Games User Research Seminar
In this seminar you will plan and conduct a user study in the context of games and game culture (and, of course, play a lot!).
In groups of four, participants will - based on the related research in this area - decide on the research question they want to explore and develop a research methodology on how to investigate this question. Every group will select a game that is suitable for this methodology and which they have access to. The range of possibilities in "Games User Research" is endless, some examples:
- You can do research on available games (e.g., [1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13], where specific aspects of Portal 1, Left4Dead/Rocket League, Pinball/Tetris/THYFTHYF were investigated).
- You are also free to develop “mods” or “extensions” for existing games to introduce new stimuli and to explore the effect of these (e.g., , where new difficulty options in a Tetris game were introduced and evaluated).
- You can do studies related to the game culture, e.g., how a particular game is played on live-streaming platforms or how streamers can be better supported by their audience in this game (e.g., , where Hearthstone streams were investigated).
- You can develop a game concept, prototype and playtest it (e.g., [5, 6]), or investigate effects other players have on the game play/performance of a player (e.g. [15, 16])
- You are able to explore the experiences players have with a particular game (e.g., , where the Dark Souls III experiences of players were analyzed) or with games in general (e.g., , where the emotional components of games were analyzed).
Participants are free to select whether they want to consider a commercially available digital game, an analogous board or card game or an activity-based game (e.g., hide and seek; playing with nerf-guns, ...).
The groups are formed in the kick-off. The seminar is structured in the following phases:
Introduction to Games User Research
Every group will receive four "Games User Research" papers from us. Those should be read, summarized and presented in a 20-minutes long presentation (i.e., 5 minutes per paper). Here, the groups should present the research questions of the papers, which games were used, how the experiments looked like and which results were made. The introduction has the purpose to give all participants an overview of how Games User Research is done today and how possible experiments can look like. This presentation counts 20% of the grade.
We will make your PDFs accessible to all participants.
Every group develops and writes down a study concept describing which research questions should be investigated (take care that these have not already been investigated in the literature for this particular game or game genre). This concept should cover the game that is used (you can use different games in your study, if necessary), the method of the study and how you will analyze the study results (both should be explained as detailed as possible). We will have two feedback cycles for this phase.
The groups have time to setup everything that they have planned in their concept.
The experiment will be conducted. Every participant is requested to participate in every other study (in case this will not happen, you will not receive a certificate for this course). In the best case (where everyone can participate in every experiment and with a fully booked seminar) this means that every experiment can be conducted with at least 12 participants without the need to find other participants (if you want or if this is necessary for your research question, you can/should also recruit further participants).
Following your study concept, you will analysis the acquired data. The study concept, the execution and the analysis of the study counts 60% of the grade.
In a 20 minutes long presentation the groups will present their research questions, why these are interesting from a scientific point of view (i.e., you should present relevant related work), the study concept and the results. Convince the others that you have successfully conducted a "Games User Research" study! This presentation serves as final report for this seminar, however, if you want, you can also submit a document that illustrates all your findings, in case the presentation time was only sufficient to present the main findings.This presentation counts 20% of the grade; if you submit a document, we will consider this for grading as well.
Max. no of participants: 16 (4 groups; 4 participants per group)
Your participation will be determined on a first-come first-served basis. Please note, you need to attend the kick-off session, otherwise we cannot consider your registration.
It is not necessary to implement something in this seminar, but you should have a basic understanding of how to conduct user studies and how to analyze results (e.g., having succesfully participated in the Human-Computer Interaction (User Interface Design) course). In the seminar there will not be time to explain general aspects on how to conduct user studies or how to analyze study results. We also expect participants to acquire further knowledge in parallel if necessary.
We are currently overbooked (40+ registrations), which is why we removed the link to the registration form.
23.04.2018 - 10 am - Physical meeting: Introduction to Games User Research (group presentations)
07.05.2018 - 10 am - Deadline: Submit your study concept (we aim to provide you with feedback on 09.05.2018)
22.05.2018 - 10 am - Deadline: Submit your refined study concept (we aim to provide you with feedback on 23.05.2018)
23.05.2018 - 30.07.2018 - Preparation, execution and analysis of the experiment
30.07.2018 - 10 am - Physical meeting: Final presentation
Experiment execution until 09.07.2018. Details how we support you in the execution phase will be given in the kickoff.
Experiment analysis until 30.07.2018.
tbd (most likely at DFKI)
 Visani Scozzi, Monica; Iacovides, Ioanna and Linehan, Conor (2017). A Mixed Method Approach for Evaluating and Improving the Design of Learning in Puzzle Games. In: The ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHIPLAY 2017), Oct 15-18 2017, ACM.
 Kellie Vella, Christopher James Koren, and Daniel Johnson. 2017. The Impact of Agency and Familiarity in Cooperative Multiplayer Games. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 423-434.
 E. Kimble, Charles & S. Rezabek, Jeffery. (1992). Playing games before an audience: Social facilitation or choking. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. 20. 115-120.
 Dennis Ang and Alex Mitchell. 2017. Comparing Effects of Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment Systems on Video Game Experience. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 317-327.
 Jason T. Bowey and Regan L. Mandryk. 2017. Those are not the Stories you are Looking For: Using Text Prototypes to Evaluate Game Narratives Early. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 265-276.
 Joe Marshall, Conor Linehan, and Adrian Hazzard. 2016. Designing Brutal Multiplayer Video Games. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2669-2680.
 Pascal Lessel, Alexander Vielhauer, and Antonio Krüger. 2017. Expanding Video Game Live-Streams with Enhanced Communication Channels: A Case Study. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1571-1576.
 Serge Petralito, Florian Brühlmann, Glena Iten, Elisa D. Mekler, and Klaus Opwis. 2017. A Good Reason to Die: How Avatar Death and High Challenges Enable Positive Experiences. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5087-5097.
 Julia Ayumi Bopp, Elisa D. Mekler, and Klaus Opwis. 2016. Negative Emotion, Positive Experience?: Emotionally Moving Moments in Digital Games. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2996-3006.
 Rina R. Wehbe, Edward Lank, and Lennart E. Nacke. 2017. Left Them 4 Dead: Perception of Humans versus Non-Player Character Teammates in Cooperative Gameplay. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 403-415.
 Madison Klarkowski, Daniel Johnson, Peta Wyeth, Mitchell McEwan, Cody Phillips, and Simon Smith. 2016. Operationalising and Evaluating Sub-Optimal and Optimal Play Experiences through Challenge-Skill Manipulation. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5583-5594.
 Jan D. Smeddinck, Regan L. Mandryk, Max V. Birk, Kathrin M. Gerling, Dietrich Barsilowski, and Rainer Malaka. 2016. How to Present Game Difficulty Choices?: Exploring the Impact on Player Experience. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5595-5607.
 Pascal Lessel, Alexander Vielhauer, and Antonio Krüger. 2017. CrowdChess: A System to Investigate Shared Game Control in Live-Streams. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 389-400.
 Emmerich, K., & Masuch, M. (2013). Helping friends or fighting foes: The influence of collaboration and competition on player experience. In FDG (pp. 150-157).
 Katharina Emmerich and Maic Masuch. 2017. The Impact of Game Patterns on Player Experience and Social Interaction in Co-Located Multiplayer Games. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 411-422.
 Ansgar E. Depping and Regan L. Mandryk. 2017. Cooperation and Interdependence: How Multiplayer Games Increase Social Closeness. In Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 449-461.