ACII 2011 Workshop: Emotion in Games

Accepted papers

Hector P. Martinez and Georgios N. Yannakakis. Analysing the Relevance of Experience Partitions to the Prediction of Players' Self-Reports of Affect


A common practice in modeling affect from physiological signals consists of reducing the signals to a set of statistical features that feed predictors of self-reported emotions. This paper analyses the impact of various time windows, used for the extraction of physiological features, to the accuracy of affective models of players in a simple 3D game. Results show that the signals recorded in the central part of a short gaming experience contain more relevant information to the prediction of positive affective states than the starting and ending parts while the relevant information to predict anxiety and frustration appear not to be localized in a specific time interval but rather dependent on particular game stimuli.
Keywords: preference learning, post-experience self-reports, heart rate, skin conductance, blood volume pulse, games

Hiran Ekanayake, Per Backlund, Tom Ziemke, Robert Ramberg and Kamalanath Hewagamage. Assessing Performance Competence in Training Games

In-process assessment of trainee learners in game-based simulators is a challenging activity. This typically involves human instructor time and cost, and does not scale to the one tutor per learner vision of computer-based learning. Moreover, evaluation from a human instructor is often subjective and comparisons between learners are not accurate. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an automated, formula-driven quantitative evaluation method for assessing performance competence in serious training games. Our proposed method has been empirically validated in a game-based driving simulator using 7 subjects and 13 sessions, and accuracy up to 90.25% has been achieved when compared to an existing qualitative method. We believe that by incorporating quantitative evaluation methods like these future training games could be enriched with more meaningful feedback and adaptive game-play so as to better monitor and support player motivation, engagement and learning performance. Keywords: Serious Games, Performance Evaluation, Motivation, Driver Training

Josephine Anstey. Improvisation, Emotion, Video Game

Actors are increasingly used by the video game industry to give life to non-player characters. Models are animated based on face and body tracking. Voices are dubbed. This paper argues that it is now time to tap into the improvising expertise of actors. To create games with rich, emotional content, improvisation with a group of actors is a necessary part of game-play development. abstract environment.
Keywords: improvisation, emotional game-play, common-sense psychology

Noor Shaker, Georgios Yannakakis, Stylianos Asteriadis and Kostas Karpouzis. A Game-based Corpus for Analysing the Interplay between Game Context and Player Experience

Recognizing players' affective state while playing video games has been the focus of many recent research studies. In this paper we describe the process that has been followed to build a corpus based on game events and recorded video sessions from human players while playing Super Mario Bros. We present different types of information that have been extracted from game context, player preferences and perception of the game, as well as user features, automatically extracted from video recordings. We run a number of experiments to analyse players' behaviour while playing video games.
Keywords: game-based corpora, player behaviour, player's affective state, player experience

Angela Tinwell, Mark Grimshaw and Debbie Abdel-Nabi. Effect of Emotion and Articulation of Speech on the Uncanny Valley in Virtual Characters

This paper presents a study of how exaggerated facial expression in the lower face region affects perception of emotion and the Uncanny Valley phenomenon in realistic, human-like, virtual characters. Characters communicated the six basic emotions, anger, disgust, fear, sadness and surprise with normal and exaggerated mouth movements. Measures were taken for perceived familiarity and human-likeness. The results showed that: an increased intensity of articulation significantly reduced the uncanny for anger; yet increased perception of the uncanny for characters expressing happiness with an exaggeration of mouth movement. The practical implications of these findings are considered when controlling the uncanny in virtual characters.
Keywords: emotion, video games, uncanny valley, characters, expression

Maurizio Garbarino, Andrea Bonarini and Matteo Matteucci. Affective Preference From Physiology in Videogames: a Lesson Learned from the TORCS Experiment


In this paper we discuss several issues arisen during our most recent experiment concerning the estimation of player preference from physiological signals during a car racing game, to share our experience with the community and provide some insights on the experimental process. We present a selection of critical aspects that range from the choice of the task, to the definition of the questionnaire, to data acquisition. Thanks to the experience gained during the mentioned case study, we can give an extensive picture of which aspects can be considered in the design of similar experiments. The goal of this contribution is to provide guidelines for analogous experiments.
Keywords: preference evaluation, physiological signals, emotion in games, experimental setting

Christian Becker-Asano, Dali Sun, Birgit Kleim, Corinna Scheel, Brunna Tuschen-Caffier and Bernhard Nebel. Outline of an empirical study on the effects of emotions on strategic behavior in virtual emergencies


The applicability of appropriate coping strategies is important in emergencies or traumatic experiences such as car accidents or human violence. In this context, emotion regulation and decision making are relevant. However, research on human reactions to traumatic experiences is very challenging and most existing research uses retrospective assessments of these variables of interest. Thus, we are currently developing and evaluating novel methods to investigate human behavior in cases of emergency. Virtual reality scenarios of emergencies are employed to enable an immersive interactive engagement (e.g., dealing with fire inside a building) based on the modification of Valve’s popular Source™ 2007 game engine. This paper presents our ongoing research project, which aims at the empirical investigation of human strategic behavior under the influence of emotions while having to cope with virtual emergencies.
Keywords: coping, virtual reality, empirical study, head-mounted display