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Abstracts

Conference Sessions: Thursday, January 16, 2020

Session 1

C197 A Work Mechanic
Mary Gross, Marian University of Wisconsin
Simulation games sometimes require an action that mimics human effort. Rolling dice or choosing a card to determine the level of effort or work isn’t really appropriate since effort represents choices and skills that aren’t random. Georgeann Wilcoxson’s game “Baldicer: A Simulation Game on Feeding the World’s People” (1970) contains a simple mechanic that simulates the combination of choices and skills of manual labor. This presentation will explain and demonstrate the mechanic. A short discussion of other uses for the mechanic will follow.

C197 Spice up the Class with 4 Complex Mechanics
Liana Andreasen, South Texas College
Based on 4 of Joe Bisz’ 9 game complex mechanics, I will explain 4 class game templates that can be applied to any type of content: 1.The Weakest Link (“find the clue” mechanic): teams of 4-5 students are given a flawed problem that they have to correct (e.g. a grammatically flawed paragraph, a flawed math problem, a factually incorrect event in history). After each round, they eliminate their weakest link, until one player remains from each team for final round. 2. Mystery Game (“cut-ups” mechanic): teach concepts that are logically connected to each other either ‘backward’ or ‘forward,’ by giving them only the ending or the beginning of a series of clues or statements, such as: start from “God is dead” and ask for implications, then add another clue if they cannot guess the previous or next clue. They keep guessing until the entire set of concepts is revealed. 3. Election Game (“simulation/role-play” mechanic): divide the class into politicians and voters; politicians make a case for their candidacy based on how well they master content, how well they respond to spontaneous challenges/questions. Content can be anything, and the ‘platform’ is related to the type of class, such as each candidate has to explain the functioning of a body organ in biology, or each candidate has to present a city or country in geography, or defend a character in a literature class. 4. You Are in a Movie (“Brainstorming and creation” mechanic): students put together (randomly or in an organized way) characters, facts, concepts to fill in a movie pattern that is given to them in advance. Characters can be chemicals, plants, theorems, fictional or real people, etc. Students work in groups to create the movie, filling in ‘roles’ such as protagonist, secret twin, first to die etc, and the plot. Winner gets an Oscar.

C197 Particle Passport
Mayumi Matsumoto, New York University
The Particle Passport is a paper-based game that tracks and rewards students’ repetition practice while introducing them to cultural content including local food, attractions, and culture. Japanese particles, which indicate grammatical relationships between the components of a sentence, are one of the most important but difficult elements of Japanese language. Particle Passport is a gamified instruction of these particles for Elementary Japanese I and Elementary Japanese II students. The Particle Passport game allows students to practice the particles through different types of activities, such as fill-in-the-blank and digital modules, then rewards them with physical stickers, thereby making a difficult memorization task more fun and engaging.

Another goal of this project is to provide additional opportunities for students to explore local regions and cultures of Japan. Many students have visited Japan in the past, but only to big cities, missing out on the many foods, sites, and activities only found in those prefectures. By vertically traveling through Japan in the game map and earning regional stickers, students gain exposure to regions of Japan beyond Tokyo and Kyoto, encouraging their interest in visiting these places after the semester ends.

Regional stickers also help students visualize their progress in the course. Each sticker indicates learning objectives, so that students can measure their proficiency in aspects of Japanese language. The number of stickers they earn in a prefecture increases students’ awareness of how much practice they completed in that lesson. Visualizing and measuring improvement is one of the keys to maintaining motivation in language learning, as it is very difficult to see without multiple kinds of feedback.

Since Particle Passport was implemented with students, there was an increase in practice activities outside of class and enhanced desire to learn about Japanese local culture. However, the game is still in development and is undergoing modification to better address students’ learning needs.

Particle Passport helps students be aware of their progress, explore local culture of Japan, and most importantly, learn particles in a fun way.

C198 Gamifying Media Literacy Instruction: Preliminary Findings
Linda Miles, Kate Lyons, Hostos Community College, CUNY
In 2018 Linda Miles and Kate Lyons received a PSC CUNY grant to study which game-based learning principles are most effective for student engagement, knowledge transfer, and skill development in media literacy instruction. Media literacy refers to critical thinking and the ability to evaluate and appropriately use and disseminate information typically encountered via social, informal, or other non-academic channels. Our hypothesis was that certain game characteristics and game-based learning principles would have a significant impact on media literacy learning.

After developing a method for cross-indexing existing and potential games and learning principles, we selected 6 media literacy games to test because they represent a wide variety of game mechanics, media literacy learning outcomes, and game-based learning principles. During Spring 2019 we conducted 14 focus group sessions, which included 60 total student subjects, administering pre- and post-tests and group interviews. We are currently working to analyze these data.

As a result of the focus group data, we are beginning to develop a gamified lesson plan for a single-session media literacy class, which we hope to test in the next phase of research. In a poster session at last year’s CUNY Games Conference as well as at the Meaningful Play Conference in East Lansing, MI, we described how we characterized each of the games we selected to test. In this session we plan to briefly discuss our research methodology and the preliminary results from the focus group sessions, and present our draft of the gamified lesson plan.

C198 Three Strikes and You’re Out: Using the Game Codenames: Duet to Teach Perception
Carlos Cruz, Bronx Community College, CUNY
The card game Codenames: Duet requires players to provide a clue to their partner in the form of a hint combined with a number. For example, the clue ‘salad: one’ indicates that the clue provider believes there is a single word on the grid that is connected to the word ‘salad.’ The typical game of Codenames: Duet is played using a 5×5 grid for a total of 25 words. The players are working together to answer each other’s clues while avoiding the assassin. An assassin is a word that if guessed results in an automatic loss for the players.

This activity modifies the rules associated with Codenames: Duet for use in a Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication course. As opposed to a typical game of Codenames that uses a random combination of 25 words, I created a much larger grid featuring a total of 48 words. This larger grid featured 6 words on each of the 8 rows. This grid was available for students on a desk in the classroom and was displayed using the classroom projector. Some students opted to take photos of the grid using their cell phones.

To begin the activity, I created groups of 3-5 students depending on the class size. Once students found their partners, I wrote the following hints on the board: clown: two, wedding: four, travel: eight, weather: three, scientist: two, and myth: three. Students were required to guess a total of 22 words from our 48-word grid. Instead of implementing the assassin words in this activity, I adopted baseball’s three strike rule. Each group could guess a total of three words incorrectly before they were eliminated from the game. Words that were identified correctly but placed in the wrong categories were not evaluated as a strike. In this situation, students were informed that the word should be moved but were not provided with the name of the correct category. The group that completed the grid first or came the closest to completing the grid received extra credit. After the activity was completed, students completed an appraisal of the activity using the steps of perception.

C198 Teachers Training and Board Games: A Case Study About the Cognitive Implications of Play
Marco Tibaldini, University of Bozen
History courses are, in Italy, affected by many bias and issues generated by a wide misconception of the aims of history teaching. A teaching program based on the mnemonic learning of dates, names and locations, is generally applied from primary to high school. This mnemonic approach, that insist on the national celebration, decreased the interest of the students for the discipline, making this teaching less profitable for them but also more difficult and challenging for teachers.

Aside to a theoretical reflection about the renewal of the aims of history teaching in a multicultural society, the italian association of history teachers Clio ’92 implemented a research about the cognitive skills on which history learning is based. Several aspect of the disciplinary epistemology were identified, deeply explored and tested, and finally exposed in papers and publication. Since 2013, the researchers of Clio äóÖ92 are tackling the matter according to an empirical and practical perspective, testing several different methods to train history teachers, including also gaming activities.

These activities include newly designed board games and card games, as well as ancient board games found by archaeologist on a period that goes from the Neolithic to the fall of the Roman Empire. These games are designed to train the cognitive skills peculiarly required by history learning and currently seems to work quite well in changing the perspective of history teachers, as well as the attitude of the students of the Education Faculty of the university of Bozen/Bolzano.

As result, teacher discover empirically which are the cognitive skill required by history learning, how do they works and how to improve them, how to identify these mental procedures in both, the research activity of a professional historians, and in the learning process of their own school-kids.

C201 Bridging Generational Divides Through a Board Game
Flora Richter, New York University
This research is focused on the current state of family dialogue and the widening generational divide following the 2016 presidential election. The goal of this research is to connect people from different generations and empower them to bridge differences through empathy and meaningful dialogue. This project bridges the generational divide through aspects of a game from a sociological perspective. The target audience was initially a multigenerational family that includes grandparents, parents, and children. However, this game can serve other audiences that may face challenges that can be addressed through meaningful dialogue. The game is designed as a board game that incorporates cards with questions meant to encourage dialogue; it also includes participatory creative activities (e.g. drawing, acting, etc.).

The methodology for this project fuses sociology and user experience design. This methodology is used for this project because it allows us to understand different generations and the perceived divides among them, it explores family dynamics and what causes family conflict, it provides insights on social movements that help define generations, and it allows us to think critically about social human life. The process of exploring and investigating these intersections of generations, family dynamics, and dialogue is facilitated by user-centered design under the umbrella of studying these social patterns.

The methods and process for this project were exploratory in order to better understand the experiences people have had with generational divides in their social lives and to identify ways to bridge those divides. Exploration entailed surveys to learn more about where people interact with others that are older or younger than them and what those experiences are like. Interviews and user personas explored how different groups of people may be tangentially impacted by generational differences. We explored cross posting forum questions about life advice to see if there were any relevant findings. These experiences led me to wonder whether a game had the potential to open a deep reflective dialogue between family members if probed with reflective and possibly contentious questions.

The study focuses on a board game where participants will answer reflective questions to facilitate dialogue and will participate in creative activities (e.g. drawing, acting, etc.). To seek ways to improve and iterate on the game, user feedback is essential during the design process. We will run user testing to collect feedback in order to inform future improvements to the game.

C201 Process and Educational Impact of Working on a Student-Developed, Faculty-Led Interdisciplinary Educational Video Game
Joshua Fishburn, Yifeng Hu, Kathryn La Capria, Deanna Amarosa, The College of New Jersey
Research has shown that college freshmen do not find existing alcohol education programs engaging. Literature review indicates that narrative communication is more effective at producing positive changes in perceived social norms and behavioral intention than non-narrative communication. In addition, game-based learning has shown effectiveness in changing people’s health behaviors, including improving sexual health attitudes and knowledge, promoting learning about pain management, and reducing consumption of unhealthy foods. We therefore designed a narrative-based interactive video game that allows college freshmen to play through different scenarios, each of which represents something players might come across in their first year of college life. As we developed scenarios, we also aimed for cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Our goal is to engage players and prepare them to make healthy decisions related to alcohol consumption. Rather than promoting sobriety, we aim to teach mindful drinking techniques and related knowledge.

The game, tentatively titled “Fresh Start”, has been in development for over a year, and over that time we’ve gone through multiple art styles, longer and shorter narratives, different attempts at mini-games, and discussed multiple possible methods of studying the game’s effectiveness as a health intervention. In addition, more than ten students have worked on the project, with some leaving the project as they graduated or studied abroad and others joining as they learned about the project and expressed interest in working on it. Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of our product and our process. It has involved our collaboration as faculty but also students in a variety of majors: Communication Studies, Interactive Multimedia, Computer Science, Public Health, Interdisciplinary Business, and Health and Exercise Science. Even as individual students’ strengths and roles become more clearly defined, we still make key decisions as a team with our goals and research literature in mind.

With our presentation, we proposed to discuss, broadly, the story of the project and what we’ve learned as we developed our interdisciplinary process. Along with our students, we will discuss the origins of the collaboration, the impact on the participating faculty, and the impact on the participating students, including their attitudes about collaboration, research interests, views of other disciplines, and future careers.

Session 2

C197 Application of Advances in Natural Language Processing for Gamification of Chat-based Language Learning
Will Jordan-Cooley, Teachers College, Columbia University
In this talk, we will show how advances in natural language processing (NLP) can be used to bring game-based learning to language learning applications.

Broadly speaking, good educational games foster learning via 1) open-ended and interest-driven exploration coupled with 2) meaning feedback and just-in-time instruction. In other words, the ideal is guided exploration. Players can learn by doing which allows autonomy and relevance while carefully guiding them towards competence. To date, language learning applications have been able to offer the first or second of these vital ingredients for learning but not both. Some popular applications hit the second criteria with bite-size activities within a structured and gamified curriculum. However, the content is canned and exploration is limited. Other applications satisfy the first criteria by offering open-ended chatting platforms where learners can connect with whom and talk about what they choose. In this case, learners receive little to no guidance or targeted instruction.

In order to provide our ideal of guided exploration, we need to be able to represent our content as a fully interactive model. For topics like physics, this isn’t too hard and there are a number of great educational games out there. For language learning, this is much harder. However, with recent advances in natural language processing (NLP) and the growing accessibility of these technologies through APIs, it is becoming possible.

We will show how a language learning application can utilize NLP APIs to 1) allow a learner to jump into authentic use of a language from day one of their learning journey and 2) receive guidance and structured practice within a gamified curriculum with 100% learner-generated content.

C197 Motivating Coding Students to Get Ahead of the Game
Devorah Kletenik, Brooklyn College, CUNY; Deborah Sturm, College of Staten Island, CUNY
We developed a 3D serious game that teaches and reinforces programming concepts for Computer Science students. Code Control was developed using the Unity platform to engage, motivate and improve the learning experience for students taking introductory programming courses. The storyline centers around endangered animals who are missing from an animal rescue. The animals’ digital name tags contain corrupted code that players must solve in order to save the animals. An innovative feature allows instructors to create customized challenges that students solve in the context of the game, allowing instructors to use the game to effectively target course topics or skills. Detailed analytics of all users’ gameplay are collected and a complementary web portal is under development so that instructors can use the game as an informal evaluation mechanism. Code Control is deployed as a WebGL and can be played in a browser without requiring installation.

C197 How to Teach Math to Game Designers
Alexander King, New York University
Games have an intrinsic relationship with almost every branch of mathematics. From the randomness described by probability theory to formal logic for puzzles, games of every type are built out of math. However, for many designers without a formal education in a quantitative discipline, these areas can be esoteric and difficult to relate to games at first glance. This can handicap a designer’s scope, or force them to rely on external help or tools.

So Alexander King developed a class for the NYU Game Center’s MFA program to remedy that, and help onboard students from non-technical backgrounds. The course was designed to fill a particular gap we had noticed among our graduate students who had liberal or fine arts backgrounds. Many such students hadn’t had much mathematical education since highschool, and were sometimes held back by the lack of resources and not knowing where to start. While there are extensive resources covering math for game developers and programmers, there’s less covering the areas of math that are especially useful for designers specifically.

In this session he’ll share a breakdown of the course, including what it covers and why, how to fit a large amount of different math subjects into a single 14-week course, approaches for teaching math to game designers, and share some of the exercises used in the class.

C198 Crafting Meaningful Essay Assignments for Role Playing Games
Seth Offenbach, Bronx Community College, CUNY
Role playing games can help college students think more deeply about a topic. When professors become game masters and students become actors, there is a unique level of depth to the student learning which is hard to replicate with other assignments. Role playing games, like those organized by the Reacting to the Past consortium, have long demonstrated their ability to help students understand the past by playing a real person. These games require students to do an incredible amount of reading and re-reading as they must learn to truly embody their persona. In addition, role playing games in history courses help give deeper explanations of why certain events turned out the way they did. Students must also negotiate with one-another and give public speeches. In order to be able to successfully accomplish these goals, students must learn more about their historical actor. This often involves doing outside research. The above list explains why many faculty love using role playing games in the classroom. Despite these positive learning outcomes, faculty members in the liberal arts and humanities are also constantly struggling to improve students’ written communication. How can role playing games help students improve their writing? In order to see meaningful gains in writing, faculty must first think creatively about the written assignments associated with role playing games. Simply writing a speech or letter is rarely enough. Faculty must get more creative in our writing assignments. This presentation will address several strategies and assignments I have created in the past associated with role playing games. Some of these assignments were a success, but others were a failure. This paper will help talk about ways we can all improve our written assignments surrounding role playing games.

C198 Rethinking Gaming & Representation within Digital Pedagogy
Anthony Wheeler, Raven Gomez, The Graduate Center, CUNY
This work attempts to challenge the digital humanities & higher education to further the importance of expanded representation of perspectives of marginalized voices outside of the traditional westernized cannon of scholarly essay writing. Excluding race and intersections of gender, culture, ableism, disability and sexuality from public discussions through erasure and acceptance of larger discourses of colorblindness contribute to problematic understandings of video games as a cultural medium, and their significance in contemporary social, political, economic and cultural organization. The idea of basing a game off cultural experiences aims to help students develop a deeper understanding of not only their own identity experience but as well as their peers’ differences in identities, helps to foster a safer and more productive classroom space. We will be emphasizing the gaming content, the related source material, and we will be referencing digital humanities pedagogical practices that can be theorized into game-building strategies in order to structure equality and dismantle power-dynamics in traditional classroom settings.

Through using Twine, an open-source platform that is web-based, we have created a playable beta version of a game that addresses all of these goals. We believe that by utilizing interactive mediums through gaming in the classroom we can expose students to diverse experiences in terms of race, disability, gender, and sexuality. This will also lead to the potential for students to align themselves with multicultural literature, and increase their learning outcome in doing so. In successfully scaffolding game-based learning into undergraduate-level classrooms, we believe that this can open up the possibility of furthering undergraduate participation in digital humanities projects as well as create a need for more digital-oriented workshops for students to expand their knowledge and use alternative modes of scholarly writing.

This project will focus on the power of identity and aims to provide a perspective of what is possible in using games to expand the pedagogical scope of interactive mediums as a tool for learning and re-creating the standards of knowledge production in higher education. To do this we have created a small-scale game, “How Have your Experiences Shaped your Paper?” (official title to be determined) via Twine which explores various perspectives & themes that can spark inquiry in imagining how games can be a tool for individualized expression as well as teaching digital humanities practices to undergraduate students. Drawing from the Digital Humanities pedagogical tool-kit, we will be referencing practices that can be theorized into game-building strategies towards scaffolding of experiential knowledge production and structuring equality in the classroom. Our aim is to use interactive technology as a method to give voice to those often misinterpreted or silenced within the traditional western literary canon.

C198 Pittsburgh 10
S.L. Nelson, University of Pittsburgh
Set in a Western PA fever dream of a town, Pittsburgh 10 is a 2D computer-based roleplaying game that follows a sadboi queer kid called Avey just trying to make a name for themself. As they traverse the different queer communities, they interact with folks and gain a reputation. The goal of the game is, of course, for them to become a Pittsburgh 10, and in the process, face their own personal demons. The purpose of this presentation is to analyze Pittsburgh 10 as a queer rhetorical artifact. I begin by detailing the premise of the game, outlining its narrative and distribution options. I then provide an account of the game development methodology in order to discuss the collaborative and technical processes that enabled this project’s development. I subsequently situate Pittsburgh 10 within the field of game studies, focusing in particular on Ian Bogost’s concept of procedural rhetoric (2010), as well as the recent scholarly thrust, spearheaded by Bonnie Ruberg (2015; 2017; 2018), to highlight what has always already been queer about the medium. The game’s code mirrors that of traditional RPGs; however, using what Holmes (2016) disparagingly terms as the bad or deceptive rhetoric of the interface, the game’s interface obfuscates the code and seeks to subvert normative gameplay logic. For instance, health is reframed as anxiety/ennui, money or coins as debt, fights with enemies as interactions with acquaintances, and looting the body as borrowing objects. Next, I evaluate how the game’s narrative simulates the procedure by which a public is transformed into a queer utopia through acts of mutual aid (Spade 2018). Drawing on Berlant and Warner (1998), Mun’€oz (2009), and Levitas (2014), the project considers queer worldmaking not as a teleological goal, but rather as an ongoing methodology. This methodology is enacted in the world of the game through the acts of service the player performs for the NPCs, which comprise their queer community. I conclude by contemplating the game’s rejection of teleology in accordance with writings on queer time and anti-chrononormativity (Knutson 2018).

C201 Going Viral!: An Educational Card Game on Virus Biology
Ruby Gumenick, Vassar College; Desiree Obaji, Long Island University; Robert Frawley, Ashley Pirovano, BioBus
The spread of viral infections ultimately depends on the capacity of a virus to overcome immune barriers. Existing in numerous physical forms grouped into families, viruses have varying transmission rates and pathophysiology (progression of infection). The viruses chosen specifically harm human cells, tissues, and organ systems and have been featured in news and popular culture – choosing these viruses increases the game’s relevance and helps set the record straight for viruses one may encounter verbally or physically. Going Viral is a competitive multiplayer game designed by college interns at BioBus, Inc. where players take on the role of a virus that is competing to successfully infect a host cell using the steps of viral replication. Gameplay guides players through the five stages of viral replication, informs players of appropriate treatments for viral disease, and provides examples and background information for players to learn. Players must draw ATP cards to gain enough energy to complete the five stages of replication. Included in the card deck are obstacles such as treatments and immune responses to impede the replication process. Proper education on viruses is essential in the progression of universal health. In a study aimed at examining the level of virus biology taught in Austrian high school and university students, virus-related knowledge was fragmented amongst many of the participants, proving that the learning approach at schools were not sufficient enough. To combat that, this game provides an exciting way for students to increase their proficiency in virus biology and can raise public awareness regarding the nature of viruses and containing the rapid spread of deadly viral diseases. The purpose of “Going Viral!” is to educate users on the nature of viruses and their individual modes of infection in a fun and engaging manner.

Session 3

C197 Immersive Games
Jessica Creane, Drexel University
Games are systems of action, philosophies are systems of thought. Together, they can provide a guide for how to think about the world and how to act within it. In these morally questionable times, games provide a unique opportunity for exploring ethics in a safe space.

In this presentation, we will look at a series of ethics-based games, drawn from ancient and contemporary philosophies, to explore the role of playfulness in games about serious ethical quandaries. We will examine the effect of participants being in the same physical space as their peers to explore personal and societal values, as well as the process of creating tangible games from abstract ideas- including research methods and playtests. We will look at implementing these games in the classroom as a way to ground intangible ideas in tactility, individual, and collective action, as well as on-boarding and off-boarding techniques for exploring complex and sensitive material through games.

C197 An Experimental Study of Playing Video Games’ Effects on Creativity
Shiang-Kwei Wang, Hui-Yin Hsu, Queensborough Community College, CUNY; Meesuk Ahn, New York Institute of Technology
Video games are now one of the most dynamic and creative industries. To date, the main areas of research try to establish a positive correlation between playing video games on cognition and learning, but their contributions generally rely on qualitative data and case studies. There has been limited research conducted in a rigorous manner to ensure the credibility and transferability of a study. This study adopted a four-group post test-only randomized experimental design to examine the immediate short-term causal effects of playing video games on creative thinking. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from the 98 participants in two experiments. The resulted revealed that a combination of stimuli had an immediate positive effect on participants’ creativity performance, especially the convergent thinking. Participants’ creativity performance was hurt if they were exposed to the same cognitive tasks over a period of time (one hour in this case). This study provides evidence to confirm the immediate effect of playing video games on creativity performance. Questions remained for further researchers.

C197 Expanding Horizons: Game Design as a Method of Research and Exploration
Matt Shoemaker, Temple University
Games are valuable tools for exploring different aspects of real world events and experiences. Freedom: The Underground Railroad, for instance, covers the experience of slaves in the United States escaping north during the 19th century, while Spirit Island brought anti-colonialist sentiment to a mass-market title. However, some genres have been pigeonholed in ways that can upset people when they do not meet their horizon of expectation, creating difficult, sometimes toxic, environments outside of prescribed boundaries. Matt Shoemaker recently wrote a chapter on the history and design of wargames in relation to gender for the book ‘Feminist War Games? Mechanisms of War, Feminist Values, and Interventional Games.’ In this discussion, Matt will speak to how games can use genre to explore narratives in areas they traditionally have not been used to examine. Be it wargames, which have traditionally been used to examine the mechanics of battle and larger scale conflict, altered to examine the societal, economic, and other causes of violent conflict, or games like Freedom and Spirit Island examining a-typical themes and content. Matt will also discuss the challenges this brings when taking these games back to the communities that typically enjoy these genres who may react negatively to such changes, and the value in returning them to these players to expand their expectations.

C198 Delve Deeper: Using a Tabletop Game to Facilitate Design Game-based Learning
Tamrah Cunningham, Reneta Lansiquot; New York City College of Technology, CUNY
We designed tabletop game Delve Deeper to help students develop ideas for an argumentative essay in a co-taught interdisciplinary general education course. This tabletop game is a short roll-and-move board game that studies video game addiction, particularly the effect of game narratives on player immersion. As players progress through the board, they will continually have to roll a die that indicates how addicted they are to the game itself. The increase in addiction points raises the difficulty the player faces in performing regular actions on the board that represent real-life activities (e.g., eating meals, studying for a test, going to sleep on time). The purpose of the game is to argue that the stronger a game’s narrative, the more likely it is the player is immersed in the game, which then promotes gaming addiction. The tabletop game itself is meant to be used as an interactive model for the students to design and play-test their own tabletop game. This game would present their argument for their chosen topic and provide evidence to support their working thesis. In the case of Delve Deeper, the tabletop game’s argument is for the classification of video game addiction as a gaming disorder by the World Health Organization. Presenters will demonstrate this model tabletop game and detail how design game-based learning can be used to facilitate other essay types too, such as cause and effect, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive.

C198 Using Games to Build Entrepreneurial Thinking: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Maria Segares, Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, Brian Gregory, Michele M. Montecalvo, St. Francis College
Entrepreneurial thinking is an approach to creative problem solving and opportunity recognition that emphasizes collaboration, value-creation, resilience, and continuous development. As the global economy shifts from a managed economy to an entrepreneurial economy, facilitating the growth of entrepreneurial thinking among undergraduate students is critical for their career development.

This panel will explore using games in and out of the classroom in an undergraduate setting to facilitate the development of students’ entrepreneurial thinking. We will discuss engaging game developers/entrepreneurs for curricular and co-curricular activities, using games in co-curricular activities, and discussing games in the classroom from an interdisciplinary approach including communication arts, business, and health promotion.

C198 Making Cybersecurity All Fun and Games for Beginners
Devorah Kletenik, Alon Butbul, Daniel Chan, Deric Kwok, Matthew LaSpina, Matthew, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Cybercrime poses a threat to both our society and economy; an increasing awareness of human users as the “weakest link” compels building awareness and educating Internet users about cybersecurity. Due to the potential for games to engage and motivate learning, a number of serious games have been Œæcreated to teach cybersecurity concepts, including digital games, card games, and Capture the Flag competitions. However, many of these games are geared towards those who are already knowledgeable about cybersecurity. When novices to the field are overly challenged by cybersecurity games, they may have poor learning outcomes and possibly exhibit counteractive decreased interest in cybersecurity. We address this problem by creating an educational serious game geared specifically to cybersecurity novices. Cyber Secured uses engaging gameplay and challenges to educate students who are new to the field about concepts such as phishing, malware, encryption and passwords. We evaluated the game on introductory students in an electronic commerce course and promising results suggest that playing the game resulted in both short-term learning gains in cybersecurity as well as longer-term retention of the concepts. We also saw evidence that students who played the game had increased interest in cybersecurity, and students gave positive feedback about the use of this game to teach and assess cybersecurity concepts. Since Cyber Secured appears to be a useful tool to educate about cybersecurity concepts, we are making the game freely available online to instructors who wish to try it out in their courses (including General Education courses, CS0 courses, and CS courses for non-majors).

C201 Using XR to Increase Student Engagement
Kenny Chen, Greta Donato, Rangoli Mittal, Sagarika Rana, Yuri Alegria, Michael Gradin, Rick Anderson, Rutgers University
Rutgers Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) staff and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Science Landscape Architecture (LA) students will talk about the decisions made while creating the Rutgers Arbor Trail game while transforming the traditional nature walk or educational trail into an interactive experience, the challenges faced while doing so, and future plans for this and other Extended Reality (XR) games and applications.

The Arbor Trail is a historic trail behind Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center. It was rediscovered in 2015 and Landscape Architecture faculty and students have been making restoration efforts since that time. In 2017, GRID was asked to provide assistance to bring additional attention and engagement to the historic trail.

Working closely with LA students, Rutgers GRID staff have created an augmented reality game that informs visitors to the trail about the flora and fauna as well as some history of this historic trail. GRID imagined the concept of someone discovering the trail and a lost trail guidebook. Opening the guidebook, you discover many of the pages are missing, but you can see some of them scattered along the trail ahead of you. As you scan the augmented reality targets along the trail, pages are re-added to the guidebook.

After approval of the game, GRID staff began storyboarding the flow of the game and creating it using the Unity game engine, while also experimenting with Vuforia for creating augmented reality target images. LA faculty and students divided the trail into several zones and selected 3-5 objectives for each zone, providing a list to GRID that included objective names, facts, and reference photos.

Student artists created digital art reproducing the style found in trail guidebooks, which were then reviewed closely by Landscape Architecture faculty and students. After approval, each objective was turned into an augmented reality target and added to the game using the Unity game engine and Vuforia. Those targets were also printed onto wooden plaques created at the Rutgers Makerspace (with help from RU Makerspace staff) and placed along the trail at LA student direction.

As part of the annual Scarlet Day of Service at Rutgers, GRID ran a beta with volunteers working on the trail and trying the game for the first time. Notes were taken, bugs were found, and GRID began working on updating and improving the game. On November 20th, 2019, the Rutgers Arbor Trail app will officially be launched, as part of the University Inn’s Fall Open House.

XR applications like this can create engagement that extends beyond the typical ways of communicating with students, allowing us to focus attention on otherwise overlooked opportunities, engage more students in educational content, and also help bring Humanities to the places students focus their attention — their phones.

Session 4

C197 Cheating to Write: Playing Games and Breaking Rules in Research Writing
Sandra Leonard, Kutztown University
Recently, there has been a growing recognition of the ‘invisible syllabus,’ obscure matters of academic etiquette that are often mistaken for universal knowledge. For instance, though the phrase ‘office hours’ is ubiquitous in academia, there is no reason to assume that a first year, first generation student knows what ‘office hours’ are actually for. Similarly, research writing carries with it many unwritten rules, particularly regarding citation and research use in formal academic genres. At best, misunderstanding these rules can result in confusion and disconnection between professor and student. At worst, it can lead to academic honesty accusations. It’s often up to the composition instructor to illuminate these unwritten rules of research writing. However, presenting a litany of formal rules and genre expectations can be both reductive and, frankly, boring. My own solution to this problem is a reversal of a common saying: To learn the rule, you must break it. In this presentation, I will share my composition course design that is thematically centered around cheating in order that students better understand the ‘game’ of research writing.

Throughout my composition course, cheating forms the thematic basis of class and small-group discussions, leading into conversations about ethical research practice. We discuss issues such as fabrication, collusion, plagiarism, misrepresentation, cherry-picking, conflicts of interest, and other forms of dishonest or shoddy research. Throughout the course, students are presented with examples of misleading and fabricated research such as Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent link between autism and the MMR vaccine, Elizabeth Holmes’s false claims about Theranos, and the ‘Sokal Squared’ hoaxes. In a series of group role-playing games and writing scenarios, students get to work through examples and judge for themselves where the line between permissible and impermissible lies.

The act of uncovering the rules of ethical research is one game presented by the course, but another is in implementing the rules of research writing itself. Low-stakes demo assignments in the course allow students to experiment with research writing. These experimental assignments even permit a certain amount of self-aware ‘cheating’ (collaboration, copying, fabrication) in order to promote a greater attentiveness to the expectations of formal research writing. By conceptualizing research writing as a ‘game’ with complex and context-driven but now conceivable rules, students are empowered to see themselves as players who can jump in and participate with their own voices.

C197 Meaningful Choices
Dave Eng, University XP
You can define games as a collection of meaningful choices. But these choices are often difficult to create. Choices can extend from many different things such as where a player should go; how they should spend their resources; and how a character is created and customized. In the end all meaningful choices in games boil down to the player question: how should they play the game? This question can also extend to “how should a student learn in your class?” Especially if the instructor is using games-based learning. Join Dr. Dave Eng (Clinical Professor, Educational Technologist) as he discusses the four characteristics of making meaningful choices in games and why they should be included in all successful games-based learning and game designs.

C198 Building Engaging Survey Tools: What Can Game Design Accomplish?
Nicolas Legewie, German Institute for Economic Research (DI W Berlin) & University of Pennsylvania
Over the last decades, social scientists have faced growing challenges in their collection of large-scale survey data. First, we observe a decline in response rates, especially in Western countries such as the U.S. Second, and related to this first point, it has become increasingly challenging to motivate respondents to participate in multiple survey waves over time (‘panel attrition’). Third, respondents increasingly perceive participation in surveys as burdensome and unpleasant rather than interesting and entertaining, which threatens data quality by increasing measurement error and item non-response.

Recent technological and design innovations allow much more creativity in how we approach survey design. Nonetheless, the basic format of surveys has essentially not changed since their inception beyond a diversification of survey modes (i.e., the means by which we administer surveys). By rethinking survey design, we may be able to not only address the pressing problems in survey research, but fundamentally improve surveys. But where to start?

To our eyes, one promising route to improve surveys is to incorporate elements from game and user interface design. Tools from these fields can help creating more engaging surveys that people actually want to participate in, even over multiple survey waves. The same tools may also help improving the quality of the data we collect, by increasing engagement of participants with the survey, but potentially also by opening up entirely new ways to collect information in surveys.

In turn, incorporating game and user interface design into surveys is an interesting challenge for designers because of the specific constraints that surveys impose. For instance, it is challenging to devise ways to afford participants with rewarding payoffs and meaningful choices while also ensuring that the collected data remains valid and reliable.

In our talk, we will briefly discuss the important role of survey research and its pressing problems, before reflecting on promising game and user interface design elements that could be incorporated into surveys. We end with a quick participatory section in which the audience can vote on and suggest possible game and user interface design elements to improve surveys.

C198 Stroke of Genius: The Benefits of Gaming in Honing Critical Thinking in Medical Education
Ann Helms, Medical College of Wisconsin
Game based learning offers key benefits over traditional case-based application exercises in development of important skills in medical practice. Development of a differential diagnosis, or informally, the list of all possible explanations for a patient presentation, is one of the most important skills in medicine, but is difficult to foster in a large group setting. Traditionally, students are offered case-based small group discussions to practice skills in applying learned information, but to assure mastery, most cases only cover the most iconic and straightforward presentations.

I developed a proctored, trick-based card game for medical students in groups of four played after a lecture on stroke pathophysiology. In it students build ‘cases’ of stroke by playing cards from their hand of seven cards with four levels: symptoms, predisposing conditions, pathology and pathophysiology.

Having to choose from a limited set of random cards has several benefits. First, in mentally testing each card in their hand to try to make it connect to the current case, far more combinations of pathophysiology are considered than in discussion of a list of predetermined cases. Second, by introducing randomness, players are forced to creatively expand possible case explanations because the most obvious answer may not be in their hand. These mental actions are essentially the same ones necessary for development of a broad differential diagnosis. Finally, game play forcing each student to make and defend card choices also mitigates the possibility of the outspoken students limiting active participation of others and lessens the possibility of group think.

C201 Liberating the Liberal Arts: How Playing Video Games for my English Classes Changed my College Experience
Nina Navazio, The College of New Jersey
I am currently a Junior at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in Trenton and the most overwhelming grumble among undergraduates is: ‘Why do we have to fulfill liberal learning requirements?’ At TCNJ, undergraduates are required to take cross-curricular classes, which for most people means taking the easiest science lab (geology) and the easiest math class (mathematics for the liberal arts) for grades that won’t tank their GPA.

And in a world where college is getting exponentially more expensive and the state-wide minimum wage was only just raised to $10/hr a few months ago, I understand students complaining about taking classes that ‘don’t matter.’ It’s just like middle school: ‘When will I ever need this?’

‘Every day,’ is my response. I’m an English and Interactive Multimedia (IMM) double major with a Creative Writing minor and I believe it is because of this combination of the liberal and mechanical arts that I have come to truly appreciate the purpose of a liberal arts education.

One of the most visible impacts this kind of education has had on me is in the papers I write. As an English major, I am required to churn out an inordinate amount of papers in an inadequate amount of time, so I’ve come up with a revolutionary idea for my campus: asking professors if I can write about video games instead of books.

As of right now, I am 2 for 2 when asking if could I analyze video games as literature. That’s to say I’ve written 2 papers about video games, one of which has been published in TCNJ’s Journal of Student Scholarship. The first, and published, paper is titled ‘Technically Witches: In Witch We Discuss Witches in Video Games’ and looks at the role of the stereotypical witch in modern video games, creating an original Bechdel test to see whether or not they’re fully developed characters (spoilers: they aren’t). The second paper, to be finished by the end of the fall 2019 semester for my LIT 499 capstone, looks into the dystopic nature of the Portal franchise and what it means for our humanity as a whole.

In my 15 minute talk, I will run through my process of viewing and playing video games as literature for literary college-level essays and explain why, when playing a video game, it’s always a good idea to a) keep some paper handy and b) play with someone else, even if it’s a single player game. Then, looking at the big picture, I will outline how crossing my two worlds — English and IMM — has lead me to looking at everything from a ‘liberal arts’ viewpoint, and how it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you can always make it an enjoyable experience as well as a way to better yourself if you just have the right toolset.

C201 Playing With Our Food: Using Games to Raise Students’ Awareness of Campus Food Insecurity
Tanzina Ahmed, Talha Naveed, Destiny Rivera, Amadella Clarke, Ho Yan Wong, Glenda Ullauri, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY; Rositsa Ilieva, CUNY School of Professional Health
CUNY students’ experiences with food insecurity (i.e., the inability to access healthy and affordable appropriate food on a regular basis) may lower their GPA and hurt their retention rates (Ahmed, Yan, & Ilieva, 2019; Freudenberg, Watnick, Jones, & Lamberson, 2018). To understand how these dynamics play out at Kingsborough Community College, we (a group of student and faculty researchers) co-created a study on students’ food experiences. We will share our research with the community within Kingsborough’s Food Day, held on 11/7/19. We highlight the games we created to inspire students’ interest and activism regarding food on our campus.

First, we will introduce our research on students’ experiences with food insecurity and related support programs at Kingsborough. After this presentation, participants will be placed into groups in order to take part in games that reinforce their understanding of and develop their vision regarding food insecurity within our campus. Several tables will take part in a game of Food Security Charades. Their participants will be divided into teams and asked to pick from index cards with food security words/facts written on them. Participants hold the index cards up on their forehead while teammates give clues about the cards’ words. This game will give students a reason to retain and discuss the information shared within our presentation.

Two other tables will play Food Security Jenga. Their participants will extract blocks from a Jenga tower and answer food-related questions inscribed on each block. These questions will include those regarding basic food security/program facts as well as potential plans to support food insecure students. This activity will encourage students to think about the food insecurity issues we raised, including the scale of the problem at Kingsborough and future steps needed to support their fellow students.

Other tables will be assigned a campus mapping activity. These students will receive a map of Kingsborough’s campus, complete with paths and game tokens as seen in the game Monopoly. These students must complete a series of challenges based on random card draws and dice rolls that relate to finding affordable, healthy food at Kingsborough during a variety of times, such as 10 minutes in-between class and in the late afternoon. Students will then ‘redesign’ the food options, venues and prices on Kingsborough’s campus, giving them insight as to how existing food venues need to be reconfigured to support students’ complex needs.

Finally, after analyzing short surveys student participants complete about their experiences within our games panel, we will present data reviewing how useful the games were in helping students understand food justice issues on our campus. We will also explore how our games might have shifted students’ attitudes and behaviors in regards to food insecurity and related program. We will conclude by reviewing how these games may be used by other campus food organizations, such as the Food for Thought pantry or the nascent student Food Justice Club, to inspire student support and activism in food-related issues in the future.

Posters/Game Demos

Note: Presenters may decide whether to present Wednesday, January 15, Thursday, January 16, or both

Posters

CS4AUTISM – Game Design
Darlene Bowman, Matthew Henschke, Joshua Henschke, Jonathan Hannam, Katie Marrow, College of Staten Island, CUNY
CS4ALL is a Mayoral initiative designed to offer meaningful computer science education for every student across New York City by the year 2025, with a focus on non-traditional students. The term ‘non-traditional’ usually references students of color, students without access to technology, and young women.

CS4AUTISM extends that ideology to include computer science students with Autism. This underserved and undiscovered community of ‘Techies’ with Autism should be recognized for their achievements and their abilities in computer science. They have hopes, dreams and goals of future studies in computer science upon high school graduation. Some even have siblings (without disabilities) studying computer science in colleges.

In collaboration with Computer Science students from CUNY College Of Staten Island’s Tech Incubator, *District 75 students with (and without) Autism work together to design games for social change.

Prepare to be amazed and moved by these young adults who love to code and study computer science and game design. It is the hope of the author that society will be compelled to help shape a world that supports these students in their quest to continue CS education and vocational training upon graduation. This successful transition is defined by Drexel University as ‘a person with a role to play in society, through employment or pursuit of further education.”

Advocates, universities, corporations, teachers, professors, parents and students must collaborate to open doors – creating opportunities in technology for young adults on the spectrum.

*District 75 comprises self-contained schools with highly specialized instructional support for students with significant challenges including cognitive delays, emotional disabilities, sensory impairments, physical/multiple disabilities, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorders. (NYC Dept. Of Education)

The Cognitive, Behavioral, Affective, and Physiological Components of Social Cognition in Esports and Education
Daisy Reyes, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Robert O. Duncan, York College, CUNY, The Graduate Center, CUNY
The popularity of esports has soared recently, with games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), where teams collaborate to win highly competitive championships. Little research has been conducted to see how esports athletes acquire these skills, or how these skills might apply to other collaborative teams like student work in education and relate them to physiological measures of stress. Previous research identified task cohesion (performance oriented) and social cohesion (community oriented) as contributors to group success. Furthermore, previous research suggests personality traits may interact with cohesion to affect outcomes. It is predicted that personality traits will interact with task versus social cohesion to affect performance in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). Expert players will be recruited from collegiate leagues. Novice players will be recruited from the York College Research Subjects Pool. Participants will be categorized using the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). Non-invasive physiological measurements will be used to monitor stress and attention (i.e., pupillometry, eye blinks, heart rate, heart rate variability, and pulse oximetry). Qualitative methods (i.e., audio and video recordings) will be used to code and classify the langue of expert and novice players. Task and social cohesive attitudes will be measured using a modified version of the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ). Players within each group will be randomly assigned to socially cohesive or task cohesive subgroups, which will compete against similar teams in a novel MOBA. Two-factor ANOVAs will be conducted for expert and novice groups separately, where the personality traits from the Big Five Personality Traits (using the IPIP) and the cohesion group will serve as factors. Post-hoc analyses will be conducted to determine which personality traits interact with each level of the cohesion factor to affect performance in groups and physiological measures of stress. It is predicted that task cohesion will be a better predictor of performance for experts, but social cohesion will be a better predictor of success for novices. Intellect/imagination, extraversion, and neuroticism should predict performance in task cohesion groups. Conversely, conscientiousness and agreeableness should predict performance in social cohesion groups. Teams with high social cohesion are predicted to have lower stress than teams with high cohesion. This research has implications for group performance in esports, the workplace, and the classroom.

Toward a Physiological Understanding of Presence and Embodiment
Evan A. Owens, Robert O. Duncan, York College, CUNY
Recent advancements in virtual reality technology have made fully immersive head-mounted displays (HMDs) a viable pedagogical tool. The public and private sectors have invested heavily into the promise that virtual reality will further learning outcomes. However, it remains unclear how this technology influences physiological mechanisms underlying human cognition. Accumulating evidence suggests that the illusion of the self, referred to as bodily self-consciousness (BSC), is derived from the consequence of integrating information across multiple sensory modalities (Damasio, 1999; Riva et al., 2017). BSC is manifested from the perception of presence and embodiment (i.e., feeling physically located in a real or virtual environment, and feeling ownership towards a real or virtual extremity) (Ionta et al., 2011; Petkova et al., 2011; Guterstam et al., 2015). Though physiological mechanisms serving embodiment (‘what am I?’) and presence (‘where am I?’) for real-world viewing have been proposed, the extent to which the components of BSC can be dissociated is poorly understood. Furthermore, there is little work to identify the neural correlates of BSC in virtual reality. While it has been suggested that BSC in virtual reality is no different than BSC in the real world (Loomis, 1992; Loomis, 2016), this may not necessarily be true. A person wearing a virtual reality headset might attend to stimuli in both the virtual and physical world by voluntarily alternating their focus of attention. This switching likely occurs via the same neural mechanisms that support selective and divided attention. Subjective experiences of embodiment have been correlated with multimodal neurons in the premotor cortex (PMC) and intraparietal sulcus (IPS) believed to encode visuo-tactile information of our immediate experience (Graziano et al., 1999; Bremmer, 2002). Whereas presence has been correlated with the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and hippocampus. These areas presumably process visuo-vestibular information that encode spatial location and a head-centered reference in presence (Ionta et al., 2011; Guterstam et al., 2015). Though not readily cited in scientific literature pertaining to BSC, it is proposed that the insula (along with the posterior cingulate cortex) integrates vestibular, proprioceptive, visual, and sensorimotor information in virtual environments for embodiment and presence in a probabilistic manner (Tsakiris, 2017). Previous research has posited that the insula is a primary multisensory integration often coupled with interoceptive attention (awareness of bodily signals including the gut, heartbeat, vestibular, proprioception) (Johnston & Olson, 2015). Consequently, a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study is proposed to investigate and identify the neural correlates underlying the perception of embodiment and presence in virtual reality. A paradigm is established to measure experiences of BSC under these unique conditions. Brain region(s) associated with BSC in virtual environments will be identified to support or refute two competing theories of BSC. Developing an understanding of how virtual reality influences perception of BSC should inform educational designers how to develop for virtual reality, how to build virtual reality experiences for education, and how to measure learning outcomes in virtual reality.

Candidate
Robin P. Andreasen, South Texas College
This is a substantial revision of a game presented in 2019. The game CANDIDATE can be played by several groups at the same time, requiring a certain amount of research and also learning about how elections work. The groups will be made of 2, 4, or 6 players at a time, split in two teams. Each player chooses a character (from about 20 character cards), a variety of pre-set abilities/goals/ideologies, which can be increased through small wins of challenges. Students consult their team and research individually to create their characters, with +4, +3, +2 and +1 abilities, and two known actions taken by the character in the past. The game has a board with several districts drawn on it, on which the teams attempt to place as many meeples (voters) as possible. Based on picking cards and answering content-based questions (cards can be personalized to reflect different types of classes: English, history, math, biology etc), characters try to outnumber others in meeple placement in the desired districts, or challenge opponents and steal voters from their districts. Questions come from cards that players draw, but players can also challenge each other based on class content, and the professor is the arbiter. At the beginning, each player plays for himself/herself, but in part 2 of the game, they become teams and their main candidate is the one with the most meeples. From this point, the team helps the candidate answer questions correctly, though only the two main players place meeples on the board until the end.

Association Between Playing Board Games and Pattern Recognition
Makak, Melissa, Nicholas Sibrava, Baruch College, CUNY
Board games have long been thought of as toys for children that centered around luck and minimal strategy to win the game, such as “Candy Land” or “Sorry!”. However, there is an entire world of board games unknown to a huge portion of the public, but it seems that they are gaining popularity as new games are being produced and targeted towards millennial consumers (Graham, 2016). The type of games that are picking up traction are those that steer away from luck driven mechanics and move towards strategy, such as Catan (Graham, 2016). Catan is an example of an introductory or “light-weight” Eurogame, which are games specifically designed to rid themselves of luck-based mechanics (Board Game Geek, n.d.). Eurogames are a genre of strategic board games that usually involves indirect conflict between players competing for resources and/or points to achieve victory; there is very little to no luck or randomness within the games, but rather, one’s ability to problem solve and recognize patterns, which are critical skills for game success.

The current study explored the relationship between pattern recognition ability and the frequency and complexity of participant board game play in a sample of 279 adults, focusing specifically on Eurogames as an initial test of our hypotheses about the possible link between gameplay and pattern recognition.

To test our hypothesis that frequency of Eurogame-play would be a significant predictor of pattern recognition ability, a multiple regression analysis was conducted with frequency of playing Eurogames as a predictor of scores received on a Matrix Reasoning test, a measure of pattern recognition skill, controlling for age, education, gender, race, and other genres of board game play. Our analysis found that frequency of Eurogame-play significantly predicted scores on the Matrix Reasoning assessment (‘_ = .882, p < .001) after controlling for demographic variables and other genres of gameplay, with Eurogame-play frequency uniquely accounted for 11.5% of the variance in Matrix Reasoning Scores.

Our second hypothesis tested the complexity rating of Eurogames played as a predictor of Matrix Reasoning scores. Our analysis found that complexity of Eurogames played was not a significant predictor of Matrix Reasoning scores (‘_ = .913, p = .126).

Our third hypothesis explored the interaction between complexity and frequency of Eurogame play as a predictor of Matrix Reasoning scores. Correlational analysis found a significant positive correlation between the complexity-by-frequency interaction and Matrix Reasoning scores (r = .176, p < .005). However, our multiple regression analysis found that the frequency-by-complexity interaction was not a significant predictor of Matrix Reasoning assessment scores when demographics and other gameplay was included in the analysis (‘_ = .069, p = .650).

These finding suggest that frequency of playing board games that emphasize strategy and problem-solving skills, regardless of their complexity, may be importantly linked to pattern recognition skills in adults äóñ a critical cognitive skill with myriad applications in academic and occupational contexts. Future research should explore whether adapting these types of games in educational and workplace contexts can facilitate the development of these skills.

Gaming for Instruction & Engagement at UT Libraries
Amber Sewell, Allison Shepard, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
This poster presentation will focus on games developed for instruction and engagement at the University of Tennessee Libraries. The types of games developed by our librarians range from board games to interactive in-person gaming experiences to an augmented reality game. Some of our games are used as part of instruction sessions, while others are used for training, outreach, or independent learning. The poster will give an overview of games developed for use at UT Libraries.

Augmented Reality Game Pilot
In an effort to broaden the scope of library instruction, this active-learning experience takes students through the library, its resources, and the basics of research. The game meets the same learning objectives as in-person instruction, but the asynchronous, guided format gives students and instructors the flexibility to assign and complete the game at point of need.

Pendergrass Clue Board Game
This game is designed as an introduction for first-year agricultural students to the library. Players solve the mystery and learn about library spaces and resources. The board game format is well suited to meet the challenges of Pendergrass, a branch library with limited space and staffing. This game is one of the foundations of information literacy instruction for agricultural students.

Acquisitions Adventure Board Game
Acquisitions processes are occasionally mystifying for librarians outside of the department that completes this type of work. This board game was created after the UT Libraries acquisitions team identified pain points in the process and drafted a more unified workflow. This game was created for the purposes of training new acquisitions staff and to share how the process works with librarians in other departments.

Smokey Snapshot Experience
Introducing first year students to the library, its resources, and research is no small feat; having only 50 minutes to do so adds another layer to the challenge. Inspired by the beloved mascot, Smokey’s Snapshot uses a ‘Flat Smokey’ to guide students as they are divided into groups, complete searches about the University of Tennessee history in the discovery tool, and proceed to visit key service locations. Built around the strength of teamwork and peer learning, students come back to the room to share what they’ve learned.

Murder Mystery for Library Takeout
Library Take Out is a programming initiative for UT residence halls, where librarians provide a menu of fun and engaging activities with a library twist. Murder mystery dinners are one of the offerings; the residence hall provides the food, themed props, and attendees, and the librarians provide a fun night of murder and mystery, with some research skills and knowledge of library resources mixed in to help students solve the murder. It’s a great way for students to get to know some librarians (who serve as actors) in a low-stakes game environment.

This poster will display photos and images from the different types of games we utilize at UT Libraries, alongside information about how the games are used and their history. We will also provide links to documentation about each game for attendees looking for more in-depth information.

Computer Science Education Through Immersive Experience
Jessica Ross-Nersesian, Eric Nersesian, Adam Spryszynski, New Jersey Institute of Technology
This poster describes a learning experiment conducted by computer science education professionals and visual designers. The focus for this experiment was to find immersive AR/VR alternatives to textbook-based computer science lessons. Due to the rapidly growing state of technology, upcoming generations will find most employment opportunities in the fields of STEM, especially computer science. To optimize potential for as many individuals as possible, we believe that education practices will also have to adapt. Currently in the US, the standard method of teaching is built upon the method of Linear-Spatial Thinking, which may need to be supplemented for students with hands on or visual learning styles. Many intelligent, dedicated students may be excluded from employment opportunities, including underrepresented minority groups, females, and individuals with attention issues.

Our team of researchers, educators, and designers developed a computer science learning experience in VR, to address this concern. We found that by presenting computer science in a way that is gamified, engaging, and private, students were able to learn computer science concepts, and were comfortable in the process. Students were observed verbally walking themselves through complicated binary math equations, expressing frustration in a positive way when trying to solve a problem, and breaking out into victory dances when eventually solving that problem. All the while, these students knew that they were in the company of their peers but did not seem to mind taking their time to learn or have much concern as to what their peers might think of them. Testing confirmed that the student group who learned binary math through this VR application were just as successful as those who learned from a certified CS instructor.

We believe this is evidence to support a larger effort in adapting the current education system to meet the needs of a diverse academic group, through incorporating various learning styles and gameplay. In designing the learning experience, C-Spresso, we took a binary math lesson and modeled narrative, game mechanics, and immersive elements around it. The user finds themselves inside a colorful space station, where all the candy in the galaxy is produced. To complete the first task, the user is instructed by a guide, named Eggy, to help him get the station up and running after a crash landing. The binary math equation is organized into 5 locations all within a 20 ft circumference in which the user roams freely, due to the Oculus Quest’s untethered feature. During these interactions, users are exercising their spatial, visual, and kinesthetic learning skills to solve binary math equations, while engaging in an interactive experience. C-Spresso proved to our team that everyone has the potential to learn computer science, if taught in a creative, engaging way. STEM related fields should not be reserved only for those who express initial interest in the math and sciences for this reason. This poster supports our mission to include academically diverse individuals in the fields of STEM and computer science.

By Students, For Students: Student-Developed Games in Higher Ed
Devorah Kletenik, Brooklyn College, CUNY; Deborah Sturm, College of Staten Island, CUNY
In our game development courses at Brooklyn College and College of Staten Island, students work in groups to create serious games to teach a college-level topic to their student peers. Students assess their games using pre- and post-surveys. We present here some of the best student serious games projects.

Game Incentivizing Student Academic Behavior through Badges for LinkedIn
Sahana Sen, Omar Johnson, Nicolas Becker, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
This research Investigates if a game awarding badges on social media (viz., LinkedIn and on Blackboard) for their classmates to see, incentivize students to engage in desirable academic behaviors, viz. (i) Time management & Punctuality and (ii) Analytical thinking & Engagement in analyzing business cases in the curriculum.

Students’ achievements in the game at the end of the semester are linked with their academic motivation, measured at the start of the game, to identify patterns which emerge.

The purpose of this research is to find ways to incentivize desired behaviors in students by the use of gaming methods. The behaviors we wish to promote in students are 1) Time Management & Punctuality – attending class and submitting homework assignments on time, and 2) Analytical or Critical Thinking – success in analyzing and solving business cases on an online discussion board, and engaging more deeply in the discussions (i.e., not just analyzing the business case and posting their own answers, but critiquing others’ answers as well.)

The incentive we will use to promote these behaviors is the chance for students to earn badges which recognize successively higher levels in attaining these – rookie, intermediate and advanced.

We link the students’ performance in the game to their academic motivation äóñ intrinsic, extrinsic or amotivation and study the patterns which emerge.

The badges, which the student can display on their LinkedIn profile, create an extrinsic motivation for students to compete with each other in being recognized by their peers as a superior student and at the top of the class. However, as business students, gaining an internship or a job features importantly in students’ plans. Therefore, we believe the fact that a badge displayed on LinkedIn will be equivalent to an endorsement of their abilities/skill from their professor, for potential recruiters to see, will motivate them, both intrinsically and extrinsically.

A game awarding badges on LinkedIn for future employers and Blackboard for their classmates to see, will incentivize students to engage in desirable academic behaviors, viz.,
(i) attending class and submitting homework assignments on time, and
(iii) thinking more analytically/critically and engaging in online discussions more deeply.

Gamification to Improve Engagement of Criminal Justice Students
Brian Harte, St. John’s University
Active learning supports Bloom’s Taxonomy by providing ‘a method for engaging students in higher-order thinking tasks (e.g., analysis, synthesis, evaluation, reflection) through various activities,’ so that students achieve more than merely the passive part of learning (Fobes, & Kaufman, 2008; Tabrizi & Rideout, 2017).’ Moreover, traditional passive strategies of learning including lectures, reading, audio visual, and demonstration may prove to be less effective than more active approaches in keeping students attention and interest. Active strategies including discussion, practice by doing, and teaching others, have shown overall, to be more effective than other means of instruction (Forbes & Kaufman, 2008). In order for students to reach their educational outcomes, and examination of cognitive and knowledge-based tasks may prove necessary.

Gamified Active Learning
The use of a ‘gamified’ active learning methods may also increase student confidence, enable strong self-reflection, and promote and enhance critical thinking skills. Additionally, these strategies may prove imperative in creating a classroom environment that encourages student involvement, engagement, and risk-taking. Alternately, these strategies assist in creating a cooperative and collaborative learning experience that contributes to the development of a learning community.

Since one main educational goal is to promote enhanced levels of critical thinking among students, gamified active learning provides a vehicle by which students can think critically, engage with content, and self- reflect on the consequences of their decisions. While there are a variety of activities and platforms available to assist instructors, the most appropriate mix of activities to support learning of specific tasks is yet to be determined.

Replication and Adaptation
In replicating the gamified active learning process, Instructors’ could take the following steps:
1.) Consider the overall learning goal and the students’ current level of knowledge regarding the topic.
2.) Identify the lesson(s) where the gamified active learning activity will be applied.
3.) Identify which active learning strategy will be used in the lesson(s), e.g. ranging from simple to complex.
4.) Design the activity äóñ consider developing an activity that provides a deep discussion of the topic, concept or construct, incorporating real-time feedback (with a focus on game design and game mechanics).
5.) Conduct activity – The Instructor should moderate the activity, allowing ample time for students to perform the activity and formulate their conclusions before discussion begins.
6.) Seek opportunities to expand the discussion. Use ‘what if’ questions to challenge students to think critically and adapt to rapidly changing conditions.
There are a variety of applied learning tools and approaches that are highly adaptable and customizable. Additionally, based on the sophistication of the learning activity (from simple to complex) the time and resources necessary to support learning may range from low to high. Due to the adaptability of active learning techniques, utilizing game mechanics and game design elements in a learning context may prove to be an important step in energizing the classroom experience.

Arcade Game Demos

Pittsburgh 10
S.L. Nelson, University of Pittsburgh
Unreal City. Population: 300,000. It’s the summer of 2017, and your situation isn’t great. The televised results of a national election have avalanched your immediate social circle into a conditionally unprecedented state of despair, your credit card balance is exponentially higher than your dwindling savings account, and recently, your Tinder interface has stalled out on a notification declaring that there’s no one (read: queer folks) located within a 100 mile radius of your sorry subject position. Your mental health has taken a nosedive, and you’re sustaining yourself on a diet of gin and melatonin. There’s really only one prepositional option that remains: out. And by going out, you’re going to skyrocket up that social latter. You might be a 15 in Cleveland, but this is Pittsburgh, and you’ll never get to heaven by being a bottom feeder. That’s right, you’ve only got one goal from now on: fame, baby, fame. This is a game about spite. It’s a game about the ennui that plagues us all in late stage capitalism. And it’s a game about community. This is Pittsburgh 10.

Pittsburgh 10 is a 2D computer-based roleplaying game (RPG) developed in Unity and programmed using the C# coding language. The player controls an 8-bit character called Avey-tar (a little portmanteau with a big responsibility) on their journey around the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Avey-tar is a queer, non-binary millennial powered by a pop-punk love of pizza and their pals and a hatred of The Stateä‹¢. They begin their journey in the Friendship neighborhood and immediately start performing acts of service for their buddies (non-playable characters, or NPCs) while engaging in discourse with acquaintances, colleagues, exes, crushes, etc. (termed ‘Others’). These interactions earn them experience points, which in turn boost their Pittsburgh Popularity Level. While the game centers on the theme of interpersonal interactions, it also tackles the issues of mental health (modeled through the character’s status bar) and capitalism (simulated through the character’s persistent debt and the direct correlation between mental health and the consumption of commodities). As Avey-tar, and the player, approach the ever receding horizon of the much coveted ‘Pittsburgh 10’ accolade, they realize that the real Pittsburgh 10 was the friends they made along the way.

Rethinking Gaming & Representation within Digital Pedagogy
Anthony Wheeler, Raven Gomez, The Graduate Center, CUNY
This work attempts to challenge the digital humanities & higher education to further the importance of expanded representation of perspectives of marginalized voices outside of the traditional westernized cannon of scholarly essay writing. Excluding race and intersections of gender, culture, ableism, disability and sexuality from public discussions through erasure and acceptance of larger discourses of colorblindness contribute to problematic understandings of video games as a cultural medium, and their significance in contemporary social, political, economic and cultural organization. The idea of basing a game off cultural experiences aims to help students develop a deeper understanding of not only their own identity experience but as well as their peers’ differences in identities, helps to foster a safer and more productive classroom space. We will be emphasizing the gaming content, the related source material, and we will be referencing digital humanities pedagogical practices that can be theorized into game-building strategies in order to structure equality and dismantle power-dynamics in traditional classroom settings.

Through using Twine, an open-source platform that is web-based, we have created a playable beta version of a game that addresses all of these goals. We believe that by utilizing interactive mediums through gaming in the classroom we can expose students to diverse experiences in terms of race, disability, gender, and sexuality. This will also lead to the potential for students to align themselves with multicultural literature, and increase their learning outcome in doing so. In successfully scaffolding game-based learning into undergraduate-level classrooms, we believe that this can open up the possibility of furthering undergraduate participation in digital humanities projects as well as create a need for more digital-oriented workshops for students to expand their knowledge and use alternative modes of scholarly writing.

This project focuses on the power of identity and aims to provide a perspective of what is possible in using games to expand the pedagogical scope of interactive mediums as a tool for learning and re-creating the standards of knowledge production in higher education. To do this we have created a small-scale game, “How Have your Experiences Shaped your Paper?” (official title to be determined) via Twine which explores various perspectives & themes that can spark inquiry in imagining how games can be a tool for individualized expression as well as teaching digital humanities practices to undergraduate students. Drawing from the Digital Humanities pedagogical tool-kit, we will be referencing practices that can be theorized into game-building strategies towards scaffolding of experiential knowledge production and structuring equality in the classroom. Our aim is to use interactive technology as a method to give voice to those often misinterpreted or silenced within the traditional western literary canon.

Using Board Games like Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer for Pedagogy
Matt Shoemaker, Temple University
Matt Shoemaker designed Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer in order to create a board game that would appeal to those who enjoy euro style tabletop games and work well in the middle school through higher ed classroom. This game takes a look at the life of wild beehives in the Philadelphia area, and explores the environmental and behavioral challenges faced by honey bees in one to three years of their lives through play. Join Matt in a discussion and demonstration of Bee Lives for how this game can be used to explore insect behavior, climate change, biology, and game design modification as a pedagogical and research tool for use in the higher ed classroom.

“Fresh Start” – An Interactive Video Game With Narrative Immersion to Promote Mindful Drinking Among College Freshmen
Joshua Fishburn, Yifeng Hu, Kathryn La Capria, Deanna Amarosa, The College of New Jersey
Research has shown that college freshmen do not find existing alcohol education programs engaging. Literature review indicates that narrative communication is more effective at producing positive changes in perceived social norms and behavioral intention than non-narrative communication. In addition, game-based learning has shown effectiveness in changing people’s health behaviors, including improving sexual health attitudes and knowledge, promoting learning about pain management, and reducing consumption of unhealthy foods. We therefore designed a narrative-based interactive video game that allows college freshmen to play through different scenarios, each of which represents something players might come across in their first year of college life. As we developed scenarios, we also aimed for cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Our goal is to engage players and prepare them to make healthy decisions related to alcohol consumption. Rather than promoting sobriety, we aim to teach mindful drinking techniques and related knowledge.

The game, tentatively titled “Fresh Start”, has been in development for over a year, and over that time we’ve gone through multiple art styles, longer and shorter narratives, different attempts at mini-games, and discussed multiple possible methods of studying the game’s effectiveness as a health intervention. In addition, more than ten students have worked on the project, with some leaving the project as they graduated or studied abroad and others joining as they learned about the project and expressed interest in working on it. Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of our product and our process. It has involved our collaboration as faculty but also students in a variety of majors: Communication Studies, Interactive Multimedia, Computer Science, Public Health, Interdisciplinary Business, and Health and Exercise Science. Even as individual students’ strengths and roles become more clearly defined, we still make key decisions as a team with our goals and research literature in mind.

The version of the game that we propose to show is mostly complete from both a content and game mechanics perspective. What remains is significant audiovisual polish and potential changes based on feedback from playtesters and stakeholders. We presented the game in the poster session during the 2019 CUNY Games Conference. Since then it has undergone a change in art style and received significant additions. We hope to gain additional feedback through the demo as well as share our experiences developing the game in our separately proposed talk.

The Rutgers Arbor Trail Game
Kenny Chen, Greta Donato, Rangoli Mittal, Sagarika Rana, Yuri Alegria, Michael Gradin, Rick Anderson, Rutgers University
Rutgers Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) staff and Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Science Landscape Architecture (LA) students will talk about the decisions made while creating the Rutgers Arbor Trail game while transforming the traditional nature walk or educational trail into an interactive experience, the challenges faced while doing so, and future plans for this and other Extended Reality (XR) games and applications.

The Arbor Trail is a historic trail behind Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center. It was rediscovered in 2015 and Landscape Architecture faculty and students have been making restoration efforts since that time. In 2017, GRID was asked to provide assistance to bring additional attention and engagement to the historic trail.

Working closely with LA students, Rutgers GRID staff have created an augmented reality game that informs visitors to the trail about the flora and fauna as well as some history of this historic trail. GRID imagined the concept of someone discovering the trail and a lost trail guidebook. Opening the guidebook, you discover many of the pages are missing, but you can see some of them scattered along the trail ahead of you. As you scan the augmented reality targets along the trail, pages are re-added to the guidebook.

After approval of the game, GRID staff began storyboarding the flow of the game and creating it using the Unity game engine, while also experimenting with Vuforia for creating augmented reality target images. LA faculty and students divided the trail into several zones and selected 3-5 objectives for each zone, providing a list to GRID that included objective names, facts, and reference photos.

Student artists created digital art reproducing the style found in trail guidebooks, which were then reviewed closely by Landscape Architecture faculty and students. After approval, each objective was turned into an augmented reality target and added to the game using the Unity game engine and Vuforia. Those targets were also printed onto wooden plaques created at the Rutgers Makerspace (with help from RU Makerspace staff) and placed along the trail at LA student direction.

As part of the annual Scarlet Day of Service at Rutgers, GRID ran a beta with volunteers working on the trail and trying the game for the first time. Notes were taken, bugs were found, and GRID began working on updating and improving the game. On November 20th, 2019, the Rutgers Arbor Trail app will officially be launched, as part of the University Inn’s Fall Open House.

XR applications like this can create engagement that extends beyond the typical ways of communicating with students, allowing us to focus attention on otherwise overlooked opportunities, engage more students in educational content, and also help bring Humanities to the places students focus their attention — their phones.

Classification: The Game
Sharon Lintz, San Jose State University
‘Classification’ is a Rummy-like card game I designed to pique people’s interest in something absolutely fundamental to librarianship: the organization of information. I created the game as a final project for a graduate class in gamification, the assignment of which was to create a game that explicated or explored something relevant to the profession of librarianship. I took the Prelinger Library, an independent research library founded by Rick and Megan Prelinger, as my inspiration. The holdings of the Prelinger, which is in San Francisco, are organized using a unique non-traditional classification system the Preligers refer to as a ‘geospatial taxonomy’ äóî one that ‘classifies subjects spatially and conceptually beginning with the physical world, moving into representation and culture, and ending with abstractions of society and theory.’ Thus, the Prelinger has rejected standard subject divisions, to the extent such traditionally disparate subjects as ‘outer-space’ and ‘gender’ are located thematically together, the explanation of connection being that both exert unseen forces that structure everyday life. The Prelingers have stated that they founded their library to facilitate new associations in the mind of the browser, and that their unique geospatial arrangement system is a political critique of the encoded injustices that are in the Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal System.

And so, with this idea in mind, I created the game ‘Classification,’ which is designed to demonstrate how deeply subjective classification systems are. The gameplay in “Classification is a lot like Rummy — only instead of using a standard card deck, I created an ‘Image Card’ deck, complete with 200 cards. I created the deck using images from game-icons.net (a repository of openly licensed graphic illustrations); on every card is a different illustration, each of which might be interpreted/classified in a variety of ways. As with Rummy, the first player to shed all their cards, which they do by playing “sets,” wins. In ‘Classification,’ though, instead of organizing sets according to suits or numerical order, players group images together according to whatever unifying concept they see fit, noting their classification choices on a slip of paper. Players take turns, shedding sets and discarding/choosing cards. As with with Rummy, players can add to other players’ sets. Unlike in Rummy, people can add sets crossword-style, and re-classify others’ cards as they do.

Game Playtests: Friday, January 17, 2020

Going Viral!: An Educational Card Game on Virus Biology
Ruby Gumenick, Vassar College; Desiree Obaji, Long Island University; Robert Frawley, Ashley Pirovano, BioBus
The spread of viral infections ultimately depends on the capacity of a virus to overcome immune barriers. Existing in numerous physical forms grouped into families, viruses have varying transmission rates and pathophysiology (progression of infection). The viruses chosen specifically harm human cells, tissues, and organ systems and have been featured in news and popular culture – choosing these viruses increases the game’s relevance and helps set the record straight for viruses one may encounter verbally or physically. Going Viral is a competitive multiplayer game designed by college interns at BioBus, Inc. where players take on the role of a virus that is competing to successfully infect a host cell using the steps of viral replication. Gameplay guides players through the five stages of viral replication, informs players of appropriate treatments for viral disease, and provides examples and background information for players to learn. Players must draw ATP cards to gain enough energy to complete the five stages of replication. Included in the card deck are obstacles such as treatments and immune responses to impede the replication process. Proper education on viruses is essential in the progression of universal health. In a study aimed at examining the level of virus biology taught in Austrian high school and university students, virus-related knowledge was fragmented amongst many of the participants, proving that the learning approach at schools were not sufficient enough. To combat that, this game provides an exciting way for students to increase their proficiency in virus biology and can raise public awareness regarding the nature of viruses and containing the rapid spread of deadly viral diseases. The purpose of “Going Viral!” is to educate users on the nature of viruses and their individual modes of infection in a fun and engaging manner.

Justice: The Game
Andy Lamey, Noel Martin, Matthew Draper, University of California San Diego
Justice: The Game is a role-immersion game designed to teach political philosophy. Such games are used to teach history at over 300 universities. Justice: The Game is a new role-immersion game designed to teach philosophy. It makes issues of justice, political philosophy and ethics vivid and accessible to an increasingly diverse student population.

Justice: The Game is modeled on the Reacting to the Past games. As the Reacting web site puts it, “Reacting to the Past (RTTP) consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work.’ Over 20 Reacting games are published. Justice: The Game preserves features that made RTTP a breakout success while pioneering new design principles to create a pedagogy tailored to philosophy instruction.

Like RTTP, Justice: The Game has students play characters who are representatives in a political assembly that is divided by factions. But where RTTP games have traditionally been set in forums such as France’s National Assembly during the French Revolution or the ancient Athenian Agora, Justice: The Game has a science-fiction setting. Students play the role of representatives in a national assembly in an alternate universe identical for ours, but the fact that the alternative United States is governed by a unicameral legislature populated by representatives whose roles are played by students. When the game is used in the classroom, students give speeches and write essays from the point of view of characters who must decide between utilitarianism, liberalism, libertarianism and other theories of justice. Sometimes they are able to reach agreement on particular measures with proponents of rival theories. Other times they need the support of indeterminate characters, who are open to forming alliances so long as their own game objectives, which invariably raise fraught political questions, are met. By designing just institutions in a simulated world divided in ways similar to our own, participants learn about theories of justice through a method that has been shown to engage diverse learner populations.

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