Webinars & Keynotes


2021 - December 1 - Keynote of the GALA conference

Evaluating Gameplay Experience: Beyond Questionnaires

Professor Effie Lai-Chong Law

Effie LawAbstract:  Gameplay experiences are typically evaluated with questionnaires, given the introspective nature of perceptions and responses in relation to game-based interactions.  A plethora of such questionnaires, standardized as well as home-grown, has been developed in the last fifteen years.  While some proved robust with excellent psychometric properties, some entail more systematic scrutiny to ensure their power as a scientific tool. In this talk, I will present one example of the former and another of the latter to reflect on their implications for the game research community.  Nonetheless, using questionnaire as a gameplay experience evaluation method, whilst flexible and efficient, has limitations. Complementing subjective self-reported data with objective psycho-physiological ones is deemed desirable or even essential for specific target groups of specific games in specific contexts. To illustrate this concept, I will report an empirical study where we have evaluated young children’s cognitive strategies when playing with a tablet-based educational game with the eye tracking methodology and their emotional responses with video analysis. In fact, going beyond questionnaires has even stronger relevance to the burgeoning eXtended Reality (XR) games. I will explore the potential of automatic multisensory emotion analysis, thanks to the advances of machine learning methods, for evaluating holographic experiences. 

2021 - December 2 - Keynote of the GALA conference

Games as Experimental Paradigms: What action games can tell us about the acquisition of expertise in complex dynamic tasks

Professor Wayne D. Gray

GrayAbstract: We view action games as experimental paradigms for cognitive psychology. For these purposes, the best are those requiring significant amount of time to master.  What occurs in that time can provide key insights into the acquisition of dynamic task performance. We begin our talk with a brief survey of games in research starting with the pioneering work of the Loftus’ and Sudnow. In a nod to our audience, we then dwell lightly on Donchin’s work creating and using Space Fortress as a tool to study learning strategies. We remain with Space Fortress long enough to discuss Rahman & Gray’s use Space Fortress data in support of the Plateau, Dips, and Leaps approach to understanding skill acquisition. Of course, we need to discuss our work with 492 hours of undergraduate play and about 170 hrs of play from the Classic Tetris World Championships (2020). Finally, we make a brief landing on our new work exploring the dynamics of pairwise performance by building a cooperative action game in which pairs of undergraduates play for 2 hrs/wk across 5 weeks of gameplay. 

2021 - February 10 - Webinar

Design Challenges in The Production of Serious Games for Rehabilitation

Yoones A. Sekhavat (Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Iran)

Yoones A. Sekhavat

Abstract : A rehabilitation program is an important part of recovery that can assist in the cognitive assessment and rehabilitation of patients. The focus of rehabilitation is on the enhancement of a range of motions and coordination. Although active participation and the engagement of patients during therapeutic sessions are crucial, rehabilitation activities are generally designed as repetitive tasks that make patients frustrated and tired. The design of a rehabilitation task as a therapeutic game can result in a motivating rehabilitation environment. This webinar seeks to investigate the challenges lie ahead in the design of serious games for rehabilitation. In particular, we discuss the design issues and experiences in the production of rehabilitation games.

SGS WS2021a slides by prof. Sekhavat

2021 - February 17 - Webinar

Collaborative Vs. Competitive Approaches in the Design of Attention Training Games Through Brain-Computer Interfaces

Yoones A. Sekhavat (Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Iran)

Yoones A. Sekhavat

Attention training games can use brainwaves as auxiliary inputs to increase the attention level of players in an engaging environment. This webinar seeks to compare competitive reinforcement and collaborative reinforcement approaches to increase a desired behavior in multi-player attention training games by adjusting game properties. The focus of the competitive reinforcement is on increasing the sense of competition between players to encourage a desired behavior, while the collaborative reinforcement emphasizes on the collaboration between players. To compare these approaches, we will discuss the experience of developing a multi-player attention training game based on the car racing scenario that employs EEG devices to receive the attention level of players in the game.

 SGS WS2021b slides by prof. Sekhavat

2020 - December 9 - Keynote of the GALA conference

Games for Academic Life

Anna Cox

Anna Cox

Academic life seems to be increasingly shaped by metrics that measure how happy we’ve made our students, how many papers we’ve written and how much money we have generated to support our research. The pressure that comes from being placed on these leaderboards has contributed to the high rates of mental ill health and suicide amongst academics. In this talk, Professor Anna Cox will describe how we can use our knowledge of the science and application of serious games to improve our own lives and those of our students and colleagues. Drawing on her research on work and wellbeing in the digital age, she will describe how we can use games to build communities, develop trusted teams and enhance our work-life balance.

2020 - January 28 - Webinar

Game-based Assessment Revisited: The Past Ten Years and Moving Forward

Dirk Ifenthaler (University of Mannheim and Curtin University)

Dirk Ifenthaler

The implementation of assessment features into game-based learning environments is only in its early stages because it adds a very time-consuming step to the design process. The impact on learning and questions toward reliability and validity of technology-based assessment systems are still being questioned. To answer the question of what people are learning from playing games, researchers have been using a variety of methods including external measures, log data capturing in-game actions, and game-related actions beyond the game context. This webinar seeks to identify why research on game-based assessment is still in its infancy, what advances have been achieved over the past ten years, and which challenges lie ahead for advancing assessment in game-based learning.

Ifenthaler, D., & Kim, Y. J. (Eds.). (2019). Game-based assessment revisted. Cham: Springer.

SGS WS1 slides by prof. Ifenthaler 

2020 - February 25 - Webinar

Potentials and Challenges of Serious Games Analytics

Dirk Ifenthaler (University of Mannheim and Curtin University)

Dirk Ifenthaler

This webinar focuses on serious games analytics which are defined as the actionable insights developed through problem definition in training/learning scenarios and the application of statistical models, metrics, and analysis for skills and human performance improvement and assessment, using serious games as the primary tools for training. The purpose of serious games analytics is to provide stakeholders with the actionable insights to affect policies and implement strategies for the (re)training, education, and improvement of return of investment. New metrics and methods must be developed to obtain the right serious games analytics because they are more than ‘game analytics for learning’ and ‘learning analytics for games’. Besides obvious performance measurement, assessment, and improvement, new research efforts in serious games analytics include replay analysis, medical education, play-learner profiling, expert-novice differentiation, rehabilitation, and many others.

Loh, C. S., Sheng, Y., & Ifenthaler, D. (Eds.). (2015). Serious games analytics. methodologies for performance measurement, assessment, and improvement. New York, NY: Springer.

 SGS WS2 slides by prof. Ifenthaler

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