ITS 2012 Workshop: Emotion in Games for learning

Accepted papers

Florian Berger, Antonios Liapis, and Georgios Yannakakis. Prototyping an Adaptive Educational Game for Conflict Resolution


The SIREN project aims at developing a serious game which educates young people on how to resolve conflicts. At ITU we design a social multiplayer sub-game that revolves around the everyday life within a virtual village. Since the applicability of theoretical models of conflict to the interaction space of a digital game is limited, we implemented a prototype that allows for a better modeling of the actual user experience. The prototype fits well into an iterative design process, since it allowsfor gathering data from actual use cases which will inform the design of the final adaptive system.

Maria Rita Ciceri, Daniele Ruscio. Learning Racing Emotions: Empowerment of risk perception while playing racing videogames


The present study explores how drivers and non-drivers interact with racing videogames. Subjects were asked to play two type of racing videogames while their driving behavior, arousal activation and facial expressions were recorded. Representations about driving, risk perception, and user evaluation of videogames were also collected. Results showed significant differences between drivers and non-drivers in: heart rate activation and negative emotions for the two different types of racing videogames. In particular the drivers seemed to be more aware of the risky driving situations they were facing in the game, while non-drivers didn't seem to have the same emotional activations towards risk. It should be questioned how and at what condition a ludic driving simulation could interact in a constructive way with young non-drivers that haven't yet developed a complex hazard system to explore the road.

Keywords: Risk Perception, Emotions, Driving, Racing Videogames.

Lotfi Derbali, Claude Frasson. Offering Multiple Mission Trials: A Physiological Study of Players' Motivational State


Trials and attempts are common and are the means by which players upgrade their skills during gameplay. It is unclear whether or not high level of motivation holds when the gameplay is characterized by a high degree of repetitiveness. Assessing effects that these multiple trials may have on players' motivation is a crucial step in order to clarify how and to what extent a mission could be played. Thus, this study explores the effects of multiple mission trials on player's motivation in a serious game environment. 20 participants were invited to play our serious game, called HeapMotiv, intended to educate players about the heap data structure. We used Keller's ARCS theoretical model of motivation and physiological sensors (heart rate, skin conductance and electroencephalogram) to record participants' reactions during interactions with different missions and across multiple trials. Results showed that physiological patterns and their evolution are objective tools to assess effects of multiple mission trials on players' motivation.

Keywords: Motivation, serious games, multiple trials, physiological sensors.

Jennifer Sabourin, Jonathan Rowe, Bradford Mott, James Lester. Exploring Affect and Inquiry in Open-Ended Game-based Learning Environments


Guided inquiry-based learning has been proposed as a promising approach for science education. However, students may not automatically follow effective problem-solving strategies in open-ended learning environments. Prior work has examined the relationships between students' inquiry behaviors, content learning gains, and problem-solving outcomes in an open-ended, game-based learning environment for middle school science. This paper reports on a follow-up investigation of student affect during problem solving in the same game environment. Results show that students who gathered more background information during the early stages of in-game problem solving experienced increased excitement, reduced confusion, and reduced frustration compared to their late information-gathering counterparts. Given games' implicit goal of fostering engagement, these findings highlight the importance of scaffolding student problem solving in open-ended game-based learning environments in order to promote positive affect.

Keywords: Game-based learning, Affect, Inquiry-based learning, Problem solving