21 Dec 2012

Gamers: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Article, Katelyn Procci No Comments

Katelyn Procci | December 21, 2012

All of those hours spent with a controller in your hand might make you better suited for learning certain tasks in the medical profession. Last Month, Wired UK published an article in which they reported on a study by Dr. Sami Kilic from the University of Texas Medical Branch, in which he and his colleagues found that gamers may learn how to perform robotically-assisted surgery faster than their non-gamer peers. Read more

17 Dec 2012

SNE Requirements of Emergency Management Training

Article, Asli Soyler Akbas No Comments

Asli Soyler Akbas | December 17, 2012

Disaster management demonstrates three characteristics: ‘Uniqueness’, ‘Transient Nature’, and being a ‘Novel Process’ [1], making events and actions of the affected population unpredictable. This requires emergency response personnel to use their knowledge and skills gained from prior training. Capturing this in game-based training, through the use of synthetic natural environemtns (SNEs) has several requirements for success. Read more

13 Dec 2012

Modifying Player Behavior with Psychology: League of Legends

Article, Jen Loglia No Comments

Jen Loglia | December 13, 2012

Like many other gamers (and people who like playing games), I have been sucked into the vortex that is League of Legends. League of Legends (LoL) was created by Riot Games, and is a free-to-play, Massive Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game, which requires teams of players to destroy the enemy team’s base first. It’s arguably the most popular PC game, with an estimated 32 million players monthly [1]. Read more

11 Dec 2012

Attack Its Weak Point for Massive Damage: Guiding Attention in Virtual Environments

Article, Shan Lakhmani No Comments

Shan Lakhmani | December 11, 2012

I have been conditioned, over the course of many years of playing video games, to attack giant beasts when they are flipped over, to stab glowing sigils, and to toss eggs into fanged maws. While this may make me an unpopular guest at dinner parties, it makes me really good at fighting bosses in video games. Game designers, and designers of virtual environments in general, use certain clues to get you to look at certain things at certain times. But, how is this effective? Why do we look at certain things in virtual environments, and not others? To understand why we look at certain items and not others, we must first understand why we process anything.

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30 Nov 2012

Know Your Audience

Article, Corina Lechin No Comments

Corina Lechin | November 30, 2012

Picture this: You spend six months working on the design of a serious game for the Peruvian drilling industry. After going over what seems like every article on training, and transfer of training out there and racking your brain for all the knowledge you have acquired in graduate school; you have come up with a brilliant game that will revolutionize the way drillers are taught and will reduce all accidents and unquestionably save lives! So you take your game and design an experiment to evaluate its awesomeness when you realize that 75% of the drillers don’t know how to use a mouse and they can’t get past the first task in the game. Read more

16 Nov 2012

“Serious Game” and “Commercially Successful Franchise” Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Katelyn Procci, Serious Games Spotlight No Comments

Katelyn Procci | November 16, 2012

To play a game is to learn the rules of the game world and to apply them in order to achieve objectives. This need to utilize knowledge during play is central to the effectiveness of serious games. If you can make an individual engage and apply content in a fun way, they learn it through exposure and practice, with the added benefit of enjoying the experience, which may encourage them to continue to play or to perhaps explore the content area further. Any game, then, can be a serious game as you have to at least learn something to play it. Valve’s Portal franchise is wildly popular and is a commercial success. Read more

09 Nov 2012

My First Usability Study

Authors, Jenny Vogel, Undergraduate Perspectives No Comments

Jenny Vogel | November 9, 2012

Being an information technology student at RETRO has its pros and cons. I feel like I can put my technology background to use while solving problems in the lab, however, I am often left out of fully understanding projects that are heavy in specialized psychology terminology. That’s why I was excited to enroll in my Human Computer Interaction class this semester! Although it is just a basic usability class for I.T. majors, it has given me a good insight into what is really going on in our studies, and I got the opportunity to have hands-on experience in developing my own usability test. Read more

02 Nov 2012

Budget Hero: A game to balance the Federal budget

Kai Wong, Serious Games Spotlight No Comments

Kai Wong | November 2, 2012

As the 2012 Presidential election draws near, politicians are employing a number of strategies to address many key issues that voters have. One such issue is the economy and balancing the Federal budget. However, for many, this has become a buzzword: while politicians may offer plans toward economic recovery, the general public may not know enough about the subject to differentiate between them. This is where serious games have attempted to make a difference. Read more

31 Oct 2012

Human Factors students: What should we be doing?

Article, Katelyn Procci 1 Comment

Katelyn Procci | October 31, 2012

I spent the last week in Boston attending the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s 56th Annual Meeting. Compared to last year, there were far more talks focused on serious games and game design issues, which is really great to see (more on that later). One of the most interesting sessions, though, was on the current state of Human Factors and Ergonomics graduate programs. Read more

26 Oct 2012

Rantings of an Undergrad: How to Get into a Lab and Why I’m Glad I’m in RETRO

Article, Katherine Hancock, Undergraduate Perspectives No Comments

Katherine Hancock | October 26, 2012

I want to extend a hand to any undergrad who stumbles across this lab blog because they’re looking into volunteering and feels maybe a little scared about it. I want to provide a little information and advice that they might not have heard before. Read more