Understanding Gamers

Case Study & Paper

May 10, 2012 @ 11:30, Room: 18AB

Chair: Peter Tolmie, University of Nottingham, UK
Protecting Artificial Team-Mates: More Seems Like Less - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Describes game-based study that examines motivation and rational for cooperation with team-mates. Can assist developers in understanding cooperation with human and artificial team-mates.
Abstract » Previous research on conversational, competitive, and cooperative systems suggests that people respond differently to humans and AI agents in terms of perception and evaluation of observed team-mate behavior. However, there has not been research examining the relationship between participants' protective behavior toward human/AI team-mates and their beliefs about their behavior. A study was conducted in which 32 participants played two sessions of a cooperative game, once with a "presumed" human and once with an AI team-mate; players could "draw fire" from a common enemy by "yelling" at it. Overwhelmingly, players claimed they "drew fire" on behalf of the presumed human more than for the AI team-mate; logged data indicates the opposite. The main contribution of this paper is to provide evidence of the mismatch in player beliefs about their actions and actual behavior with humans or agents and provides possible explanations for the differences.
The Reality of Fantasy: Uncovering Information-Seeking Behaviors and Needs in Online Fantasy Sports - Long Case Study
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Presents a first study of information-seeking behaviors and needs for online fantasy sports players across different sports, and identifies tools they might want and need for better performances and experiences.
Abstract » Online fantasy sports are rapidly growing in popularity. Fantasy sports players consume massive amounts of sports and player statistics in order to manage their teams, such as to determine who they want on their fantasy sports team and what changes they want to make during the season. With more people actively engaging in this activity and increasing investment in this industry, this case study performs the first detailed investigation into information-seeking behaviors and information needs of online fantasy sports players. Two online fantasy sports were studied: fantasy football and NASCAR. Common themes from one-on-one interviews with active fantasy sports players are discussed and areas for future research identified. Implications for system design include more targeted data provision throughout the sports seasons, better aggregation of online sports statistics and data, development of mobile applications, and innovation in fantasy sports gaming.
Online Gaming Motivations Scale: Development and Validation - Note
Contribution & Benefit: Cross-cultural factor validation and predictive validation of online gaming motivations scale. Provides important theoretical bridge in examining links between demographics, motivation, engagement, and behavioral outcomes in games and gamified applications.
Abstract » Understanding gaming motivations is important given the growing trend of incorporating game-based mechanisms in non-gaming applications. In this paper, we describe the development and validation of an online gaming motivations scale based on a 3-factor model. Data from 2,071 US participants and 645 Hong Kong and Taiwan participants is used to provide a cross-cultural validation of the developed scale. Analysis of actual in-game behavioral metrics is also provided to demonstrate predictive validity of the scale.
Experimental Investigation of Human Adaptation to Change in Agent's Strategy through a Competitive Two-Player Game - Note
Contribution & Benefit: Investigates how human adapt differently to a change in strategy of robot and human. Revealed adaptation is faster when a human is competing with robot than with another human.
Abstract » We conducted an experimental investigation on human adaptation to change in an agent's strategy through a competitive two-player game. Modeling the process of human adaptation to agents is important for designing intelligent interface agents and adaptive user interfaces that learn a user's preferences and behavior strategy. However, few studies on human adaptation to such an agent have been done. We propose a human adaptation model for a two-player game. We prepared an on-line experimental system in which a participant and an agent play a repeated penny-matching game with a bonus round. We then conducted experiments in which different opponent agents (human or robot) change their strategy during the game. The experimental results indicated that, as expected, there is an adaptation phase when a human is confronted with a change in the opponent agent's strategy, and adaptation is faster when a human is competing with robot than with another human.
Through the Azerothian Looking Glass: Mapping In-Game Preferences to Real World Demographics - Note
Contribution & Benefit: Examines how in-game behaviors map onto real world demographic variables. Provides empirical data to prioritize or dynamically tailor game mechanisms given a target demographic audience.
Abstract » Examining how in-game behavior preferences map onto real world demographics provides important empirically-derived insights into how to match game-based mechanisms to target demographic segments. Using behavioral and demographic data from 1,037 World of Warcraft players, we use multiple regressions to provide this mapping. Given current interest in "gamifying" applications, we believe these findings are relevant for both gaming and non-gaming research.
User Testing of a Language Learning Game for Mandarin Chinese - Short Case Study
Contribution & Benefit: Case study describing the user evaluation of a language learning game for Mandarin Chinese. Can assist designers in understanding user response to gaming environments for entertaining and educating adult learners.
Abstract » Polyglot Cubed is an educational game to facilitate the learning of multiple languages. The game is an implementation of contemporary theories in motivation, education and entertainment. This document provides the results from a formal user evaluation of the game. This evaluation was designed to determine user defined difficulties in game experience and understand user interest in its solution. Preliminary results indicate favorable interest in the game as a tool for learning Mandarin Chinese and minor challenges in gameplay experience.