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International Journal of Computer Games Technology publishes original research and review articles on both the research and development aspects of games technology covering the whole range of entertainment computing and interactive digital media.
International Journal of Computer Games Technology maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.
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ALTRIRAS: A Computer Game for Training Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Recognition of Basic Emotions
This paper presents a computer game developed to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to recognize facial expressions associated with the four basic emotions: joy, sadness, anger, and surprise. This game named ALTRIRAS is a role-playing game (RPG), a kind of game pointed out by the literature as the most suitable for these children for being more social than competitive. It has recreational settings built with 2D graphic interface to keep the children’s attention and an access control and a register mechanism to allow the monitoring of the child’s progress. The data collection of the functional, nonfunctional, psychological, and educational requirements, as well as the evaluation of its consistency and usability, was made by a multidisciplinary team consisting of five experts in each of the following expertises: pedagogy, psychology, psychopedagogy, and game development. The effectiveness test of the game was performed by 10 children with ASD and 28 children with neurotypical development, which were separated into control and experimental groups, respectively. All experts and children with neurotypical development answered the System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire after playing the game. The results were positive, between experts and volunteers regarding their acceptance. However, the time of exposure to the game in children with ASD should be increased to effective assistance in the recognition of facial expressions.
Knowledge Encoding in Game Mechanics: Transfer-Oriented Knowledge Learning in Desktop-3D and VR
Affine Transformations (ATs) are a complex and abstract learning content. Encoding the AT knowledge in Game Mechanics (GMs) achieves a repetitive knowledge application and audiovisual demonstration. Playing a serious game providing these GMs leads to motivating and effective knowledge learning. Using immersive Virtual Reality (VR) has the potential to even further increase the serious game’s learning outcome and learning quality. This paper compares the effectiveness and efficiency of desktop-3D and VR in respect to the achieved learning outcome. Also, the present study analyzes the effectiveness of an enhanced audiovisual knowledge encoding and the provision of a debriefing system. The results validate the effectiveness of the knowledge encoding in GMs to achieve knowledge learning. The study also indicates that VR is beneficial for the overall learning quality and that an enhanced audiovisual encoding has only a limited effect on the learning outcome.
Real-Time Large Crowd Rendering with Efficient Character and Instance Management on GPU
Achieving the efficient rendering of a large animated crowd with realistic visual appearance is a challenging task when players interact with a complex game scene. We present a real-time crowd rendering system that efficiently manages multiple types of character data on the GPU and integrates seamlessly with level-of-detail and visibility culling techniques. The character data, including vertices, triangles, vertex normals, texture coordinates, skeletons, and skinning weights, are stored as either buffer objects or textures in accordance with their access requirements at the rendering stage. Our system preserves the view-dependent visual appearance of individual character instances in the crowd and is executed with a fine-grained parallelization scheme. We compare our approach with the existing crowd rendering techniques. The experimental results show that our approach achieves better rendering performance and visual quality. Our approach is able to render a large crowd composed of tens of thousands of animated instances in real time by managing each type of character data in a single buffer object.
IMOVE: A Motion Tracking and Projection Framework for Social Interaction Applications
In public places such as malls, train stations, and airports, there is a constant flow of people either waiting or commuting. Even though people at these locations are surrounded by many other individuals, mostly there is little social interaction, which generally creates a gloomy atmosphere. Any applications promoting social interactions are a welcome addition. We present IMOVE, an interactive framework aimed at facilitating the development of such applications. It offers a combination of motion tracking and projection methods which makes it easier to create interactive experiences and games, tailored to motivate people to move around, explore, and, most importantly, interact with each other in a fun way. People moving around trigger events and effects, interacting with the applications using their body movements or even collaboratively working towards an outcome. IMOVE was validated by means of a variety of applications in a real scenario, the entrance hall of a busy public building: the classic Pong game, a collaborative and accessible casual game (Save the Turtles!), and a procedural visual art generator based on game mechanics (Light Trails). All applications have been successfully running for the past year. The IMOVE framework is freely available online and it has been shown to be particularly suited and accessible to novice game and interactive application developers for large public spaces.
A Meta-Analysis of Use of Serious Games in Education over a Decade
It seems necessary to review the literature to explore the effectiveness of serious games in education, since the number of studies on serious games is surging up. This study systematically reviewed the literature within around a recent decade. The trend of the number of publications related to use of serious games in education was firstly clarified based on the data retrieved from major databases. Secondly, various factors were determined that influenced the effect of serious game assisted learning. The major section identified both advantages and disadvantages of use of serious games in education. Use of serious games in medical science has been rising in a recent decade, which is thus highlighted in this study. Attitudes toward use of serious games in education were explored, as well as the new development of use of serious games in education. Future theoretical and practical exploration might need interdisciplinary cooperation.
Hall of Heroes: A Digital Game for Social Skills Training with Young Adolescents
Traditional social skills training (SST) programs are delivered in person and suffer from significant time, financial, and opportunity barriers that limit their reach and potential benefits for youth. This paper describes the design and preliminary evaluation of Hall of Heroes, a digital game that presents SST through an engaging superhero-themed virtual story world. Participants were randomly assigned to complete the digital game (n = 15) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 14) and were compared on parent-report measures of social emotional functioning. Youth who completed Hall of Heroes significantly improved in their abilities to relate to others (both peers and family members) as well as to accept affection and express emotions with others, compared to youth who did not complete the SST intervention. Further, youth in the treatment condition showed a significantly greater decline in feelings of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness than did youth in the control condition. Both parents and youth reported high levels of engagement in and acceptability of the Hall of Heroes. This study adds to the research literature, supporting the potential of a game-based SST platform for effectively helping youth develop prosocial social problem-solving skills.