Seminar Series: Decision Making in Interactive Narrative Games; Human-Robot Interaction Taxonomy

Thursday, April 15, 2021 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Karina Arrambide presents Decision Making in Interactive Narrative Games



Interactive story games feature game mechanics that allow the players to choose how to progress through the narrative. These types of games provide an opportunity to understand players' decision-making processes and how their choices impact the narrative. My research focuses on understanding the relationship between player agency and in-game decisions. Through the analysis of different interactive narrative games such as "Until Dawn" and "Detroit: Become Human" it was possible to uncover the elements and game mechanics that improve player agency, and that consequently create a meaningful experience for the players. We will discuss findings related to perceived agency and the emotional responses when making decisions. Furthermore, we will explore the cause-and-effect relation for player choices, and future directions to improve player agency within interactive story games.


Karina is a Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke. She holds an MSc in Information Technology with Business and Management from the University of Sussex in the UK, and a BSc in Information Technology from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. Her main interests include understanding player's behaviors and emotions by applying diverse games user research methodologies, specifically biometrics such as electromyography and galvanic skin response. She is also interested in the research of new methodologies and technologies that can help improve player's experience.

John E. Muñoz presents a new Taxonomy for Human-Robot Interaction



The use of games as vehicles to study human-robot interaction (HRI) has been established as a suitable solution to create more realistic and naturalistic opportunities to investigate human behavior. This talk summarizes a scoping review to qualitatively examine the literature on the use of games in HRI scenarios employing embodied robots aiming to find experimental patterns and common game design elements. We found that researchers have been using games in a wide variety of applications in HRI including training, entertainment, and education, allowing robots to take different roles. Moreover, robots have included different capabilities and sensing technologies, and elements such as external screens or motion controllers were used to foster gameplay. Based on our findings, we propose a design taxonomy called Robo Ludens, which identifies HRI elements and game design fundamentals and classifies important components used in multiplayer HRI scenarios. The Robo Ludens taxonomy covers considerations from a robot-oriented perspective as well as game design aspects to provide a comprehensive list of elements that can foster gameplay and bring enjoyable experiences in HRI scenarios.


John is a game designer and interface technologist specialized in the use of physiological signals to optimize the user experience while using interactive systems. John is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo carrying out research in the fields of assistive technology, human-robot interaction, and virtual reality. John has co-designed multiple games that can be used in healthcare scenarios such as exercise promotion in older adults, self-regulation training in children with special needs, and cognitive training in neurorehabilitation therapies. John has created multiple software tools and design frameworks that allows the integration of playful activities and physiological signals in interactive systems such as social robots and virtual simulations.

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