-based acoustical occlusion modeling for virtual environments and games. In Proceedings of the IEEE Games Innovation Conference (IGIC) 2013, Vancouver, Canada, September 23-25, 2013, pp. 48-49.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
de Ribaupierre, S., B. Kapralos, F. Haji, E. Stroulia, A. Dubrowski, and R. EaglesonHealthcare training enhancement through virtual reality and serious games. In M. Ma, C. Lakhmi, L. Jain, and P. Anderson (Eds.), Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Chapter 2, pp. 9-27, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Cowan, B. and B. KapralosInteractive rate acoustical occlusion/diffraction modeling for 2D virtual environments and games. In Proceedings of The Sixth International Conference on Information, Intelligence, Systems and Applications (IISA 2015), Corfu, Greece, July 6-8, 2015, .Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Cowan, B and B. KapralosInteractive rate virtual sound rendering engine. In Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Conference on Digital Signal Processing (DSP 2013).  Santorini, Greece, July 1-3, 2013, pp. 1-6.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Dubrowski, A., B. Kapralos, K. Kanev, and M. JenkinInterprofessional critical care training: Interactive virtual learning environments and simulations. In Proceedings of The Sixth International Conference on Information, Intelligence, Systems and Applications (IISA 2015), Corfu, Greece, July 6-8, 2015. Short paper. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Nacke, L. Invited symposium and talk, November 1, 2015, Gameful Approaches to Motivation and Engagement,The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. (2015)Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUWaterloo
Kapralos, B., F. Moussa, and A. DubrowskiLevels of fidelity and multimodal interactions. In P. Wouters and H. van Oostendorp (Eds.) Techniques to Improve the Effectiveness of Serious Games, Springer Advances in Game-based Learning Book Series (July 2016).Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Kapralos, B. Multi-modal interactions, perceptual-based rendering and the implications for virtual environments and serious games. 2013 International Conference on Multimedia and Human-Computer Interaction (MHCI'13), Toronto, Canada, July 18-20, 2013. Invited keynote presentation.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Schroeder, B., M. Kunanec, B. Kroese, O. Pollard, O. Sadoon, B. Kapralos, J. Brennan, E. Leach and J. JensonRapid recovery: A kayaking-based exergame for shoulder rehabilitation and physical fitness. In Proceedings of the IEEE Games Entertainment and Media (GEM) 2014, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 22-24, 2014, pp. 1-4.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Brook, A., S. Brahnam, L. Jain, and B. Kapralos (Eds.) Recent Advances in Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Wearables, Virtual Interactive Spaces (VIS)/Virtual Reality, Emotional Robots, Authoring tools, and Games (Serious/Gamification). Springer Series Studies in Computational Intelligence, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. 2017. (Book edited by Bill Kapralos). Serious Games and Game Based LearningBookMultiple Institutions
Cowan, B., H. Sabri, B. Kapralos, S. Cristancho, F. Moussa, and A. DubrowskiSCETF:  Serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework. In Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, City of Orange, CA, USA, pp. 130-133, November 2-4, 2011.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games and virtual simulation for health education. “Research in Health Education Apps and Technology” panel. Apps for Health and Education 2013 , Hamilton, Canada, May 16, 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentation/ PanelistUOIT
Kapralos, B., R. Shewaga, and G. NgSerious games and virtual simulations: Customizing the audio-visual interface. Well-Being, Rehabilitation, and Healthcare: Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy Parallel Session at the 6th International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, HCI International 2014, Crete, Greece, appears in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 8526, pp. 190-199. Invited paper and presentation, June 22-27, 2015. Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games and virtual simulations: Customizing the audio-visual interface. Well-Being, Rehabilitation, and Healthcare: Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy Parallel Session at the 6th International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, HCI International 2014, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPaper and PresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games for health professionals education. GRAND NCE Workshop: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Digital Media Jobs Creation . Edmonton, Canada, August 12, 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games for health professions education. University of Toronto, Educational Information Technology Summer Student Award Program . St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada, August 27. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games for medical education. Faculty of Medicine, The Nueva Granada Military University, Bogota, Colombia, September 16, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games for surgery education and training. Symposium on the Advances in Simulation-Based Surgical Education . Bucaramanga, Colombia, July 27-28, 2012. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious games for surgical education and training. macGRID Simulation Research Network Workshop 2012 . Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, November 7-8, 2012.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Kapralos, B. Serious Games in Education and Health. Universidad La Araucanana, Santiago, Chile, November 12, 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Uribe-Quevedo, A., and B. KapralosShoulder rehabilitation exergaming. In A. Brooks, S. Branham, B. Kapralos, and L. Jain (Eds.) Recent Advances in Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Wearables, Virtual Interactive Spaces (VIS)/Virtual Reality, Emotional Robots, Authoring tools, and Games (Serious/Gamification), Springer Intelligent Systems Reference Library series. 2017.Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Cowan, B., D. Rojas, B. Kapralos, K. Collins, and A. DubrowskiSpatial sound and its effect on visual quality perception and task performance within a virtual environment. In Proceedings of the 21st International Congress on Acoustics, Montreal, Canada, June 2-7, 2013, pp. 1-7. Invited paper.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Cowan, B., D. Rojas, B. Kapralos, K. Collins, and A. DubrowskiSpatial sound and its effect on visual quality perception and task performance within a virtual environment. Proceedings of the 21st International Congress on Acoustics , June 2-7, 2013, Montreal, Canada. Invited presentation. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationMultiple Institutions
Brook, A., S. Brahnam, L. Jain, and B. Kapralos (Eds.)
Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Wearables, Virtual Interactive Spaces (VIS)/Virtual Reality, Emotional Robots, Authoring tools, and Games (Serious/Gamification), Springer Intelligent Systems Reference Library series. 2017.Serious Games and Game Based LearningJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Rojas, D., B. Cowan, B. Kapralos, K. Collins, and A. DubrowskiThe effect of contextual sound cues on visual fidelity perception. Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2014, Manhattan Beach, CA, USA, February 20-22, 2014. Appears in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics,196:346-352, 2014.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Nowlan, Nuket, Ali Arya, Eleanor Riesen, Michelle MorleyThe Effect of Perceived Ease of Use on Virtual Team Performance, International Journal of Ubiquitous Learning 4.4, January 2013. 59-72.Serious Games and Game-based Learning; Cultural and Social InteractionsJournal ArticleMultiple Institutions
Rojas, D., B. Kapralos, A. Hogue, K. Collins, L. Nacke, S. Cristancho, C. Conati, and A. DubrowskiThe effect of sound on visual fidelity perception in stereoscopic 3-D. IEEE Transactions on System Man and Cybernetics part B, 43(6): 1572 – 1583, 2013. (IF: 3.469)Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Rojas, D., B. Cowan, B. Kapralos, K. Collins, and A. DubrowskiThe effect of sound on visual quality perception and task completion time in a cel-shaded serious gaming virtual environment. In Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Workshop on Quality of Multimedia Experience, Messinia, Greece, pp. 1-6, May 26-29 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Cullen, B., D. Galperin, K. Collins, A. Hogue, and B. KapralosThe effects of 5.1 sound presentations on the perception of stereoscopic imagery in video games. In Proceedings of Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XXIV, San Francisco, CA, USA, pp. 1-13, February 3-7, 2013.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Cullen, B., D. Galperin, K. Collins, B. Kapralos, and A. HogueThe effects of audio on depth perception in S3D games. Audio Mostly 2012, Corfu, Greece, 2012, pp. 32-39, September 26-28.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Tawadrous, M., D. Rojas, B. Kapralos, A. Hogue, and A. DubrowskiThe effects of stereoscopic 3D on knowledge retention within a serious gaming environment. Multimedia Tools and Applications, vol. 76, no. 5, Mar. 2017, pp. 7301–7319., doi:10.1007/s11042-016-3394-2.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Fowler, A., Khosmood, F., Arya, A., & Lai, G. The Global Game Jam as a venue for teaching and learning, In M. Lopez & M. Verhaart (Eds.) Proceedings of the 4th Annual Conference of Computing and Information Technology, Education and Research in New Zealand (incorporating 26th Annual NACCQ), Hamilton, New Zealand, 2013.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperCarleton
Kapralos, B. The influence and importance of sound and music in virtual learning environments. 1ο Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο Καλλιτεχνικής Παιδείας . Patra, Greece, June 18, 2015. Serious Games and Game Based LearningKeynoteUOIT
Kappen, D. L., & Nacke, L. E. The Kaleidoscope of Effective Gamification: Deconstructing Gamification in Business Applications. In Proceedings of Gamification 2013 (pp. 119–122). Stratford, ON, Canada: ACM. Retrieved from http://www.researchgate.net/publication/257347108_The_Kaleidoscope_of_Effective_Gamification_Deconstructing_Gamification_in_Business_Applications/file/3deec524f92cf31fbf.pdf. 2013.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Grierson, L. E. M., M. Barry, B. Kapralos, H. Carnahan, and A. DubrowskiThe role of collaborative interactivity in the observational practice of clinical skills. Medical Education, 46(4):409-416, 2012. (2014 IF: 3.196).Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperMultiple Institutions
Cowan, B., B. Kapralos, S. Cristancho, F. Moussa, and A. DubrowskiThe serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework. Graphics Interface 2012 Poster Presentation (extended abstract), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 28-30, 2012.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Cowan, B., B. Kapralos, F. Moussa, and A. DubrowskiThe serious gaming surgical cognitive education and training framework and the SKY Script language. In Proceedings of the Workshop on VRtools for Education/Training (VRtoolsEd 2015), Eighth EAI International Conference on Simulation Tools and Techniques, Athens, Greece, pp. 308-310, August 24-26, 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B., and A. DubrowskiThe use of virtual learning environments to augment and extend simulation-based health professional’s education. Healthcare Simulation Conference and Networking Event: Simulation and Technology for Improved HealthCare and Education. Toronto, Canada, March 2, 2012. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationMultiple Institutions
Collins, K., A. Hodge, B. Kapralos and R. DockwrayVeemix: Integration of Musical User-Generated Content in Games. In Proceedings of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Audio For Games 2015, London, UK, February 11-13 2015.Serious Games and Game Based LearningConf. PaperUOIT
Kapralos, B. Virtual simulation and serious gaming: Audio-visual interactions, perceptual-based rendering, and the implications. The 16 th International Conference on Humans and Computers ( HC-2013 ), December 17, 2013, Hamamatsu, Japan.Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentationUOIT
Stuckless, P., M. Hogan, and B. KapralosVirtual Simulations and Serious Games in Community Health Nursing Education: A Review of the Literature. In M. Ma, C. Lakhmi, L. Jain, and P. Anderson (Eds.), Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Chapter 7, pp. 145-158, 2014. Serious Games and Game Based LearningBook ChapterMultiple Institutions
Shewaga, R., and B. KapralosZ-DOC: A serious game for Z-plasty procedure training. Ontario Simulation Expo 2013 , Toronto, Canada, December 5-6, 2013. Serious Games and Game Based LearningPresentation and DemoMultiple Institutions

Abstracts

“Effects of sound on visual realism perception and task performance.”

Before the application of virtual simulations and serious games for surgical education and training becomes more widespread, there are a number of open questions and issues that must be addressed including the relationship between realism, multi-modal cue interaction, immersion, and knowledge transfer and retention. Using the serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework developed specifically for cognitive surgical skills training, here we examine the effect of sound on visual realism perception and task completion time while performing a task within a virtual environment. Our preliminary experimental results indicate that the appropriate use of sound can lead to performance improvements when performing a task within a virtual environment without a corresponding decrease in the perception of visual realism.

Read it in full here.

An International Study on Learning and Process Choices in the Global Game Jam

This paper reports the results of an online survey done by Global Game Jam (GGJ) participants in January 2012. This is an expansion of an earlier survey of a local game jam event and seeks to validate and extend previous studies. The objectives of this survey were collecting demographic information about the GGJ participants, understanding their motivations, studying the effectiveness of GGJ as a learning and community-building experience, and understanding the process used by GGJ participants to make a computer game in extremely limited time. The survey was done in two phases: pre-jam and post-jam. Collectively, the information in this survey can be used to (1) plan different learning experiences, (2) revise the development process for professional and academic projects, and (3) provide additional elements to game jams or change their structures based on the participants’ comments to make them more fruitful.

Read it in full here.

PoetryLab: a close listening game for iOS

PoetryLab is a close listening game for iOS in which players manipulate a virtual reel-to-reel tape machine and learn editing techniques to solve sound puzzles featuring recorded poetry. Gameplay teaches players about poetry and recording media from both auditory and archival perspectives. Players are trained to listen to and interact with recorded speech in new and unfamiliar ways as they discover the provenance of the poetry excerpts — a university reading series held in 1960-1970s Montreal.

Read it in full here.

“Staging Shakespeare in Social Games: Towards a Theory of Theatrical Game Design.”

This essay discusses the theoretical implications of a recent experiment with game-based social media to increase Shakespeare literacy in eleven to fifteen-year-olds. In collaboration with the Stratford Festival, we aimed to make the gameplay of our pilot, Staging Shakespeare, and the social space it generated, experientially theatrical in some way. While the pilot itself was not, in our view, successful, the design process helped us articulate a theory of theatricality grounded in the ontological complexity of theatrical things and the ontogenetic conditions of theatrical environments. Our conclusion is that literal simulations of Shakespeare’s plays or of Shakespearean theater production may not be the richest way to teach Shakespeare through social games. Instead, we may need a design theory grounded in the adaptation of theatrical principles to electronic media, and perhaps a new aesthetic and even a rhetoric of gameplay only associatively related to Shakespeare.

Read it in full here.

A course on serious game design and development using an online problem-based learning approach

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to describe a novel undergraduate course on serious game design and development that integrates both game and instructional design, thus providing an effective approach to teaching serious game design and development. Very little effort has been dedicated to the teaching of proper serious game design and development leading to many examples of serious games that provide little, if any, educational value.

Design/methodology/approach
– Organized around a collection of video clips (that provided a brief contextualized overview of the topic and questions for further exploration), readings, interdisciplinary research projects and games, the course introduced the principles of game and instructional design, educational theories used to support game-based learning and methods for evaluating serious games. Discussions and activities supported the problems that students worked on throughout the course to develop a critical stance and approach toward implementing game-based learning. Students designed serious games and examined potential issues and complexities involved in developing serious games and incorporating them within a teaching curriculum.

Findings
– Results of student course evaluations reveal that the course was fun and engaging. Students found the course fun and engaging, and through the successful completion of the final course project, all students met all of the course objectives. A discussion regarding the techniques and approaches used in the course that were successful (or unsuccessful) is provided.

Research limitations/implications
– It should be noted that a more detailed analysis has not been presented to fully demonstrate the effectiveness of the course. A more detailed analysis may have included a comparison with, for example, past versions of the course that was not based on an online problem-based learning (PBL) approach, to better quantify the effectiveness of the course. However, such a comparison could not be carried out here, given there was no measure of prior knowledge of students taken before they took course (e.g. no “pre-test data”).

Originality/value
– Unlike the few existing courses dedicated to serious game design, the course was designed specifically to facilitate a fully online PBL approach and provided students the opportunity to take control of their own learning through active research, exploration and problem-solving alone, in groups and through facilitated class discussions.

Read it in full here.

A novel first principles approach for the estimation of the sieve factor of blood samples.

Light may traverse a turbid material, such as blood, without encountering any of its pigment containing structures, a phenomenon known as sieve effect. This phenomenon may result in a decrease in the amount of light absorbed by the material. Accordingly, the corresponding sieve factor needs to be accounted for in optical investigations aimed at the derivation of blood biophysical properties from light transmittance measurements. The existing procedures used for its estimation either lack the flexibility required for practical applications or are based on general formulas that incorporate other light and matter interaction phenomena such as detour (scattering) effects. In this paper, a ray optics framework is proposed to estimate the sieve factor for blood samples. It employs a first principles approach to account for the distribution, orientation and shape of the cells that contain hemoglobin, the essential (oxygen-carrying) pigment found in human blood. Within this framework, ray-casting techniques are used to determine the probability that light can traverse a blood sample without encountering any of these cells. The predictive capabilities of the proposed framework are demonstrated through a series of in silico experiments. Its effectiveness is further illustrated by visualizations depicting the different blood parameterizations considered in the simulations.

Read it in full here.

A Serious Game for Incidence Response Education and Training

A critical incident at any institution may include bomb threats, assault, bio-hazardous spills, civil disobedience, electrical outage, fire or explosion, gas leak, natural disasters, infectious diseases, and terrorist threats. Although many employees know of this type of situation, most are not properly trained with respect to how to react when a critical incident occurs, nor do they understand lockdown procedures. Serious games refer to video games that are used for training, advertising, simulation, or education and inherently support experiential learning by providing students with concrete experiences and active experimentation allowing users to experience situations that are difficult (even impossible) to achieve in reality due to a number of factors including cost, time, and safety concerns. Here we describe the development of an interactive, multi-player (3D) serious game for the purpose of incidence response procedure education and training. Users are placed (via an avatar) within the three-dimension rendering of their workplace environment (e.g., university, college, hospital) in a first-person perspective. Within the virtual world, users encounter a particular emergency incidence (a specific “scenario”) that requires their response. They carry out their required tasks which will involve making various choices; making the correct choice will allow them to proceed with the scenario whereas an incorrect choice will present the user with information indicating why their choice was incorrect etc. The goal is to handle the emergency situation appropriately. Within the scope of this paper, a toxic fire scenario is being developed where the task of the user/player is to extinguish a fire in a typical chemical laboratory through the proper use of a fire extinguisher (available within the laboratory) and more specifically, using the Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep (or P. A. S. S.) method.

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A Survey of Frameworks and Game Engines for Serious Game Development

Given the sparsity of standard game engines and frameworks for serious game development, developers of serious games typically rely on entertainment-based game development tools. However, given the large number of game engines and frameworks dedicated to entertainment game development, deciding on which tool to employ may be difficult. A literature review that examined the frameworks and game engines used to develop serious games was recently conducted. Here, a list of the most commonly identified frameworks and game engines and a summary of their features is provided. The results presented provide insight to those seeking tools to develop serious games.

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Alpha testing of the rapid recovery Kayaking-based exergame

Rapid Recovery is a novel engaging exergame intended to facilitate shoulder rehabilitation and physical fitness through a kayak simulation across several courses/scenarios. Here we present the results of alpha testing that was conducted to examine initial functionality of Rapid Recovery and to gauge the game’s clarity of content, ease of use, and the user interface. Preliminary results have provided us useful feedback that will aid future development and have provided us with insight regarding user perceptions with respect to exergaming.

Read it in full here.

An Optokinetic Nystagmus Detection Method for Use With Young Children

The detection of vision problems in early childhood can prevent neurodevelopmental disorders such as amblyopia. However, accurate clinical assessment of visual function in young children is challenging. optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) is a reflexive sawtooth motion of the eye that occurs in response to drifting stimuli, that may allow for objective measurement of visual function in young children if appropriate child-friendly eye tracking techniques are available. In this paper, we present offline tools to detect the presence and direction of the optokinetic reflex in children using consumer grade video equipment. Our methods are tested on video footage of children (equation M1 children and 20 trials) taken as they freely observed visual stimuli that induced horizontal OKN. Using results from an experienced observer as a baseline, we found the sensitivity and specificity of our OKN detection method to be 89.13% and 98.54%, respectively, across all trials. Our OKN detection results also compared well (85%) with results obtained from a clinically trained assessor. In conclusion, our results suggest that OKN presence and direction can be measured objectively in children using consumer grade equipment, and readily implementable algorithms.

Read it in full here.

AR stereoscopic 3D Human Eye Examination App

The fundus eye exam, an important ophthalmologic assessment procedure that allows examining the eye’s health, is taught by demonstration and guided practices whereby the trainees practice on each other and expertise is gained through experience using an ophthalmoscope. However, in addition to the issues associated with such an apprenticeship model, the anatomy of the eye’s intricate oculomotor system is conceptually difficult for novice trainees to grasp. The examination is based on 2D eye fundus images that without proper training and skills abnormalities in the eye can be overlooked. Although virtual anatomy and simulators are available to alleviate some of these issues, these still require an elevated investment and infrastructure and are typically limited to one user at a time. Our ongoing work is seeing the development of an engaging and interactive stereoscopic augmented reality app. The app allows a student to navigate, in an immersive stereoscopic 3D environment, the inner volumetric shape of the eye important to detect features and pathologies.

Read it in full here.

“Establishing Design Guidelines in Interactive Exercise Gaming: Preliminary Data from Two Posing Studies”

Interactive gaming has demonstrated promise as a low-cost, at-home training and fitness instruction alternative. Gaming systems offer convenience and the ability to provide enhanced reporting and progress data if body measurement information is collected effectively. However, commercially available systems today are designed primarily for entertainment and as a result, the quality of instruction delivery and level of involvement may not meet the needs of a user performing a disciplined activity.

This paper will look at adapting for occlusion and lack of visibility; learning and orientation; and providing feedback in an effort to determine if there is an ideal visual demonstration delivery that maximizes pose understanding and user self-efficacy, determine whether supplementary modalities are important for instruction, and determine if there is an ideal feedback delivery that promotes pose comprehension, confidence and motivation. This information can provide a guideline for designing clear and supportive, interactive training systems that can engage users, prevent injury and help maintain fitness.

Read it in full here.

“Gamification of Exercise and Fitness using Wearable Activity Trackers”

Wearable technologies are a growing industry with significant potential in different aspects of health and fitness. Gamification of health and fitness, on the other hand, has recently become a popular field of research. Accordingly, we believe that wearable devices have the potential to be utilized towards gamification of fitness and exercise. In this paper, we first review several popular activity tracking wearable devices, their characteristics and specifications, and their application programming interface (API) capabilities and availabilities, which will enable them to be employed by third party developers for the purpose at hand. The feasibility and potential advantages of utilizing wearables for gamification of health and fitness are then discussed. Finally, we develop a pilot prototype as a case-study for this concept, and perform preliminary user studies which will help further explore the proposed concept.

Read it in full here.

“The Other Side of the Valley; Or, Between Freud and Videogames.”

Abstract. Wearable technologies are a growing industry with significant potential in different aspects of health and fitness. Gamification of health and fitness, on the other hand, has recently become a popular field of research. Accordingly, we believe that wearable devices have the potential to be utilized towards gamification of fitness and exercise. In this paper, we first review several popular activity tracking wearable devices, their characteristics and specifications, and their application programming interface (API) capabilities and availabilities, which will enable
them to be employed by third party developers for the purpose at hand. The feasibility and potential advantages of utilizing wearables for gamification of health and fitness are then discussed. Finally, we develop a pilot prototype as a case-study for this concept, and perform preliminary user studies which will help further explore the proposed concept.

Read it in full here.

BrainHex: A Neurobiological Gamer Typology Survey

This paper briefly presents a player satisfaction model called BrainHex, which was based on insights from neurobiological findings as well as the results from earlier demographic game design models (DGD1 and DGD2). The model presents seven different archetypes of players: Seeker, Survivor, Daredevil, Mastermind, Conqueror, Socialiser, and Achiever. We explain how each of these player archetypes relates to older player typologies (such as Myers-Briggs), and how each archetype characterizes a specific playing style. We conducted a survey among more than 50,000 players using the BrainHex model as a personality type motivator to gather and compare demographic data to the different BrainHex archetypes. We discuss some results from this survey with a focus on psychometric orientation of respondents, to establish relationships between personality types and BrainHex archetypes.

Read it in full here.

Effects of impulsivity, reinforcement sensitivity, and cognitive style on Pathological Gambling symptoms among frequent slot machine players

Pathological Gambling (PG) is the inability to resist recurrent urges to gamble excessively despite harmful consequences to the gambler or others. A cognitive-behavioral Pathways Model of PG (Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) suggests individual differences in rash impulsivity and reward sensitivity, together with a cognitive style that promotes poor decision making, as risk factors. These individual differences were examined in a community sample of experienced slot machine players (N = 100), who were classified into Low, Moderate, and Problem gambling groups according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (Ferris & Wynne, 2001). There were significant group differences on rash impulsivity as measured by the Eysenck Impulsivity scale, and on reward sensitivity as measured by the BIS/BAS Drive scale. For cognitive style, there were differences on Actively Openminded Thinking (AOT), but not the Rational Experiential Inventory. Hierarchical regression analyses found that impulsivity and AOT predicted severity of PG, but that AOT mediated the effect of BAS Drive. A thinking style that promotes erroneous cognition may correlate with PG, but individual differences in rash impulsivity and reward-seeking play a more critical role in the etiology of PG. The individual characteristics of Pathological Gamblers are similar to those of people with Substance Use Disorders.

Read it in full here.

Near-Misses and Stop Buttons in Slot Machine Play: An Investigation of How They Affect Players, and May Foster Erroneous Cognitions

In modern casinos, multiline slot machines are becoming increasingly popular compared to traditional, three-reel slot machines. A paucity of research has examined how the unique presentation of near-misses and the use of a stop button in multiline slot machines impact erroneous cognitions related to the perception of skill and agency during play. Our goal therefore was to determine the prevalence of erroneous cognitions pertaining to near-miss outcomes and the usage of a stop button and then to see whether the stop button affected players’ experiences of winning, losing and near-miss outcomes. We recruited 132 gamblers from a casino in Ontario. They played two versions of a slot machine simulator: one with a stop button and one without a stop button. We measured player’s arousal [skin conductance responses (SCRs), pressure on the spin-button), and behavioural responses (post-reinforcement pauses (PRPs)] to wins, losses and near-misses during play. We predicted more robust physiological SCRs and longer PRPs to wins in the stop button game. We also predicted that near-misses encountered in the stop button game would trigger greater levels of arousal and frustration in players, as indexed by larger SCRs, and greater force applied to the spin button to initiate the next spin. Erroneous cognitions pertaining to the stop button and near-misses respectively were assessed following play. Results showed that a small but meaningful percentage of players held erroneous cognitions about the stop button (13.6%) and near-misses (16%). Players depressed the spin button harder, and had larger SCRs for all outcomes when using the stop button. Players also paused longer for near-misses in the game involving the stop button. Our findings converge to suggest that the stop button encourages an erroneous perception of skill in some players, and consequentially impacts how such players perceive their outcomes in multiline slot machines.

Read it in full here.

Interactive rate acoustical occlusion/diffraction modeling for 2D virtual environments & games

Despite the importance of acoustical diffraction (the “bending” of sound around an obstacle) in the real-world, diffraction in virtual environments and game worlds is often overlooked. Part of this stems from the fact that modeling occlusion/diffraction effects is a difficult and computationally intensive task. Inspired by our previous work that saw the development of a three-dimensional acoustical occlusion method, here we present a method that approximates acoustical occlusion/diffraction effects for dynamic and interactive two-dimensional virtual environments and games (or three-dimensional environments that can be approximated by a two-dimensional mapping). We also discuss an innovative use for the method allowing it to be incorporated into the artificial intelligence of non-player characters (e.g., enemies), allowing them to “perceive” sounds and therefore behave in a more natural, and realistic manner. Preliminary experimental results demonstrate that the method is capable of operating at interactive rates.

Read it in full here.

Spatial sound rendering for dynamic virtual environments

We present the details of a virtual sound rendering engine (VSRE) that is being developed for virtual environments and serious games. The VSRE incorporates innovative graphics processing unit-based methods to allow for the approximation of acoustical occlusion/diffraction and reverberation effects at interactive rates. In addition, the VSRE includes a GPU-based method that performs the one-dimensional convolution allowing for the incorporation of head-related transfer functions also at interactive rates. The VSRE is being developed as a research tool for examining multi-modal (audio-visual) interactions through the simple manipulation of the acoustic environment and audio parameters (sound quality), that will, through a series of human-based experiments, allow for the testing of the effect of varying these parameters may have on immersion, engagement, and visual fidelity perception within a virtual environment. Finally, we also provide a running time comparison of several one-dimensional convolution.

Read it in full here.

Interprofessional critical care training: Interactive virtual learning environments and simulations

Interprofessional critical care training (ICCT) is an important activity that helps develop and formalize an understanding of the roles, expertise, and unique contributions attributed to members of multi-disciplinary teams in critical situations. Such training is of particular importance for teams that operate under tight time constraints in highly stressful conditions, such as that found in medicine. Here we describe our first steps towards developing a virtual learning environment (simulation) specifically aimed at ICCT for pediatric critical care teams. Our virtual learning environment employs a tabletop computing platform with novel image-based sensing technologies to enable collaboration and interaction amongst a group of trainees while promoting a learner-centric approach where the simulation is tailored specifically to the needs of each trainee.

Read it in full here.

Rapid recovery: a kayaking-based exergame for shoulder rehabilitation and physical fitness

We present Rapid Recovery, a novel engaging exergame intended to facilitate shoulder rehabilitation, and physical fitness through a kayak simulation across several courses/scenarios. Central to Rapid Recovery is the Spincore Inc. Helium 6 baton, a unique stand-alone fitness and rehabilitation device. Using a Microsoft Kinect stereo vision sensor, the player’s kayak paddling motions of the Helium 6 baton are captured at interactive rates, and mapped to movements in the game world. Rapid Recovery supports multiple players, allowing the opportunity for players to race each other. Rapid Recovery provides users with an engaging, interactive, motivating and fun environment while promoting physical rehabilitation, and general physical fitness.

Read it in full here.

SCETF:  Serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework

Surgical proficiency requires command of both technical and cognitive skills. Although at times overlooked, cognitive skills training allows residents to practise detecting errors ultimately leading to a reduction of errors. Virtual simulations and serious games offer a viable alternative to practice in an actual operating room where traditionally both technical and cognitive skills acquisition takes places. They provide residents the opportunity to train until they reach a specific competency level in a safe, cost effective, fun, and engaging manner allowing them to make more effective use of their limited training time in the operating room. Here we introduce a serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework (SCETF) that is currently being developed specifically for cognitive surgical skills training. Domain-specific surgical “modules” can then be built on top of the existing framework, utilizing common simulation elements/assets. The SCETF is being developed as a research tool where various simulation parameters such as levels of audio and visual fidelity, can be easily adjusted allowing for the controlled testing of such factors on knowledge transfer and retention.

Read it in full here.

Serious Games: Customizing the Audio-Visual Interface

Serious games are gaining in popularity within a wide range of educational and training applications given their ability to engage and motivate learners in the educational process. Recent hardware and computational advancements are providing developers the opportunity to develop applications that employ a high level of fidelity (realism) and novel interaction techniques. However, despite these great advances in hardware and computational power, real-time high fidelity rendering of complex virtual environments (found in many serious games) across all modalities is still not feasible. Perceptual-based rendering exploits various aspects of the multi-modal perceptual system to reduce computational requirements without any resulting perceptual effects on the resulting scene. A series of human-based experiments demonstrated a potentially strong effect of sound on visual fidelity perception, and task performance. However, the resulting effects were subjective whereby the influence of sound was dependent on various individual factors including musical listening preferences. This suggests the importance of customizing (individualizing) a serious game’s virtual environment with respect to audio-visual fidelity, background sounds, etc. In this paper details regarding this series of audio-visual experiments will be provided followed by a description of current work that is examining the customization of a serious game’s virtual environment by each user through the use of a game-based calibration method.

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Spatial sound and its effect on visual quality perception and task performance within a virtual environment

Immersive 3D virtual environments such as simulations and serious games for education and training are typically multimodal, incorporating at the very least both visual and auditory cues, each of which may require considerable computational resources, particularly if high fidelity environments are sought. It is widely accepted that sound can influence the other modalities. Our own previous work has shown that sound cues (both contextual and non-contextual with respect to the visual scene) can either increase or decrease (depending on the sound) visual fidelity (quality) perception in addition to the time required to complete a simple task (task completion time) within a virtual environment. However, despite the importance and benefits of spatial sound (sound that goes far beyond traditional stereo and surround sound techniques, allowing users to perceive the position of a sound source at an arbitrary position in three-dimensional space), our previous work did not consider spatial sound cues. Here we will build upon our previous work by describing the results of an experiment that will be conducted to examine visual fidelity (quality) perception and task performance in the presence of various spatial sound cues including acoustical reverberation and occlusion/diffraction effects, while completing a simple task within a virtual environment.

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The effect of contextual sound cues on visual fidelity perception.

Previous work has shown that sound can affect the perception of visual fidelity. Here we build upon this previous work by examining the effect of contextual sound cues (i.e., sounds that are related to the visuals) on visual fidelity perception. Results suggest that contextual sound cues do influence visual fidelity perception and, more specifically, our perception of visual fidelity increases with contextual sound cues. These results have implications for designers of multimodal virtual worlds and serious games that, with the appropriate use of contextual sounds, can reduce visual rendering requirements without a corresponding decrease in the perception of visual fidelity.

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The effect of perceived ease of use on virtual team performance

In this study, an immersive virtual environment was designed for students from different disciplines to practice their teamwork skills. In the case of a domestic violence 911 call, an emergency team is formed with police officers, nurses, child care workers and paramedics. The newly formed team needs to collaborate and communicate effectively to handle the situation. An avatar based virtual environment was designed to provide a simulation opportunity to team members. Visually, the virtual environment appears to the user as a campus with a series of buildings that avatars can enter and performs related simulations. A police office, fire hall, five houses and two government building were created for that purpose as well as collaboration spaces and lecture hall. An auditorium is designed as well for group briefing and lecturing. Sixty recent graduate participants simulate their teamwork both in person and in an immersive virtual environment, collectively, in real time. These simulations were recorded and evaluated by a group of experts. Participants’ performance were evaluated both individually and as a team. Research team surveyed learners to understand perceived ease of use of the technology as well. Collected data analyzed to identify relationships between perceived ease of use and individuals/team performance over teamwork skill dimensions such as; collaboration, communication, role and responsibilities, conflict management, team functioning. We have identified a strong relationship between perceived ease of use and conflict management skill and overall performance.

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The effect of sound on visual fidelity perception in stereoscopic 3-D

Visual and auditory cues are important facilitators of user engagement in virtual environments and video games. Prior research supports the notion that our perception of visual fidelity (quality) is influenced by auditory stimuli. Understanding exactly how our perception of visual fidelity changes in the presence of multimodal stimuli can potentially impact the design of virtual environments, thus creating more engaging virtual worlds and scenarios. Stereoscopic 3-D display technology provides the users with additional visual information (depth into and out of the screen plane). There have been relatively few studies that have investigated the impact that auditory stimuli have on our perception of visual fidelity in the presence of stereoscopic 3-D. Building on previous work, we examine the effect of auditory stimuli on our perception of visual fidelity within a stereoscopic 3-D environment.

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The effect of sound on visual quality perception and task completion time in a cel-shaded serious gaming virtual environment.

Here we investigate the effect of sound on the perception of visual realism and the time required to complete a simple navigation-based task within a serious gaming (virtual) environment under various sound and visual conditions. Results indicate that the perception of visual realism and task completion time can be affected by sound. Designers and developers of serious games (and virtual environments in general) should be aware of the effects of sound on a user’s perception of the visual scene and on task completion time, and they should thus ensure that sound is carefully considered when creating such environments.

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The effects of 5.1 sound presentations on the perception of stereoscopic imagery in video games.

Stereoscopic 3D (S3D) content in games, film and other audio-visual media has been steadily increasing over the past number of years. However, there are still open, fundamental questions regarding its implementation, particularly as it relates to a multi-modal experience that involves sound and haptics. Research has shown that sound has considerable impact on our perception of 2D phenomena, but very little research has considered how sound may influence stereoscopic 3D. Here we present the results of an experiment that examined the effects of 5.1 surround sound (5.1) and stereo loudspeaker setups on depth perception in relation to S3D imagery within a video game environment. Our aim was to answer the question: “can 5.1 surround sound enhance the participant’s perception of depth in the stereoscopic field when compared to traditional stereo sound presentations?” In addition, our study examined how the presence or absence of Doppler frequency shift and frequency fall-off audio effects can also influence depth judgment under these conditions. Results suggest that 5.1 surround sound presentations enhance the apparent depth of stereoscopic imagery when compared to stereo presentations. Results also suggest that the addition of audio effects such as Doppler shift and frequency fall-off filters can influence the apparent depth of S3D objects.

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The effects of audio on depth perception in S3D games.

Although studies have examined sound localization or stereoscopic perception, few have investigated how these phenomena work together. Studies that examine 2D imagery and sound interaction have highlighted numerous phenomena in the temporal, spatial, and the formal domains of each medium. With the resurgence of interest in stereoscopic 3D (S3D), research into the combined effects of S3D and sound is of importance.

Here we present the results of an experiment that examined the effects of sound on depth perception in relation to S3D video game imagery. Our aim was to answer the question: “can a sound’s timbre and/or the addition of distance audio effects influence the user’s depth perception accuracy?” Results suggest that depth perception is affected by sound, were sound can distort the apparent depth of audible S3D objects. Results also suggest that audio effects, specifically frequency fall-off over distance effects, can also influence the apparent depth of S3D objects.

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The effects of stereoscopic 3D on knowledge retention within a serious gaming environment.

We present the results of an experiment that investigated the effects of stereoscopic 3D viewing on knowledge retention with respect to a spatial interactive task within a serious game that was designed for fire safety training. Participants were trained to identify the safe distance to remain from a (virtual) fire in both stereoscopic 3D and non-stereoscopic 3D contexts. After a 24 h period, they were then tested to determine whether they retained the information that they were taught. Contrary to prior work that suggests stereoscopic 3D has an impact on knowledge retention, our results indicate no significant difference between knowledge retention in a stereoscopic 3D versus a non-stereoscopic 3D interactive environment. Although greater work remains to be done and no firm conclusions can be made regarding the use of stereoscopic 3D, our results have shown that stereoscopic 3D does not always lead to greater performance. Our results have implications for designers of serious games; the discussion and decision to use stereoscopic 3D should be incorporated early in the design phase and there should be some consideration placed on individualized calibration of stereoscopic 3D settings.

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The Global Game Jam as a venue for teaching and learning

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game development activity. Every year since 2009, thousands of computer game enthusiasts participate in this forty-eight hour challenge to make games around the same theme. While game jams, ‘hackathons’, and game festivals existed before the GGJ, and continue to proliferate, the GGJ 2009 was perhaps the first time such events were held in multiple physical spaces (23 countries) at the same time. In this paper, we track the growth of GGJ using multiple dimensions, and discuss the potential for research and teaching through this popular activity.

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The Kaleidoscope of Effective Gamification: Deconstructing Gamification in Business Applications.

Developers of gamified business applications face the challenge of creating motivating gameplay strategies and creative design techniques to deliver subject matter not typically associated with games in a playful way. We currently have limited models that frame what makes gamification effective (i.e., engaging people with a business application). Thus, we propose a design-centric model and analysis tool for gamification: The kaleidoscope of effective gamification. We take a look at current models of game design, self-determination theory and the principles of systems design to deconstruct the gamification layer in the design of these applications. Based on the layers of our model, we provide design guidelines for effective gamification of business applications.

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The role of collaborative interactivity in the observational practice of clinical skills

CONTEXT:
Video-based observational practice can extend simulation-based learning outside the training space. This study explores the value of collaborative feedback provided during observational practice to the acquisition of clinical skills.

METHODS:
Nursing students viewed a video demonstrating the proper ventrogluteal injection technique before performing a videotaped pre-test trial on a simulator. They were then assigned randomly to one of three observational practice groups: a group that observed the expert demonstration (EO group); a group that viewed the expert demonstration, self-assessed their individual pre-test and contrasted their self-assessments with expert feedback (ESO group), and a group that observed the expert demonstration, self-assessed and contrasted their assessments with those of an expert, and formed a community that engaged in peer-to-peer feedback (ESPO group). The observation of all videos, the provision of assessments and all networking occurred via an Internet-mediated network. After 2 weeks, participants returned for post-tests and transfer tests.

RESULTS:
The pre-test-post-test analyses revealed significant interactions (global rating scale: F((2,22)) =4.00 [p =0.033]; checklist: F((2,22)) =4.31 [p =0.026]), which indicated that post-test performance in the ESPO group was significantly better than pre-test performance. The transfer analyses revealed main effects for both the global rating scale (F((2,23)) =6.73; p =0.005) and validated checklist (F((2,23)) =7.04; p =0.004) measures. Participants in the ESPO group performed better on the transfer test than those in the EO group.

CONCLUSIONS:
The results suggest that video-based observational practice can be effective in extending simulation-based learning, but its effectiveness is mediated by the amount of time the learner spends engaged in the practice and the type of learning activities the learner performs in the observational practice environment. We speculate that increasing collaborative interactivity supports observational learning by increasing the extent to which the educational environment can accommodate learners’ specific needs.

Read it in full here.

SCETF: Serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework

Surgical proficiency requires command of both technical and cognitive skills. Although at times overlooked, cognitive skills training allows residents to practise detecting errors ultimately leading to a reduction of errors. Virtual simulations and serious games offer a viable alternative to practice in an actual operating room where traditionally both technical and cognitive skills acquisition takes places. They provide residents the opportunity to train until they reach a specific competency level in a safe, cost effective, fun, and engaging manner allowing them to make more effective use of their limited training time in the operating room. Here we introduce a serious game surgical cognitive education and training framework (SCETF) that is currently being developed specifically for cognitive surgical skills training. Domain-specific surgical “modules” can then be built on top of the existing framework, utilizing common simulation elements/assets. The SCETF is being developed as a research tool where various simulation parameters such as levels of audio and visual fidelity, can be easily adjusted allowing for the controlled testing of such factors on knowledge transfer and retention.

Read it in full here.

Veemix: Integration of Musical User-Generated Content in Games

Musical user-generated content (UGC) in games is usually disconnected from gameplay, running in the background rather than being integrated into the game. As a result, players may lose their emotional connection to the game’s narrative or action, disrupting immersion and reducing enjoyment. Here we describe a system for integrating user playlists, what we have termed musical UGC, into games. The system, Veemix, allows for the simultaneous integration of music into games using keyword tags and social ranking, while allowing for the collection and storage of semantic data about the music that can be used for music information retrieval purposes. We outline two iterations of the system in the form of a Unity plugin for iOS using streaming and user device music.

Read it in full here.

An Overview of Virtual Simulation and Serious Gaming for Surgical Education and Training

The rising popularity of video games has seen a recent push towards the application of serious games to medical education and training. With their ability to engage players/learners for a specific purpose, serious games provide an opportunity to acquire cognitive and technical surgical skills outside the operating room thereby optimizing operating room exposure with live patients. However, before the application of serious games for surgical education and training becomes more widespread, there are a number of open questions and issues that
must be addressed including the relationship between fidelity, multi-modal cue interaction, immersion, and knowledge transfer and retention. In this chapter we begin with a brief overview of alternative medical/surgical educational methods, followed by a discussion of serious games and their application to surgical education, fidelity, multi-modal cue interaction and their role within a virtual simulations/serious games. The chapter ends with a description of the serious games surgical cognitive education and training framework (SCETF) and concluding Remarks.

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Virtual Simulations and Serious Games in Community Health Nursing Education: A Review of the Literature.

The recent shift in healthcare delivery from that of the hospital to the community calls for skilled community health nurses. The role and practice of community health nurses differs from that of a nurse clinician. Unlike the skills required for that of a nurse clinician, much of the skills required for community health nursing and their application cannot be developed and practised within newly developed and highly innovative practice laboratory facilities where the focus of patient care is the individual. Virtual simulation (and serious gaming) presents a viable, cost-effective training option for community health nursing trainees, providing the opportunity to practise within an interactive, engaging, and safe environment. In this chapter we review and examine the use of virtual simulation (including serious gaming) in health care education with a particular emphasis on community health nursing. Findings demonstrate that students and nursing educators recognize the value of virtual simulation in community health nursing education. Best practices in simulation development indicate that a framework that guides the design, implementation, and evaluation should be employed. Assessment methods of student learning have been suggested however, further research is needed on assessment techniques and learning outcomes to demonstrate that virtual simulation may be a sound pedagogical tool.

Read it in full here.

“Establishing Design Guidelines in Interactive Exercise Gaming: Preliminary Data from Two Posing Studies”,

Interactive gaming has demonstrated promise as a low-cost, at-home training and fitness instruction alternative. Gaming systems offer convenience and the ability to provide enhanced reporting and progress data if body measurement information is collected effectively. However, commercially available systems today are designed primarily for entertainment and as a result, the quality of instruction delivery and level of involvement may not meet the needs of a user performing a disciplined activity.

This paper will look at adapting for occlusion and lack of visibility; learning and orientation; and providing feedback in an effort to determine if there is an ideal visual demonstration delivery that maximizes pose understanding and user self-efficacy, determine whether supplementary modalities are important for instruction, and determine if there is an ideal feedback delivery that promotes pose comprehension, confidence and motivation. This information can provide a guideline for designing clear and supportive, interactive training systems that can engage users, prevent injury and help maintain fitness.

Read it in full here.

Gamification of Exercise and Fitness using Wearable Activity Trackers

Wearable technologies are a growing industry with significant potential in different aspects of health and fitness. Gamification of health and fitness, on the other hand, has recently become a popular field of research. Accordingly, we believe that wearable devices have the potential to be utilized towards gamification of fitness and exercise. In this paper, we first review several popular activity tracking wearable devices, their characteristics and specifications, and their application programming interface (API) capabilities and availabilities, which will enable them to be employed by third party developers for the purpose at hand. The feasibility and potential advantages of utilizing wearables for gamification of health and fitness are then discussed. Finally, we develop a pilot prototype as a case-study for this concept, and perform preliminary user studies which will help further explore the proposed concept.

Read it in full here.

“The Other Side of the Valley; Or, Between Freud and Videogames.”

The digital world breathes new life into psychoanalysis, as simulations achieved with new technology challenge our notions of self, identity, and representation, which are at the basis of Freud’s work in psychoanalysis. I will discuss some seminal theories of Sigmund Freud, such as the uncanny and masochism. I explore the root of the uncanny valley as based in Freud’s uncanny and posit that the uncanny valley is essential to videogames as they stand today. The uncanny valley allows us to engage in acts of violence and enjoy a masochistic relationship with the videogame; this relationship would break down if the uncanny valley is conquered. And, these questions must be asked before technology catches up to our desire for photorealism.

Read it in full here.

BrainHex: A neurobiological gamer typology survey

This paper briefly presents a player satisfaction model called BrainHex, which was based on insights from neurobiological findings as well as the results from earlier demographic game design models (DGD1 and DGD2). The model presents seven different archetypes of players: Seeker, Survivor, Daredevil, Mastermind, Conqueror, Socialiser, and Achiever. We explain how each of these player archetypes relates to older player typologies (such as Myers-Briggs), and how each archetype characterizes a specific playing style. We conducted a survey among more than 50,000 players using the BrainHex model as a personality type motivator to gather and compare demographic data to the different BrainHex archetypes. We discuss some results from this survey with a focus on psychometric orientation of respondents, to establish relationships between personality types and BrainHex archetypes.

Read it in full here.

Effects of impulsivity, reinforcement sensitivity, and cognitive style on pathological gambling symptoms among frequent slot machine players.

Pathological Gambling (PG) is the inability to resist recurrent urges to gamble excessively despite harmful consequences to the gambler or others. A cognitive-behavioral Pathways Model of PG (Blaszczynski & Nower, 2002) suggests individual differences in rash impulsivity and reward sensitivity, together with a cognitive style that promotes poor decision making, as risk factors. These individual differences were examined in a community sample of experienced slot machine players (N = 100), who were classified into Low, Moderate, and Problem gambling groups according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (Ferris & Wynne, 2001). There were significant group differences on rash impulsivity as measured by the Eysenck Impulsivity scale, and on reward sensitivity as measured by the BIS/BAS Drive scale. For cognitive style, there were differences on Actively Openminded Thinking (AOT), but not the Rational Experiential Inventory. Hierarchical regression analyses found that impulsivity and AOT predicted severity of PG, but that AOT mediated the effect of BAS Drive. A thinking style that promotes erroneous cognition may correlate with PG, but individual differences in rash impulsivity and reward-seeking play a more critical role in the etiology of PG. The individual characteristics of Pathological Gamblers are similar to those of people with Substance Use Disorders.

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Near-Misses and Stop Buttons in Slot Machine Play: An Investigation of How They Affect Players, and May Foster Erroneous Cognitions

In modern casinos, multiline slot machines are becoming increasingly popular compared to traditional, three-reel slot machines. A paucity of research has examined how the unique presentation of near-misses and the use of a stop button in multiline slot machines impact erroneous cognitions related to the perception of skill and agency during play. Our goal therefore was to determine the prevalence of erroneous cognitions pertaining to near-miss outcomes and the usage of a stop button and then to see whether the stop button affected players’ experiences of winning, losing and near-miss outcomes. We recruited 132 gamblers from a casino in Ontario. They played two versions of a slot machine simulator: one with a stop button and one without a stop button. We measured player’s arousal [skin conductance responses (SCRs), pressure on the spin-button), and behavioural responses (post-reinforcement pauses (PRPs)] to wins, losses and near-misses during play. We predicted more robust physiological SCRs and longer PRPs to wins in the stop button game. We also predicted that near-misses encountered in the stop button game would trigger greater levels of arousal and frustration in players, as indexed by larger SCRs, and greater force applied to the spin button to initiate the next spin. Erroneous cognitions pertaining to the stop button and near-misses respectively were assessed following play. Results showed that a small but meaningful percentage of players held erroneous cognitions about the stop button (13.6%) and near-misses (16%). Players depressed the spin button harder, and had larger SCRs for all outcomes when using the stop button. Players also paused longer for near-misses in the game involving the stop button. Our findings converge to suggest that the stop button encourages an erroneous perception of skill in some players, and consequentially impacts how such players perceive their outcomes in multiline slot machines.

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Gamble while you gamble: Electronic games in Ontario Charitable Gaming Centres.

Electronic Bingo games have recently appeared in Ontario Charitable Gaming Centres. Here we summarize the characteristics of this novel form of electronic gambling, and give a detailed characterization of one game. We contend that these games have structural characteristics that make them similar to modern Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs) that feature multiline slots games. These features include a fast and continuous gaming experience, with player adjustable win size and reinforcement rate, a high frequency of losses disguised as wins, and highly salient near misses. Some of these games also have bonus rounds and provide players with a list of recent wins. We conclude that provincial and state gaming authorities should be aware that the placement of Bingo EGMs in existing Bingo facilities may increase problem gambling among an already well-established community of Bingo enthusiasts.

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Gambling motives and symptoms of problem gambling in frequent slots players

Motives for gambling were examined among patrons of slots venues who reported playing electronic gaming machines at least weekly (N = 849). According to scores on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), there were 331 (39.0%) participants at low risk, 330 (38.9%) at moderate risk, and 188 (22.1%) at high risk of Pathological Gambling. Scores on the Coping and Enhancement scales of the Gambling Motives Questionnaire (GMQ) had independent effects on PGSI scores. Cluster analysis of Coping and Enhancement scores identified Low Emotion Regulation (LER; n = 189), Primarily Enhancement (PE; n = 338), and Coping and Enhancement (CE; n = 322) subtypes. More CE gamblers (80.1%) had PGSI scores that suggested problem or Pathological Gambling than the PE (56.8%) or LE (36.0%) subtypes. Gamblers who frequently play slot machines are at elevated risk of Pathological Gambling if they play slots as a means of self-regulating their negative emotional states.

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Games of chance or masters of illusion: Multiline slots design may promote cognitive distortions.

Problem gamblers often have distorted beliefs about gambling, including illusion of control and gambler’s fallacy. Most multiline slots games allow players to adjust the number of wagered paylines and the amount bet per line, and over time this control may support incorrect conclusions and promote distorted gambling beliefs. We created software to run simulations of a popular multiline slots game and examined the effects of betting on single versus multiple paylines. Simultaneous multiline betting tends to produce a less varied gambling experience because it increases the frequency of legitimate wins and ‘losses disguised as wins’, while decreasing the occurrence of ‘big wins’. It also shortens consecutive series of losing spins and it prolongs the time a typical player takes to exhaust funds. Indirect control over losing streaks may give some players the false impression that they can play skilfully and predict the occurrence of wins. However, applying five different wagering strategies in our simulations showed that none had any real effect on the average percentage of wagers that would be ‘paid back’ to players as prizes. Player control over multiline slots games may lead frequent gamblers to incorrect conclusions that sustain excessive play despite recurring losses.

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Government sanctioned “tight” and “loose” slot machines: how having multiple versions of the same slot machine game may impact problem gambling.

In Ontario, Canada, the regulator approves identical looking slot machine games with different payback percentages. We gained access to the design documents (called PAR Sheets) used to program these different versions of the same slots game and ran Gambler’s Ruin simulations of 2,000 first-time players who each arrived with a $100 bankroll and played either the 85 or 98% version of the same game until broke. Simulations revealed that the typical (median) player’s experience did not differ significantly between versions. However the payback percentage affected the experience of players in the upper tails of the distributions with those in the 98% version having dramatically more total spins, winning spins, entries into the “bonus mode”, and “hand pays” (a win of $125 or more on a given spin). Most importantly, the number of simulated players who had a maximum peak balance in excess of $1,000 rose tenfold-from 5 in the 85% version to 54 in the 98% version. The results are discussed in terms of the Pathways Model of Problem and Pathological Gambling especially in terms of behavioural conditioning, cognitive beliefs, and early big wins. It may well be that those machines that are on the surface the “fairest” to the gambler, actually pose the most risk for ensuing gambling problems.

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House edge: hold percentage and the cost of EGM Gambling

Price in commercial gambling is effectively the house edge of the game. For electronic gaming machines (EGMs), house edge is the hold percentage. The paper tracks changes in hold percentage for club and hotel EGM gambling in Australia. We use real gambling turnover and revenue data to show that hold generally falls over time, save for the State of Victoria between 1993 and 2009. In Victoria, hold fell during the rollout phase of the sector, before rising steadily. We examine local level data, finding that hold varied considerably by gaming operator across the period, before converging. The unique owner/operator corporate duopoly that existed in Victoria is posed as a potential explanation for aggregate price changes. We then calculate estimates of the monetary value of changes in hold percentage. We find increased hold can lead to substantial monetary redistributions of gamblers’ stakes toward the house and away from gamblers. Policy options to protect gamblers from the unfairness of undetectable price rises are discussed, including the possibility of a more tightly regulated hold percentage, a tax on windfall profits derived from raising hold, and tying game identities to particular hold percentages.

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Modern Multi-line Slot Machine Games: The Effect of Lines Wagered on Winners, Losers, Bonuses, and Losses Disguised as Wins.

We simulated the commercially available multi-line slot machine game “Money Storm,” including its bonus wins. Our results show that after a specified amount of time (such as 1 or 50 h), when players played a single line, there were marked differences between one player and the next-a few won a lot, others lost far more than average. When playing 20 lines there were fewer big winners and fewer players quickly losing a large percentage of their money. We simulated a Gambler’s Ruin scenario whereby players arrived with $100 and made $1 wagers until broke. Again we saw a reduction in the variability among player as the number of lines wagered increased, fewer players lost their entire bankroll quickly, and fewer players had big wins. The bonus wins in Money Storm contribute approximately 24% to the payback of the game, and our simulations of bonus wins shows that with 20 lines wagered the players spend approximately 11% of their time in bonus wins. With one line wagered, there are no losses disguised as wins while with 20 lines wagered the majority of hits are losses disguised as wins. Players using multi-line machines can thus tune the characteristics of the machine gambling experience to match their preferred pattern, though most seem in practice to bet on the most possible lines. Our results serve to inform researchers, counsellors, gamblers and others about how slot machines are designed, and the effect that wagering on multiple lines has on short-term and long-term play, bonus wins, and losses disguised as wins.

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Physiological acrophobia evaluation through in vivo exposure in a VR CAVE

Acrophobia (i.e., the fear of heights) is commonly treated using Virtual Reality (VR) applications. Patients that suffer from this clinical condition can experience extreme levels of anxiety, stress, and discomfort, even at relatively low heights. VR computer-assisted virtual environments (CAVEs) have been found to be highly immersive and successful in the treatment of acrophobia. The general method of evaluating therapy progress is through self-reported questionnaire measures. However, these are subject to participant bias. Physiological measures, on the other hand, could provide a more objective way of assessing acrophobia. To our knowledge, psychophysiological measures are not commonly used in the evaluation of acrophobes and their therapy progress within CAVEs. Thus, we present a CAVE application for acrophobia treatment, which includes a physiological feedback mechanism to assess patient progress. It also permits patient movement to facilitate increased presence and immersion. In this application, players sequentially gain access to increasing heights as they successfully progress through lesser heights, as assessed through the evaluation of their physiological responses to VR stimuli.

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Problem gambling and the five factor model in university students

The personality traits of treatment-seeking problem gamblers have been compared to healthy control groups in several studies and, although there is consistent evidence for high Neuroticism and low Conscientiousness in problem gamblers, past results may have been affected by selection bias. The current study replicated these findings in a correlational design. The participants were nontreatment-seeking undergraduate students who were screened for excessive and potentially addictive self-defeating behaviors. The Shorter Promis Questionnaire and the NEO PI-R were completed by undergraduate students at two Canadian universities (N = 369). Scores on the gambling subscale showed modest but statistically significant correlations with high Neuroticism, low Agreeableness, and low Conscientiousness. Regression of the gambling subscale onto the facet scores found significant effects of high Impulsiveness and Self-discipline, and low Straightforwardness and Dutifulness. These results suggest that negative affect and disinhibited traits may be risk factors for the development of problem gambling. The results obtained in this and other studies cannot be accounted for by the populations sampled, by selection bias, or by the instrument used to quantify symptoms of problem gambling.

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Game Sound Technology and Player Interaction: Concepts and Developments

This chapter treats computer game playing as an affective activity, largely guided by the audio-visual aesthetics of game content (of which, here, we concentrate on the role of sound) and the pleasure of gameplay. To understand the aesthetic impact of game sound on player experience, definitions of emotions are briefly discussed and framed in the game context. This leads to an introduction of empirical methods for assessing physiological and psychological effects of play, such as the affective impact of sonic player-game interaction. The psychological methodology presented is largely based on subjective interpretation of experience, while psychophysiological methodology is based on measurable bodily changes, such as context-dependent, physiological experience. As a means to illustrate both the potential and the difficulties inherent in such methodology we discuss the results of some experiments that investigate game sound and music effects and, finally, we close with a discussion of possible research directions based on a speculative assessment of the future of player-game interaction through affective sound.

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The Impact of Sound in Modern Multiline Video Slot Machine Play

Slot machine wins and losses have distinctive, measurable, physiological effects on players. The contributing factors to these effects remain under-explored. We believe that sound is one of these key contributing factors. Sound plays an important role in reinforcement, and thus on arousal level and stress response of players. It is the use of sound for positive reinforcement in particular that we believe influences the player. In the current study, we investigate the role that sound plays in psychophysical responses to slot machine play. A total of 96 gamblers played a slot machine simulator with and without sound being paired with reinforcement. Skin conductance responses and heart rate, as well as subjective judgments about the gambling experience were examined. The results showed that the sound influenced the arousal of participants both psychophysically and psychologically. The sound also influenced players’ preferences, with the majority of players preferring to play slot machines that were accompanied by winning sounds. The sounds also caused players to significantly overestimate the number of times they won while playing the slot machine.

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The maximum rewards at the lowest price: Reinforcement rates and payback percentages in multiline slot machines.

Past research has shown that gamblers frequently use the mini-max strategy in multi-line slot machines, whereby the player places the minimum bet on the maximum number of lines. Through a detailed analysis and explanation of the design of multi-line slot machine games, we show that when using the mini-max strategy, the payback percentage remains unchanged, yet the reinforcement rate is significantly increased. This increase in reinforcement rate is mainly due to spins in which the amount won is less than the amount wagered, which we call losses disguised as wins. We have verified these conclusions by playing an actual slot machine game for 10,000 spins and recording the results. We believe that the high reinforcement rate that results from playing multiple lines on games of this type contributes to their potential addictiveness. We provide three theories for why players use the mini-max strategy and suggest further areas of research.

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The maximum rewards at the minimum price: Reinforcement rates and payback percentages in multi-line slot machines

Past research has shown that gamblers frequently use the mini-max strategy in multi-line slot machines, whereby the player places the minimum bet on the maximum number of lines. Through a detailed analysis and explanation of the design of multi-line slot machine games, we show that when using the mini-max strategy, the payback percentage remains unchanged, yet the reinforcement rate is significantly increased. This increase in reinforcement rate is mainly due to spins in which the amount won is less than the amount wagered, which we call losses disguised as wins. We have verified these conclusions by playing an actual slot machine game for 10,000 spins and recording the results. We believe that the high reinforcement rate that results from playing multiple lines on games of this type contributes to their potential addictiveness. We provide three theories for why players use the mini-max strategy and suggest further areas of research.

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The personality of pathological gamblers: a meta-analysis.

This review summarizes studies of pathological gambling and personality. Meta-analyses were conducted on 44 studies that reported personality traits of pathological gamblers (N = 2134) and nonpathological gambling control groups (N = 5321). Effect size estimates were calculated for 128 comparisons and organized according to the factors associated with two integrative accounts of personality. Four of the meta-analyses examined traits that have previously been found to load on the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, and Sensation Seeking aspects of impulsivity (Whiteside & Lynam 2001). Substantial effects were found for traits associated with Negative Urgency (Cohen’s d =.99) and Low Premeditation (d =.84), but not for Low Perseverance or Sensation Seeking. A second set of meta-analyses examined broad domains of personality that have previously been found to load on Negative Affect, Positive Affect, Disagreeable Disinhibition, and Unconscientious Disinhibition (Markon, Krueger, & Watson, 2005). Substantial effects were found for Unconscientious Disinhibition (d =.79), Negative Affect (d =.50), and Disagreeable Disinhibition (d =.50), but not Positive Affect. It was concluded that these individual personality characteristics may be important in the etiology of pathological gambling. The personality profile implicated in the etiology of pathological gambling is similar to that found in a recent meta-analysis of substance use disorders (Kotov, Gamez, Schmidt, & Watson, 2010). These results suggest that pathological gambling may be part of a broad cluster of externalizing psychopathology, and also call into question the current classification of pathological gambling as an Impulse Control Disorder in the DSM-IV.

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Using sound to unmask losses disguised as wins in multiline slot machines.

Losses disguised as wins (LDWs) are slot machine outcomes where participants bet on multiple lines and win back less than their wager. Despite losing money, the machine celebrates these outcomes with reinforcing sights and sounds. Here, we sought to show that psychophysically and psychologically, participants treat LDWs as wins, but that we could expose LDWs as losses by using negative sounds as feedback. 157 participants were allocated into one of three conditions: a standard sound condition where LDWs, despite being losses, are paired with winning sights and sounds; a silent condition, where LDWs are paired with silence; and a negative sound condition where LDWs and regular losses are both followed by a negative sound. After viewing a paytable, participants conducted 300 spins on a slot machine simulator while heart rate deceleration (HRD) and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were monitored. Participants were then shown 20 different spin outcomes including LDWs and asked whether they had won or lost on that outcome. Participants then estimated on how many spins (out of 300) they won more than they wagered. SCRs were similar for losses and LDWs (both smaller than actual wins). HRD, however, was steeper for both wins and LDWs, compared to losses. In the standard condition, a majority of participants (mis)categorized LDWs as wins, and significantly overestimated the number of times they actually won. In the negative sound condition, this pattern was reversed; most participants correctly categorized LDWs as losses, and they gave high-fidelity win estimates. We conclude that participants both think and physiologically react to LDWs as though they are wins, a miscategorization that misleads them to think that they are winning more often than they actually are. Sound can be used to effectively prevent this misconception and unmask the disguise of LDWs.

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