The Games Institute acknowledges that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Fifteen Games Institute members presented at CHI 2022 (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) both online and from the conference venue in New Orleans Louisiana from April 30th-May 5th. Research topics included realism in games, VR, smart glasses, livestreaming, and more!
Excitingly, this year’s CHI included an opening Keynote by GI Advisory Board member, Dr. Kishonna Gray (University of Kentucky), one of the world’s foremost experts on the interactions between race, gender, games, and technology.
See the list below for information on each talk including links to the full presentations on YouTube. The names of GI members are bolded.
“While public discussions around gaming culture focus on the toxic elements, there are thriving groups utilizing online environments and their related tools to sustain their communities. While trolls and other toxic actors (and resistance practices) may dominate the conversation, we must begin to center the communities that marginalized bodies create and sustain despite the toxicity. Using Discord, gaming platforms, Twitter, Twine, streaming, YouTube, and others, minoritized users have created hybrid networks of users demonstrating the innovativeness of digital practices within gaming contexts. As such, the purpose of this presentation is to explore these hybrid communities as intersectional counterpublics focused on creating and connecting communities to foster identity development in both physical and digital contexts.”
Katja Rogers, Sukran Karaosmanoglu, Maximilian Altmeyer, Ally Suarez, Lennart E. Nacke
Katja Rogers, Sukran Karaosmanoglu, Maximilian Altmeyer, Ally Suarez, Lennart E. Nacke.
“Researchers reference realism in digital games without sufficient specificity. Without clarity about the dimensions of realism, we cannot assess how and when to aim for a higher degree of realism, when lower realism suffices, or when purposeful unrealism is ideal for a game and can benefit player experience (PX). To address this conceptual gap, we conducted a systematic review using thematic synthesis to distinguish between types of realism currently found in the digital games literature. We contribute qualitative themes that showcase contradictory design goals of realism/unrealism. From these themes, we created a framework (i.e., a hierarchical taxonomy and mapping) of realism dimensions in digital games as a conceptual foundation. Our themes and framework enable a workable specificity for designing or analyzing types of realism, equip future work to explore effects of specific realism types on PX, and offer a starting point for similar efforts in non-game applications.”
Maximilian Altmeyer, Vladislav Hnatovskiy, Katja Rogers, Pascal Lessel, Lennart E. Nacke
Maximilian Altmeyer, Vladislav Hnatovskiy, Katja Rogers, Pascal Lessel, Lennart E. Nacke.
“Sound effects (SFX) complement the visual feedback provided by gamification elements in gamified systems. However, the impact of SFX has not been systematically studied. To bridge this gap, we investigate the effects of SFX - supplementing points (as a gamification element) - on task performance and user experience in a gamified image classification task. We created 18 SFX, studied their impact on perceived valence and arousal (N=49) and selected four suitable SFX to be used in a between-participants user study (N=317). Our findings show that neither task performance, affect, immersion, nor enjoyment were significantly affected by the sounds. Only the pressure/tension factor differed significantly, indicating that low valence sounds should be avoided to accompany point rewards. Overall, our results suggest that SFX seem to have less impact than expected in gamified systems. Hence, using SFX in gamification should be a more informed choice and should receive more attention in gamification research.”
Karina Arrambide, John Yoon, Cayley MacArthur, Katja Rogers, Alessandra Luz, Lennart E. Nacke
Karina Arrambide, John Yoon, Cayley MacArthur, Katja Rogers, Alessandra Luz, Lennart E. Nacke.
“In interactive story games, players make decisions that advance and modify the unfolding story. In many cases, these decisions have a moral component. Examining decision-making in these games illuminates whether players mobilize their real-life morality to make in-game decisions and what impact this has in both the game world and real life. Using mixed-methods consisting of semi-structured interviews and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ30), we collected data from 19 participants who played the game Detroit: Become Human. We analyzed how participants applied their real-life morals toward in-game decisions using thematic analysis and statistical analysis of the MFQ30 results. Qualitative findings indicate that participants mobilize their moral intuitions to make in-game decisions and how much participants cared about their game characters influenced their choices. We contribute a better understanding of how players react to moral dilemmas in interactive story games for game designers to help them improve player experience.”
Ville Mäkelä, Jonas Winter, Jasmin Schwab, Michael Koch, Florian Alt
Ville Mäkelä, Jonas Winter, Jasmin Schwab, Michael Koch, Florian Alt.
“The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented questions for touch-based public displays regarding hygiene, risks, and general awareness. We study how people perceive and consider hygiene on shared touchscreens, and how touchscreens could be improved through hygiene-related functions. First, we report the results from an online survey (n = 286). Second, we present a hygiene concept for touchscreens that visualizes prior touches and provides information about the cleaning of the display and number of prior users. Third, we report the feedback for our hygiene concept from 77 participants. We find that there is demand for improved awareness of public displays' hygiene status, especially among those with stronger concerns about COVID-19. A particularly desired detail is when the display has been cleaned. For visualizing prior touches, fingerprints worked best. We present further considerations for designing for hygiene on public displays.”
Radiah Rivu, Ville Mäkelä, Sarah Prange, Sarah Delgado Rodriguez, Robin Piening, Yumeng Zhou, Kay Köhle, Ken Pfeuffer, Yomna Abdelrahman, Matthias Hoppe, Albrecht Schmidt, Florian Alt
Radiah Rivu, Ville Mäkelä, Sarah Prange, Sarah Delgado Rodriguez, Robin Piening, Yumeng Zhou, Kay Köhle, Ken Pfeuffer, Yomna Abdelrahman, Matthias Hoppe, Albrecht Schmidt, Florian Alt.
“We investigate the opportunities and challenges of running virtual reality (VR) studies remotely. Today, many consumers own head-mounted displays (HMDs), allowing them to participate in scientific studies from their homes using their own equipment. Researchers can benefit from this approach by being able to recruit study populations normally out of their reach and to conduct research at times when it is difficult to get people into the lab (cf. the COVID pandemic). In an initial online survey (N=227), we assessed HMD owners’ demographics, their VR setups, and their attitudes towards remote participation. We then identified different approaches to running remote studies and conducted two case studies for an in-depth understanding. We synthesize our findings into a framework for remote VR studies, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches, and derive best practices. Our work is valuable for HCI researchers conducting VR studies outside labs.”
Alexi Orchard, Marcel O'Gorman, Chelsea La Vecchia, Jason Lajoie
Alexi Orchard, Marcel O'Gorman, Chelsea La Vecchia, Jason Lajoie.
“Augmented Reality Smart Glasses (ARSG) are a recent development in consumer-level personal computing technology. Research on ARSGs has largely focused on new forms of etiquette for these personal computing devices, but little else has been examined due in part to consumer availability. The most well-known example of ARSGs is Google Glass, which are no longer available for consumer purchase due to privacy concerns. Google has more recently transitioned to industry-focused applications with the Glass Enterprise Edition . Recent consumer-facing iterations on the technology include Snapchat Spectacles and Ray-Ban Stories, which reignite some of the anxieties surrounding wearable cameras. Focals by North, the ARSG product studied in this project, do not have the capacity to record video or audio, thus mitigating the risk of privacy breaches. This study examines how users of Focals employ the device, successfully or not, to facilitate daily activities such as scheduling, communication, wayfinding, and how non-users perceive the interactions of Focals users. Participants wrote blog responses and participated in a focus group on their daily experiences with the glasses; they also speculated on potential uses and features of future iterations relating to accessibility and entertainment purposes. Focals by North, a relatively low-cost ARSG, aims to make this tech mass market to “seamlessly [blend] technology into our world” . However, this study found participants preferred choice when receiving notifications, and greatly questioned the need for notifications to appear in their field of vision. We anticipate that these results will inform frameworks for assessing consumer facing ARSG products in future work.
Robert P Gauthier, Mary Jean Costello, James R Wallace
Robert P Gauthier, Mary Jean Costello, James R Wallace.
“Recovery from addiction is a journey that requires a lifetime of support from a strong network of peers. Many people seek out this support through online communities, like those on Reddit. However, as these communities developed outside of existing aid groups and medical practice, it is unclear how they enable recovery. Their scale also limits researchers' ability to engage through traditional qualitative research methods. To study these groups, we performed a topic-guided thematic analysis that used machine-generated topic models to purposively sample from two recovery subreddits: r/stopdrinking and r/OpiatesRecovery. We show that these communities provide access to an experienced and accessible support group whose discussions include consequences, reflections, and celebrations, but that also play a distinct metacommunicative role in supporting formal treatment. We discuss how these communities can act as knowledge sources to improve in-person recovery support and medical practice, and how computational techniques can enable HCI researchers to study communities at scale.”
Jeremy Hartmann, Daniel Vogel
Jeremy Hartmann, Daniel Vogel.
“Many videogame players livestream their gameplay so remote spectators can watch for enjoyment, fandom, and to learn strategies and techniques. Current approaches capture the player's rendered RGB view of the game, and then encode and stream it as a 2D live video feed. We extend this basic concept by also capturing the depth buffer, camera pose, and projection matrix from the rendering pipeline of the videogame and package them all within a MPEG-4 media container. Combining these additional data streams with the RGB view, our system builds a real-time, cumulative 3D representation of the live game environment for spectators. This enables each spectator to individually control a personal game view in 3D. This means they can watch the game from multiple perspectives, enabling a new kind of videogame spectatorship experience.”
Sultan A. Alharthi, George E. Raptis, Christina Katsini, Igor Dolgov, Lennart E. Nacke, Z Toups Dugas
Sultan A. Alharthi, George E. Raptis, Christina Katsini, Igor Dolgov, Lennart E. Nacke, Z Toups Dugas.
“In multiplayer collaborative games, players need to coordinate their actions and synchronize their efforts effectively to succeed as a team; thus, individual differences can impact teamwork and gameplay. This article investigates the effects of cognitive styles on teams engaged in collaborative gaming activities. Fifty-four individuals took part in a mixed-methods user study; they were classified as field-dependent (FD) or independent (FI) based on a field-dependent–independent (FD-I) cognitive-style-elicitation instrument. Three groups of teams were formed, based on the cognitive style of each team member: FD-FD, FD-FI, and FI-FI. We examined collaborative gameplay in terms of team performance, cognitive load, communication, and player experience. The analysis revealed that FD-I cognitive style affected the performance and mental load of teams. We expect the findings to provide useful insights on understanding how cognitive styles influence collaborative gameplay.”
Max L Wilson, Lennart Nacke
Max L Wilson, Lennart Nacke.
“A key challenge for new reviewers is getting the tone and structure of a review right. A skilful reviewer will provide enough information in their review to help editors or Associate Chairs decide about including a paper in a journal or proceedings. This course will help participants understand a) the expectations of different submission types, b) how different venues make decisions, and c) identifying strong contributions, robust methodologies, and clear writing to create reviews for these different settings. Participants will critique anonymised but real reviews, and try to guess the venue they are written for and the recommendation they make.”
Rina R. Wehbe, Siobhan Day Grady, and Christine Bauer
Rina R. Wehbe, Siobhan Day Grady, and Christine Bauer.
“In this fireside chat, we will discuss what it means to be an ally and to create a supportive CHI community. We aim at generating discussion and suggestions on how to be a supportive community member. Join the discussion with Rina R. Wehbe and invited discussants. You can use The Hub to post your questions.”