Presentation Abstracts

Hunger Games turns a final exam into a cooperative and/or competitive device to increase student learning

Matthew Stuve and Natalie Schelling, Ball State

In a course on tests and measurement, teacher education majors learn about the design of tests. As a means to go beyond recall on the final exam, the instructor came up with game structure that utilizes the motif and narratives from the Hunger Games movies to drive student engagement (competition, alliances, and sponsor “gifts”).

The game spans two weeks: In the first week, students write the exam questions as a means to review course content. During the second week, students either answer a question (not their own) or, if the question is psychometrically flawed, refute it.

No “gaming” software is required. Everything plays out live in the discussion board or wiki where students choose between cooperation or competition to fulfill the instructor’s goal: That future teachers learn how to develop high quality test items or recognize flawed ones and build conceptual change in their views of assessment.

Whose Story? Reflections on Two Years of Teaching Her Story and Composing Through Play

Alisha Karabinus and Bianca Batti, Purdue

In A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Raph Koster argues that games are teachers because they “teach you how aspects of reality work, how to understand yourself, how to understand the actions of others, and how to imagine.” Because games teach, it is important for instructors to consider how to make use of them in the college classroom. This presentation will examine the pedagogical significance of the 2015 game Her Story, and we argue that Her Story is a productive game to consider due to its hybridized format, its fragmented narrative style, and its interface design, all of which demand player entanglement in order to create its story. Through a discussion of the game’s design, assignments that can be scaffolded around it, and other media that can be taught in conjunction, we contend that Her Story’s hybridized format makes it ripe for pedagogical use.

Game Class Crafting: Having student create games for the real world in the classroom

Mathew A. Powers and Todd Shelton, IUPUI

One of the more difficult aspects of being a professor is helping your students complete the adage of gaining experience before the job. Game job notifications ask their applicants have titles under their belt before they are hired. To help their students accomplish this, IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing, MAS professors Mathew A. Powers and Todd Shelton have created and ran the n431 Game Production class for the past 5 years. Students are admitted after a portfolio review to a class whose goal is to have them craft original games for public consumption. The class has produced several games with the biggest being “Return of Aetheria”. This ARG ran for three seasons at GenCon, IndyPopCon, and IndyComicCon. Over 1,000 people played the game. Much has been learned by both professor and student in the game creation process. This talks seeks to share this experience with other game development educators.

Continue? What Keeps People Motivated While Playing Role-Playing Video Games

Sean May, Ball State

This study looks at the motivating factors present in single-player Role-Playing video games through the lens of Self-Determination Theory research. Through identifying how the games being tested (Bloodborne, The Witcher 3, and Diablo 3) facilitate a person’s perception of feelings of competence, autonomy, and relatedness, this research will contribute to a larger discussion of User Experience in video games by presenting and isolating those factors. This presentation will be most relevant to students and community members who are interested in both video game user experience as well as motivational psychology.

Use of Mobile Games in Type 1 Diabetes self-care

Andy Harris, IUPUI

The IUPUI CS department worked with the diabetes unit of Riley Hospital for Children to develop a series of mobile games to assist young patients with diabetes learn more about how to cope with this condition. We will demonstrate the process, games developed, and pitfalls of the project.

Basketball’s Elam Ending: A Ten-Year Journey from Concept to the Court

Nick Elam, Ball State

Game/sport designers should strive to authentically compel participants to play by the spirit of the rules (anticipating possible circumvention strategies). For over a century, basketball teams have circumvented rules (most notably, when a trailing team deliberately fouls the opponent) in order to manipulate the game clock. I have devised a hybrid duration format for basketball, whereby most of each game is played with a clock, but where the final portion of each game is played without a clock, to eliminate/alleviate the need to manipulate the clock. I researched the extent of basketball’s late-game flaws by analyzing 2200+ NBA/NCAA/Olympic games, and proposed the hybrid duration format to various leagues and events over a ten-year span. The Basketball Tournament (a $2-million-winner-take-all annual event broadcast on ESPN) adopted the format (after renaming it the “Elam Ending”) and implemented it successfully during the preliminary rounds of its 2017 event.