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Exploiting User Personas for a Cultural Serious Game based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory

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Abstract

Over the past year serious games have been increasingly gaining ground in various fields. The cultural heritage field is one of them, due to the fact that serious games consist a promising tool to popularize cultural education in an engaging and entertaining way. User personas are fictitious characters created to represent different users of a system while cultural institutions are increasingly aiming at enhancing their visitors' experiences in a personalized, immersive and engaging way. In this paper, a cultural serious game prototype that utilizes user personas based on Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences for game profile identification, is presented. According to Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences, based on a wide range of scientific research (psychological, anthropological, biological), our intelligence is divided into nine areas that are based in different parts of our brain. These eight types of intelligences are equally significant, but not equitable developed in every person. The main goal of this serious game is to improve user's cultural experience and help him to learn easily, exploiting the concept of game personalization by providing the most relevant and interesting context based on the multiple intelligences.
Exploiting User Personas for a Cultural Serious Game
based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory
Kalatha Eirini
PhD Cand, Aegean University
ekalatha@aegean.gr
Konstantakis Markos
PhD Cand, Aegean University
mkonstadakis@aegean.gr
George Caridakis
Assistant Professor, Aegean University
gcari@aegean.gr
ABSTRACT
Over the past year serious games have been increasingly gaining
ground in various fields. The cultural heritage field is one of them,
due to the fact that serious games consist a promising tool to
popularize cultural education in an engaging and entertaining way.
User personas are fictitious characters created to represent different
users of a system while cultural institutions are increasingly aiming
at enhancing their visitors' experiences in a personalized, immersive
and engaging way. In this paper, a cultural serious game prototype
that utilizes user personas based on Gardner’s theory of Multiple
Intelligences for game profile identification, is presented. According
to Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, based on a wide range
of scientific research (psychological, anthropological, biological),
our intelligence is divided into nine areas that are based in different
parts of our brain. These eight types of intelligences are equally
significant, but not equitable developed in every person. The main
goal of this serious game is to improve user's cultural experience and
help him to learn easily, exploiting the concept of game
personalization by providing the most relevant and interesting context
based on the multiple intelligences.
Keywords: serious games, Gardner’s theory, cultural heritage, user
personas, multiple intelligences
INTRODUCTION
The “Serious Game” term could be considered as an oxymoron
(Djaouti, Alvarez, Jessel & Rampnoux, 2011), owing to the fact that a
game does not consist a “serious” procedure. However, due to the fact
that many researchers have displayed that serious games are applied
in various contexts and fields effectively, such as education (Klopfer,
Osterweil & Salen, 2009; Robertson, 2009), healthcare (Graafland,
Schraagen & Schijven, 2012, Maheu-Cadotte et al., 2018), cultural
heritage (Andritsou, Katifori, Kourtis, & Ioannidis, 2018; Bampatzia
et al. 2016; La Guardia, Arrigo & Di Giuseppe, 2012; Mortara et al.
2014; Rubino, Barberis, Xhembulla & Malnati, 2014; Spivak, 2015),
industrial context (Duin, Hauge, Hunecke, & Thoben, 2011; Slimani
et al. 2014) etc, that implies that the term definitely is not an
oxymoron (Djaouti et al., 2011).
More specific, as far as the cultural heritage field is concerned,
serious games are being taken into account more and more as
valuable tools (Foni, Papagiannakis & Magnenat-Thalmann, 2010;
Bampatzia et al. 2016) and are gaining an increasing interest (Kalatha
et al. 2018; Paliokas & Sylaiou, 2016). The combination of learning
and playfulness, that consists of the main characteristic of serious
games, create engaging game experience (Mortara et al. 2014),
maximize user’s motivation, by transforming him from passive data
receiver to actor (Kalatha et al. 2018) and attract even users that may
not be familiar with the arts and culture (Bellotti, Berta, De Gloria,
D’ursi & Fiore, 2012).
The friendly environment that is provided by a cultural serious game
allow art to come to the audience (Seidl et al. 2011), even in a more
personalized way. Personalized serious games takes into consideration
that each person prefers different learning styles, therefore provide
personalized learning guidance, by identifying the personal
characteristics of users and adapting the content, the presentation style
or/and the learning paths (Papanikolaou, Mabbott, Bull, &
Grigoriadou, 2006; Soflano, Connolly, & Hainey, 2015).
Also, personalized and adaptive serious games could offer all users
the possibility to learn in a motivating manner, due to the fact that can
promote motivated usage, increased user acceptance and user
identification (Streicher & Smeddinck, 2016).
This paper presents a personalized serious game that exploits User
Personas based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (MI) Theory.
User personas, which are fictitious characters created to represent
different users of a system, aim to enhance the user's experience in a
more personalized, immersive and engaging way (Konstantakis et al.,
2017). MI of Gardner's theory can be used as different user personas,
owing to the fact that researchers have demonstrated that the potential
relation between MI and game constructs could be important in
personalized game design (Sajjadi, Vlieghe, & De Troyer, 2016;
2017).
According to Gardner’s theory of MI (Gardner, 1983), there are 8
different types of individual’s intelligence: bodily/kinesthetic,
logical/mathematical, verbal/linguistic, visual/spatial, natural,
musical/rhythmic, intrapersonal, interpersonal (Table 1). Everyone
possesses a unique combination of these types of intelligences. More
specific, everyone possesses each type of intelligence but to different
degrees. This is the fact that everyone is considered unique. It is good
to mention that all dimensions work together in an orchestrated way
and interact with each other, due to the fact that none intelligence can
exist on its own. Moreover, every person can develop his/her types of
intelligence to a sufficient extent level with encouragement,
enrichment and appropriate guidance.
Types of Multiple Intelligences & their reflections
Bodily /
Kinesthetic
precise self-body motion control,
non-verbal emotion expression, dance,
fine hand-eye coordination
Logical /
Mathematical
data processing, pattern recognition,
working with numbers & geometric shapes
Verbal /
Linguistic
symbolic thinking, language, reading, writing
Spatial /
Visual
navigation, map making, perspective
Musical /
Rhythmic
recognition and use of rhythmic & tonal patterns,
recognition of sound, speech and musical
instruments
Natural recognition patterns in nature,
classification of objects and types of wildlife
Interpersonal cooperation in small groups,
communication with other people,
recognition of other people’s intentions, moods,
motivation, non-verbal signs
Intrapersonal recognition of one's own abilities, capacities,
feelings & emotional reactions, self-reflection,
intuition
Table 1. Type of Multiple Intelligences and their reflections
RELATED WORK
Many researchers have occupied with serious games in cultural
heritage, on account of this a great amount of cultural serious games
have been created. Some of them are: the “Gossip at palace”, a
location-based mobile game that aims to offer contextual information
to the users in order to help them discover the characters, traditions,
and events that characterized the palace in the 18th century (Rubino et
al., 2015), the ARCO project that has the main goal to test the users’
ability to discover information about Fishbourne Roman Palace, UK
and its archaeological artefacts (Sylaiou et al., 2015), the “Via Appia
SG” that includes a quiz game with questions related to the
information provided in the virtual environment of the game (Liestol,
2014), the “Multitouch rocks” that aims to help the audience to turn
prehistoric spaces into interesting places, in which the Pitoti act out
past events (Seidl et al., 2011), the “O’Munaciedd” (La Guardia et al.,
2012) and the “Vegame” (Bellotti, Berta, De Gloria, Ferretti, &
Margarone, 2003) which are treasure hunt serious games, the “Travel
in Europe” that allow the player to virtually interact with pieces of the
heritage in their context (Bellotti et al., 2012), etc.
Among this great amount of serious games, there is also a portion of
personalized serious games, such as “Gossip at Palace” (Rubino et al.,
2015), “ARCO project” (Sylaiou et al., 2015), “Articular” (Spivak,
2015), MoMap (Andritsou et al., 2018), Piano AR Experience (Chow,
Feng, Amor, & Wünsche, 2013) etc. and serious games that focus on
multiple intelligences by playing them.
As far as this ultimate category is concerned, in (Sajjadi et al., 2016)
an overview of several educational games that can aid the
development of a players logical-mathematical intelligence is
presented. Moreover, in (Chuang & Sheng-Hsiung, 2012) it is argued
that games can be used as a promising tool to enhance players’
intelligence dimensions and learning outcomes.
SG ARCHITECTURE
The SG prototype is designed to combine fun with learning and
includes many services and technologies delivering an intriguing and
innovative experience to the visitors of the game. The user can play
the game either in a mobile device (smartphone, tablet) or in a
desktop computer and after login or register, is able to choose from a
variety of images the intelligence profile that fulfills user’s
preferences and interests. The SG interface will help the user to select
profile through a small digital storytelling procedure combined with
the images of famous people with high levels of each intelligence (in
example Leonardo da Vinci has a high level of visual/spatial
intelligence, Shakespeare with a high level of verbal/linguistic
intelligence). After choosing profile, mini-games and quizzes based
on the selected intelligence profile will be played by the user in order
to find the missing pieces of the stolen painting and also gain points
and grades.
The final stage will be to evaluate the user experience of the SG
prototype. Users will be prompted to express their opinion about the
game, the content and whether the SG has helped towards a better
engagement with cultural heritage elements. The evaluation metrics
will be stored and analyzed in order to improve the prototype’s
behavior and help us develop the SG interface through the users
feedback. The evaluation methods will include a questionnaire,
emocards, combined with other cultural heritage evaluation
methodologies (Konstantakis et al., 2017).
Therefore, the proposed SG prototype intends to combine established
and emerging technologies into an ecosystem with elements of
cultural heritage through multiple intelligences. The architecture of
the SG prototype is depicted in Figure 1.
Fig. 1. SG prototype architecture
SG PROTOTYPE & USE CASE SCENARIO
We created a SG prototype that incorporates the basic concepts of our
framework, helping us in the constant evaluation of its development.
This prototype is a mobile application that implements examples of
the mini games and evaluate the validity and the efficiency of the
technologies, by using the Proto.io1 development tool. The two use
case scenarios that was tested, are described in the screenshots below:
Fig. 2. Home page and profile page
In the first scenario user chooses Mozart’s profile while listening to
the audio message. Based on musical/rhythmic intelligence, mini
games will be played from the user in order to identify the missing
painting as shown in Figure 3. More specific, the first hint after
reproducing the melody is “2 in 1” and the second hint after playing
the music is “Music in my heart”. So, combining those hints the user
will choose the correct painting.
1 https://proto.io/
Fig. 3. first scenario: Musical/rhythmic intelligence
Fig. 4. first scenario result
In the second scenario user chooses Shakespeare's profile while
listening to the audio message. Based on verbal/linguistic intelligence,
mini games will be played from the user in order to identify the
missing painting as shown in Figure 5. More specific the answer in
the first question is “time”, the answer to the second question is
“clock” and the answer to the third question is “memory”. So
combining those answers the user will choose the correct painting.
Fig.5. second scenario: Verbal/linguistic intelligence and result
As shown in Figure 5, the melting clocks represent the loss of
importance of the time Dali wants to show. The ants walking on the
clock represent the deterioration of time.
It is good to mention that when the game is over, user is able to
choose an EmoCard that express his/her emotions.
CONCLUSION
The current paper presents an interactive serious game prototype, that
uses modern technologies (Digital Storytelling, User Personas, UX
Evaluation) to enrich and personalize the user's experience by
combining aspects of learning and fun in an immersive environment.
This playful approach not only increases motivation to learn but also
raises interest in art history and cultural heritage in general. Based on
the answers of the participants, we will implement and design the
serious game including design improvements, the implementation of
further mini games and a large-scale evaluation of the game with the
participation of more users. Also, our final version will be set up
using Unity’s desktop mode alongside the Vuforia Software
Development Kit (SDK) for the Augmented Reality (AR) framework
and immersive technologies, AR UI with head-mounted display (for
example a Google Cardboard) and narrative based serious game using
digital storytelling techniques through social data mining procedures.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The research and writing of this paper were financially supported by
the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT).
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