How is the Gacha System Reported on in Japan?

Fujihara Masahito Shibuya Akiko
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This study explains how the gacha, a random-type item provider system in mobile online games or game apps, is reported on in Japan by analyzing 233 newspaper articles. Results revealed that business frames were the most frequently used. After gacha became controversial in 2012, its problematic social nature was reported. After the controversy, news stories shifted focus more to the inaccuracy of probability rates of special items. The Japanese newspapers reported the innovative but controversial nature of gacha by balancing complaints from consumers, concerns and criticism from governmental organizations, and the profits and social responsibility of the game industry.


Techno-Giants: The Giant, the Machine and the Human

Ford Dom
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

The relationship between humankind and technology is fundamental, but also a longstanding source of unease, particularly as that relationship has become ever more intimate and irreversible. In this paper, I connect this age-old anxiety with the age-old figure of the giant, a monster similarly intertwined with ancient questions on the boundaries of humanity. I focus on two examples: the Human-Reaper larva in Mass Effect 2 and Liberty Prime in Fallout 3 and 4. Although different in approach, these examples demonstrate a use of a phenomenon I call the ‘techno-giant’ to explore and reflect the powerful anxieties in our cultures to do with the future of the human– technology relationship. In particular, both examples expose the human–nonhuman boundary as being exceeding difficult to define and place, despite a constant desire to. The figure of the giant offers a powerful focal point for these representations.


MeWare for Sale: Developer’s Approaches to Serious Mobile Music Games

Pierce Charlotte Woodward Clinton J. Bartel Anthony
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Music students face a highly complex task with a significant cognitive load. Serious games are one teaching tool used to manage this complexity, as they have been found to increase student’s engagement and foster self-regulated, independent learning behaviours. In this paper we examine serious music games on the mobile iOS platform. We particularly focus on how developers approach the creation and publication of these games. To this end, we look at the design and development of serious music games, including their development histories, revenue models, user management models, and data management models. We then frame these characteristics in terms of the type of software the games represent, which indicates how and if users were considered during development. Our findings provide valuable insight into the field of serious music games, in understanding how the current state of the field came to be and how it might evolve in the future.


Design and Development of Visualization Approaches for Informal Learning Game Logs

Feng Xuanqi Yamada Masanori
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Given the non-face-to-face context of educational online games, the learning process cannot be observed directly, creating a problem for the evaluation of informal learning. Methods that concentrate on employing gameplay log data such as learning analytics and game-embedded assessment are considered to be able to solve this problem. In our former study, we proposed cluster analysis; however, this approach has the inherent limitation of not being able to deal with more than a few parameters, and it limits the deeper insights we may gain into the players’ learning process. In this study, our aim was to determine the interrelationship between player behavior and exploration progress in stages. For this purpose, we designed and developed two visualization approaches focused on individuals and groups, and their usability was evaluated through semi-structured interviews.


Mental State Transition in Gaming Experiences

Wang Hao Sun Chun-Tsai
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Theories about sources of fun from video gaming have been developed, such as challenge, reward, learning, growth, immersion, etc. Currently, there is not much work that integrates them. In this paper, we propose a model that describes the dynamics of gamers’ experiences and behaviors utilizing these theories. Experiences and behaviors are presented as mental states in the model, and we analyze the forces that pulls/repels players into/from each of the states. This study is cross game genre: single player, multiplayer, and team match games are included in the framework. We found that reward mechanics and mental efforts are forces that drives state transition. We also believe that players do not stay in certain states for long: dynamic balances and state transitions are essential in keeping long-term gaming experiences.