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Abstract

Curiosity is a fundamental trait of human nature, and as such, it has been studied and exploited in many aspects of game design. However, curiosity is not a static trigger that can just be activated, and game design needs to be carefully paired with the current state of the game flow to produce significant reactions. In this paper we present the preliminary results of an experiment aimed at understanding how different factors such as perceived narrative, unknown game mechanics, and non-standard controller mapping could influence the evolution of players’ behaviour throughout a game session. Data was gathered remotely through a puzzle game we developed and released for free on the internet, and no description on potential narrative was provided before gameplay. Players who downloaded the game did it on their free will and played the same way they would with any other game. Results show that initial curiosity towards both a static and dynamic environment is slowly overcome by the sense of challenge, and that interactions that were initially performed with focus lose accuracy as result of players’ attention shift towards the core game mechanics.
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Iterative design is an expensive yet necessary task in the creation of coherent game levels. However, it often requires many resources, something that many projects, especially in the academic field, are usually lacking. This paper discusses the results of a test performed on EscapeTower, a pre-existing customer-ready research game where hand-crafted levels have been replaced by procedural ones to speed up the development process. A custom room generator has been developed and used to procedurally generate several levels for the EscapeTower project. A User Study was subsequently conducted to assess how the procedurally generated levels affect the user experience within the game and how they compared to the original levels designed by professionals. Results are in line with current literature, showing that players have a significant preference over manually designed spaces. However, data also shows that procedurally generated environments did not impact users’ ability to navigate the spaces, leading to the possibility to use such systems in early prototyping and designing phases.
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In this paper, we detail a software platform that enables game developers to expose aspects of their games to researchers who are not necessarily familiar with game development, providing them the possibility to customize game content for behavioral user research, and more specifically to embed survey items in a game context. With this platform we introduce the concept of Games User Research as a Service (GURaaS). This articled describes the process we followed to design GURaaS, its high level architecture and its application in a case study. We envision that GURaaS will assist researchers and organizations by helping them expand their reach in finding participants and in collecting survey data reducing the tedium for survey participants.
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Research on curiosity has undergone 2 waves of intense activity. The 1st, in the 1960s, focused mainly on curiosity's psychological underpinnings. The 2nd, in the 1970s and 1980s, was characterized by attempts to measure curiosity and assess its dimensionality. This article reviews these contributions with a concentration on the 1st wave. It is argued that theoretical accounts of curiosity proposed during the 1st period fell short in 2 areas: They did not offer an adequate explanation for why people voluntarily seek out curiosity, and they failed to delineate situational determinants of curiosity. Furthermore, these accounts did not draw attention to, and thus did not explain, certain salient characteristics of curiosity: its intensity, transience, association with impulsivity, and tendency to disappoint when satisfied. A new account of curiosity is offered that attempts to address these shortcomings. The new account interprets curiosity as a form of cognitively induced deprivation that arises from the perception of a gap in knowledge or understanding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Curiosity as a feeling of deprivation (CFD) reflects feelings of uncertainty and tension that motivate information-seeking and problem-solving behavior. Twenty-seven CFD items were administered to 321 participants (248 women, 73 men) along with other measures of curiosity and other personality traits such as anxiety, anger, and depression. Factor analyses of the CFD items identified 3 factors from which 5-item subscales were developed: (a) a need to feel competent, (b) intolerance experienced when information is inaccessible or inadequate, and (c) a sense of urgency to solve problems. Moderately high correlations of the CFD scales with other measures of curiosity provided evidence of convergent validity, whereas divergent validity was demonstrated by minimal correlations of the CFD scales with the other personality traits.
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Examined behaviors claimed to reflect curiosity to determine whether there are 1 or more types of curiosity. A secondary purpose was to examine the relations between the 1 or more types of curiosity and sex, social class, intelligence, achievement level, and ratings of personality traits. In 2 sessions 84 American 1st graders were administered 5 tasks which measured observation of complex and simple stimuli, preference of complex and simple stimuli, preference for the unknown, structure of meaning, and object exploration. A normalized Varimax factor analysis allowed the extraction of 5 factors: manipulatory curiosity, perceptual curiosity, conceptual curiosity, curiosity about the complex, and adjustive-reactive curiosity. Only the 1st factor was related to a demographic variable, sex. The nature of the factors and their theoretical and practical significance are discussed. (38 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The topics that are to be treated in this book were unduly neglected by psychology for many years but are now beginning to come to the fore. My own researches into attention and exploratory behavior began in 1947, and at about the same time several other psychologists became independently impressed with the importance of these matters and started to study them experimentally. It is interesting that those were also the years when information theory was making its appearance and when the reticular formation of the brain stem was first attracting the notice of neurophysiologists. During the last ten years, the tempo of research into exploratory behavior and related phenomena has been steadily quickening. The book is prompted by the feeling that it is now time to pause and take stock: to review relevant data contributed by several different specialties, to consider what conclusions, whether firm or tentative, are justified at the present juncture, and to clarify what remains to be done. The primary aim of the book is, in fact, to raise problems. The book is intended as a contribution to behavior theory, i.e., to psychology conceived as a branch of science with the circumscribed objective of explaining and predicting behavior. But interest in attention and exploratory behavior and in other topics indissociably bound up with them, such as art, humor and thinking, has by no means been confined to professional psychologists. The book has two features that would have surprised me when I first set out to plan it. One is that it ends up sketching a highly modified form of drive-reduction theory. Drive-reduction theory has appeared more and more to be full of shortcomings, even for the phenomena that it was originally designed to handle. The second surprising feature is the prominence of neurophysiology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A well designed game is providing players genuine feeling of pleasure and happiness or place them in their Flow Zone with a discussion on improving any interactive experience associated with end-user technology. Eight major components of flow are identified in the video games, including- a challenging activity requiring skill, a merging of action and awareness, clear goals, direct, immediate feedback, concentration on the task, a sense of control, a loss of self consciousness, and an altered sense of time. The game should reflect the right balance between challenge and ability to keep players inside the Flow Zone, and the game designers should avoid the counterproductive situations by embedding the player's choice in the core activities of the interactive experience.
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Animals spend much of their time seeking stimuli whose significance raises problems for psychology.
Integrating Curiosity and Uncertainty in Game Design
  • A To
  • S Ali
  • G F Kaufman
  • J Hammer