FDG2017 has ended
Grand I [clear filter]
Monday, August 14

4:45pm EDT

Reconciling Games + Opening

Over the last few years, much of game studies has focused on centering the player, and indeed this year the theme of this conference is celebrating the player. And yet, we are also seeing a fascinating body of work developing around the creation of bots, AIs, and procedural creations which might fairly be said to be centering the *played* instead. We are seeing the science of player modeling developing at a rapid rate, which might be termed the process of turning a player *into* the played. We’ve also seen, over the years, debates about ludology versus narratology. Debates about formalism and ontology and culture. Debates about play and rules, play and structure, play and game. We’ve heard that the game is the interface. That the interface is irrelevant…

It’s all rather tiring, isn’t it?

A ray of hope exists, however, in the fact that as digital literacy has risen, more and more people – practitioners, academics, critics, scholars – are comfortable moving across fields, and having consilient discussions.  In this talk, I will discuss the cross-disciplinary approaches that have become my personal lodestones, as a practicing designer who is fascinated by systems and yet also regards the game designer’s actual canvas as being the human mind.

avatar for Raph Koster

Raph Koster

A professional game designer and frequent writer on issues of interactive design, Raph Koster was the lead designer on the seminal online world ULTIMA ONLINE, which first brought online worlds to the mass market. Until March 2006 he was Chief Creative Officer for Sony Online Entertainment... Read More →

Monday August 14, 2017 4:45pm - 6:00pm EDT
Grand I
Tuesday, August 15

9:00am EDT

Surprising Ways Mixed Reality Will Empower Us to Achieve More + Closing

Mixed reality platforms enable people to interact with computers, the environment and each other, in more, better and surprising ways.

Obviously mixed reality (MR) platforms let people see and hear virtual things in the real world, but surprisingly MR could also accelerate machine learning and make computers more personal. Augmented reality platforms include additional and exotic sensors that gather an immense amount of information about users’ environments. Those platforms process that data to understand what users do and how they do it.

An exciting challenge and big benefit will be for machines to understand WHY users act, anticipate their needs and help them achieve more. Mixed reality platforms will give people new ways to interact with computers, the environment and each other.

avatar for Michael Gourlay

Michael Gourlay

Principal Dev Lead, Microsoft HoloLens
Dr. Michael J. Gourlay works as a Principal Software Engineer Lead at Microsoft on HoloLens, where he leads software engineering teams in the Analog Platform R&D organization, under the Environment Understanding group, for augmented reality, virtual reality & mixed reality platforms... Read More →

Tuesday August 15, 2017 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Grand I

10:10am EDT

Game AI: Generative Design
Session Chair: Michael Mateas
  • Eric Butler, Kristin Siu and Alexander Zook - Program Synthesis as a Generative Method
  • Norbert Heijne and Sander Bakkes - Procedural Zelda: A PCG Environment for Player Experience Research
  • Ryan Alexander and Chris Martens - Deriving Quests from Open World Mechanics (short paper)

Tuesday August 15, 2017 10:10am - 11:05am EDT
Grand I

11:15am EDT

Machine Learning for Procedural Content Generation
Panelists: Alexander Zook, Adam Summerville, Matthew Guzdial and Amy Hoover

The panel on Machine Learning for Procedural Content Generation will expose the FDG audience to the emerging area of research around applying machine learning to content modeling, analysis, and generation. The panel will showcase the existing work in the eld, discuss current challenges, and highlight open opportunities for further research in the area. By exposing new ways for AI and machine learning to intersect with games we hope to encourage wider participation in this emerging domain and expose the FDG community to new techniques for studying games.

Tuesday August 15, 2017 11:15am - 12:15pm EDT
Grand I

1:15pm EDT

Game Analysis: Politics
Session Chair: Celia Pearce
  • Anastasia Salter and Bridget Blodgett - This is Fine: #ResistJam and the 2016 Election in Gaming (honorable mention)
  • Emma Anderson, Justice Walker, Yasmin Kafai and Debora Lui - The Gender and Race of Pixels: An Exploration of Intersectional Identity Representation and Construction within Minecraft and its Community

Tuesday August 15, 2017 1:15pm - 1:55pm EDT
Grand I

2:05pm EDT

Games for Purpose
Session Chair: Seth Cooper
  • Corey Clark and Myque Ouellette - Video Games as a Distributed Computing Resource
  • Deborah Fields, Yasmin Kafai, Michael Giang, Nina Fefferman and Jacqueline Wong - Plagues and People: Engineering Player Participation and Prevention in a Virtual Epidemic
  • Anurag Sarkar, Michael Williams, Sebastian Deterding and Seth Cooper - Engagement Effects of Player Rating System-Based Matchmaking for Level Ordering in Human Computation Games (honorable mention)
  • Aaron Bauer, Eric Butler and Zoran Popovic - Dragon Architect: Open Design Problems for Guided Learning in a Creative Computational Thinking Sandbox Game (short paper)

Tuesday August 15, 2017 2:05pm - 3:20pm EDT
Grand I

3:50pm EDT

Game Design & Development Curriculum: History and Future Directions
Panelists: Elizabeth Lawley, Roger Altizer, Tracy Fullerton, Andy Phelps and Constance Steinkuehler

It has been nearly twenty years since the first undergraduate degree program in computer game development was established in 1998. Since that time, the number and size of programs in game design and development have grown at a rapid pace. While there were early efforts to establish curricular guidelines for the field, these face a number of challenges given the diverse range of academic homes for game-related programs. This panel will address the history of curricular development in the field, both in individual programs and across institutions. It will also explore the potential risks and rewards of developing curricular and/or accreditation guidelines for the field.

Tuesday August 15, 2017 3:50pm - 4:50pm EDT
Grand I

8:00pm EDT

The Lost Arcade Documentary Screening
Blinking, beaming, and ringing, The Lost Arcade intimately memorializes the end of video arcades in New York City, while celebrating the camaraderie and history of a pop culture phenomenon. The film is an exceptional directorial debut that focuses on the Chinatown Fair, the Mott Street landmark where generations honed their craft, made friends and lost at tic-tac-toe to a chicken. Masterfully presenting the sights and sounds of a changing scene, wistful yet hopeful, and full of the faces and characters that radiate fun and innovation, The Lost Arcade is a dazzling portrait of technostalgia and a timely commentary on the corporate era’s incineration of modest businesses, and the resiliency of the dedicated enthusiasts.

The documentary will be screened at FDG and the director Kurt Vincent will be at FDG to introduce and discuss the documentary with attendees. Will Partin will moderate the Q&A at the end of the documentary.  

avatar for Kurt Vincent

Kurt Vincent

Kurt Vincent is a filmmaker originally from Columbus, Ohio and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His first documentary feature as director/editor, The Lost Arcade, premiered at DOC NYC and went on to screen at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Wexner Center for the Arts, Open... Read More →

Tuesday August 15, 2017 8:00pm - 10:00pm EDT
Grand I
Wednesday, August 16

9:00am EDT

Disciplining Games
Video games are not merely the software that ships; they are also the social and cultural fandom worlds created in their wake. Study of the two in combination – as sociotechnical infrastructures, in academic parlance – shows that games are intellectually demanding. They elicit complex forms of cognition and learning in math, science, literacy, computations reasoning, and other domains we generally value. So why, then, such widespread fear and loathing among the public?

America seems to find video games the ultimate Trojan house for all our social ills. Why? Multiple explanations abound: Fear of the new for a generation of babyboomers who refuse to cede cultural control. Political convenience for policymakers who are more comfortable scapegoating media than they are dealing with the consequences of poverty, insufficient gun control, and instability in the home. Deep anxiety for middle-class moms who suffer their own troubled relationship with leisure and play (and real anxiety about the economic future of their children). An industry that still courts the 1990s “bad boy” image. A uniquely American nasty puritanical streak.
Despite the last two decades of both utopian and dystopian claims – or, perhaps, because of them, – video games have steadily emerged on university campuses across the nation. More than 900 video game design and studies programs have sprouted up on campuses nationwide and eSports is undergoing a meteoric rise as the newest collegiate sport on the national scene.

In this talk, I review and editorialize the disciplining of video games, from the ways video game play connects to academic performances in multiple traditional disciplines to the rebukes interactive media have suffered despite all evidence on either side to the institutionalization of games as both department and college sport. I consider the history of emic and etic conversation about games in America, highlighting the ways in which instrumentalizing video games both reflects and shapes public perception of the medium.

Wednesday August 16, 2017 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Grand I

10:10am EDT

Game Analysis: Players
Session Chair: John Murray
  • Peter Christiansen - Designing Ethical Systems for Videogames
  • Jeff Nay and Jose Zagal - Meaning without Consequence: Virtue Ethics and Inconsequential Choices in Games
  • Yubo Kou, Magnus Johansson and Harko Verhagen - Prosocial Behavior in an Online Game Community: an Ethnographic Study (short paper)

Wednesday August 16, 2017 10:10am - 11:05am EDT
Grand I

11:15am EDT

Game AI: Puzzle Generation
Session Chair: Gillian Smith
  • Josep Valls-Vargas, Jichen Zhu and Santiago Ontañón - Graph Grammar-based Controllable Generation of Puzzles for a Learning Game about Parallel Programming
  • Britton Horn, Amy K. Hoover, Yetunde Folajimi, Jackie Barnes, Casper Harteveld, and Gillian Smith and - AI-Assisted Analysis of Player Strategy across Level Progressions in a Puzzle Game (honorable mention)
  • Eric Butler, Emina Torlak and Zoran Popović - Synthesizing Explainable Strategies for Solving Puzzle Games

Wednesday August 16, 2017 11:15am - 12:15pm EDT
Grand I

1:15pm EDT

Game Technology
Session Chair: Adam Smith
  • Julian Frommel, Sven Sonntag and Michael Weber - Effects of Controller-based Locomotion on Player Experience in a Virtual Reality Exploration Game (short paper)
  • Shawn Farlow and Jerry Trahan - Greedy Heuristics for Client Assignment Problem by Zones
  • Chris Martens and Matthew Hammer - Languages of Play: Toward Semantic Foundations for Game Interfaces

Wednesday August 16, 2017 1:15pm - 2:00pm EDT
Grand I

2:10pm EDT

Game Design: Physical Play
Session Chair: Katherine Isbister
  • Anne Sullivan, Anastasia Salter - Towards a Narrative Taxonomy of Physical Games
  • Martin Pichlmair, Lena Mech and Miguel Sicart - Designing for immediate play
  • Raquel Robinson, Zachary Rubin, Elena Márquez Segura and Katherine Isbister - All the Feels: Designing a Tool that Reveals Streamers’ Biometrics to Spectators (short paper)

Wednesday August 16, 2017 2:10pm - 3:05pm EDT
Grand I

3:30pm EDT

Game Analytics & Visualization
Session Chair: Andy Nealen
  • Choong-Soo Lee and Ivan Ramler - Identifying and Evaluating Successful Non-meta Strategies in League of Legends (best paper; short paper)
  • Thibault Allart, Guillaume Levieux, Michel Pierfitte, Agathe Guilloux and Stephane Natkin - Difficulty Influence on Motivation over Time in Video Games using Survival Analysis (short paper)
  • Brandon Drenikow and Pejman Mirza-Babaei - Vixen: Interactive Visualization of Gameplay Experiences
  • Zach Cleghern, Soumendra Lahiri, Osman Ozaltin and David Roberts - Predicting Future States in DotA 2 using Value-split Models of Time Series Attribute Data

Wednesday August 16, 2017 3:30pm - 4:40pm EDT
Grand I

4:50pm EDT

The Grassroots Game: Players, Participants, and Infrastructures in Esports from the Ground Up
Panelists: T.L. Taylor, Emma Witkowski, Marcella Szablewicz, Will Partin and Abe Stein

This panel looks at compelling ground up histories and practices of grassroots esports involvement, from industry and state level engagement to homespun practices. We explore both the ongoing local and community-based engagements as they exist alongside and within an increasingly institutionalized industry. Our field of view is international and the cases explore esports in North American, China, and Australia, as well as situating the scene as a multi-national venture with global markets. We explore how various funding models are interwoven with fandom and leveraging community. We look at how media rhetoric around addiction is impacting amateur and pro-aspirational esports play. We tackle how infrastructures, from broadband networks to the material spaces of game cafes, form important nodes in understanding how a local esports scene functions. And we present a history of esports broadcasting which situates our current media moment as rising out of a DIY culture.

Wednesday August 16, 2017 4:50pm - 5:50pm EDT
Grand I
Thursday, August 17

9:00am EDT

Game Analysis: Framing the Meta
Session Chair: Jose Zagal
  • Michael Debus - Metagames: On the Ontology of Games Outside of Games
  • Eric Kaltman, Joseph Osborn, Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas - Getting the GISST: A Toolkit for the Creation, Analysis and Reference of Game Studies Resources

Thursday August 17, 2017 9:00am - 9:40am EDT
Grand I

9:50am EDT

Player Experience
Session Chair: Jim Whitehead
  • Tuomas Kari, Jonne Arjoranta and Markus Salo - Behavior Change Types with Pokemon GO
  • Stefan Liszio and Maic Masuch - The Influence of Social Entities in Virtual Reality Games on Player Experience and Immersion
  • Kristin Siu, Matthew Guzdial and Mark Riedl - Evaluating Singleplayer and Multiplayer in Human Computation Games

Thursday August 17, 2017 9:50am - 10:50am EDT
Grand I

11:00am EDT

Love and Sex with Robots + Closing
“Love and Sex with Robots” has recently become a serious academic topic within the fields of Human Machine Interaction and Human Robot Interaction. This topic has also witnessed a strong upsurge of interest amongst the general public, print media, TV documentaries and feature films. This talk covers the personal aspects of human relationships and interactions with robots and artificial partners. New technologies and research prototypes have been developed to allow more intimate interactions with robot companions like sex robots, emotional robots, humanoid robots, and artificial intelligent systems that can simulate human emotions. Such technologies and systems also engage the users with all their senses, including touch, taste and smell, creating multisensory and immersive interactive experiences. In this talk, we will conclude that humans will marry robots by 2050.

avatar for Adrian Cheok

Adrian Cheok

Adrian David Cheok is Director of the Imagineering Institute, Malaysia, and Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City, University of London.He is Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore. He was formerly Full Professor at Keio University, Graduate School of Media... Read More →

Thursday August 17, 2017 11:00am - 12:15pm EDT
Grand I

1:15pm EDT

Game Design: Formal Approaches
Session Chair: Clara Fernandez
  • Isabella Carlsson, Jeanie Choi, Celia Pearce and Gillian Smith - Designing eBee: A Reflection on Quilt-Based Game Design (best paper)
  • Adam Summerville, Joseph Osborn, Christoffer Holmgard, Daniel Zhang and Michael Mateas - Mechanics Automatically Recognized via Interactive Observation: Jumping
  • Joseph Osborn, Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas - Refining Operational Logics (honorable mention)

Thursday August 17, 2017 1:15pm - 2:15pm EDT
Grand I

2:25pm EDT

AI for Game Design
Session Chair: Julian Togelius
  • Fernando De Mesentier Silva, Scott Lee, Julian Togelius and Andy Nealen - AI-based Playtesting of Modern Board Games (honorable mention)
  • Adam Summerville, Julian Mariño, Sam Snodgrass, Santiago Ontañón and Levi Lelis - Understanding Mario: An Evaluation of Design Metrics For Platformers
  • Tiago Machado, Andy Nealen and Julian Togelius - SeekWhence: A Retrospective Analysis Tool for General Game Design (short paper)

Thursday August 17, 2017 2:25pm - 3:20pm EDT
Grand I
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