GameNet and GameSage: Videogame Discovery as Design Insight

Ryan James Kaltman Eric Hong Timothy Isbister Katherine Mateas Michael Wardrip-Fruin Noah
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

The immense proliferation of videogames over the course of recent decades has yielded a discoverability problem that has largely been unaddressed. Though this problem affects all videogame stakeholders, we limit our concerns herein to the particular context of game designers seeking prior work that could inform their own ideas or works in progress. Specifically, we present a tool suite that solicits text about a user’s idea for a game to generate an explorable listing of the existing games most related to that abstract idea. From a study in which 182 game-design students used these tools to find games related to their own, we observe a demonstrated utility exceeding that of the current state of the art, which is the coordinated usage of assorted web resources. More broadly, this paper provides the first articulation of videogame discovery as an emerging application area.


Bridging the Physical Learning Divides: A Design Framework for Embodied Learning Games and Simulations

Melcer Edward Isbister Katherine
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Due to a broad conceptual usage of the term embodiment across a diverse variety of research domains, existing embodied learning games and simulations utilize a large breadth of design approaches that often result in seemingly unrelated systems. This becomes problematic when trying to critically evaluate the usage and effectiveness of embodiment within existing designs, as well as when trying to utilize embodiment in the design of new games and simulations. In this paper, we present our work on combining differing conceptual and design approaches for embodied learning systems into a unified design framework. We describe the creation process for the framework, explain its dimensions, and provide examples of its use. Our design framework will benefit educational game researchers by providing a unifying foundation for the description, categorization, and evaluation of designs for embodied learning games and simulations.