Massively multiplayer online role-playing games create virtual communities that support heterogeneous ``social roles'' determined by gameplay interaction behaviors under a specific social context. For all social roles, formal roles are pre-defined, obvious, and explicitly ascribed to the people holding the roles, whereas informal roles are not well-defined and unspoken. Identifying the informal roles and understanding their subtle changes are critical to designing sociability mechanisms. However, it is nontrivial to understand the existence and evolution of such roles due to their loosely defined, interconvertible, and dynamic characteristics. We propose a visual analytics system, RoleSeer, to investigate informal roles from the perspectives of behavioral interactions and depict their dynamic interconversions and transitions. Two cases, experts' feedback, and a user study suggest that RoleSeer helps interpret the identified informal roles and explore the patterns behind role changes. We see our approach's potential in investigating informal roles in a broader range of social games.
Movement-based video games can provide engaging play experiences, and also have the potential to encourage physical activity. However, existing design guidelines for such games overwhelmingly focus on non-disabled players. Here, we explore wheelchair users’ perspectives on movement-based games as an enjoyable play activity. We created eight game concepts as discussion points for semi-structured interviews (N=6) with wheelchair users, and used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to understand their perspectives on physical activity and play. Themes focus on independent access, challenges in social settings, and the need for comprehensive adaptation. We also conducted an online survey (N=21) using the same game concepts, and thematic analysis highlighted the importance of adequate challenge, and considerations around multiplayer experiences. Based on these findings, we re-contextualize and expand guidelines for movement-based games previously established by Mueller and Isbister to include disabled players, and suggest design strategies that take into account their perspectives on play.
Integrating fabrication activities into existing video games provides opportunities for players to construct objects from their gameplay and bring the digital content into the physical world. In our prior work, we outlined a framework and developed a toolkit for integrating fabrication activities within existing digital games. Insights from our prior study highlighted the challenge of aligning fabrication mechanics with the existing game mechanics in order to strengthen the player aesthetics.
In this paper, we address this challenge and build on our prior work by using a modified Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (f-MDA) framework to analyze the 47 fabrication events from the prior study. We list the new player-object aesthetics that emerge from integrating the existing game mechanics with fabrication mechanics. We identify connections between these emergent player-object aesthetics and the existing game mechanics. We discuss how designers can use this mapping to identify potential game mechanics for integrating with fabrication activities.
Outcome and elaborative feedback in games can scaffold learners to recognise errors and apply corrective strategies. However, there is little evidence that indicates how children process such feedback. Using an active intervention approach, this study empirically evaluated how three groups of primary-aged children with different profiles—novice readers, children with reading difficulties, and children learning English as a foreign language—attended to, understood, and acted upon feedback within a digital literacy game. Children’s gameplay and verbalisations across groups were compared through systematic video analysis. Our findings demonstrate that all readers benefited from visual, non-verbal outcome feedback, which supported accurate interpretations of their performance, but groups attended to it differentially. Older children noticed auditory, verbal elaborative feedback more than novice readers, but all children struggled to understand it, instead relying on implicit knowledge to correct future responses. We conclude by highlighting several contributions to games-based learning research, game design, and pedagogical practice.