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26 MAY 2015

A Serious Game Model for Cultural Heritage

"Serious games present a promising opportunity for learning, but the genre still lacks methodologies and tools for efficient and low-cost production, particularly for teacher and domain experts. This article gives an authoring framework that aims to provide structured support, from content design to final implementation. In particular, we have abstracted a conceptual model—the SandBox Serious Game - which relies on a generalization of task-based learning theory. The model invites players to perform cognitive tasks contextually while exploring information-rich virtual environments. We consider it particularly suited for cultural heritage entertainment applications. The model defines games that are set in realistic virtual worlds enriched with embedded educational tasks, which we have implemented as minigames. This approach simplifies the authoring work, which can easily be supported by visual authoring tools for ontology-based urban 3D modeling and implementation tasks, thus allowing an approach similar to the mind-maps concept. We propose a top-down methodology for content preparation, starting from a city- level analysis down to the single points of interest and associated tasks, which are instances of simple predefined minigame/quiz typologies. We provide examples and discuss criteria for selecting task typologies according to the authors’ cognitive targets. Finally, we discuss the results of a user test, which took place in a lab, aimed at verifying the acquisition of cultural heritage knowledge in a pleasant and engaging way. Games appear particularly suited for supporting the study of images, especially of iconography. Compared to reading text, a game forces the player to focus more strongly on problems, which favors knowledge acquisition and retention. Learning complex concepts requires an investigative attitude, which can be spurred by well-designed games. Good design involves usability, graphic appeal, appropriate content, and the presence of connections which a player must discover in the content. Players should be asked to pay attention to and reason about their whole game activity - including the relationships between the game content, the brief introduction, and concluding texts. More comprehensive tests are needed to better investigate the educational effectiveness—however, the first results are promising, especially in terms of user motivation and creation of new opportunities for learning about CH."

(Francesco Bellotti, Riccardo Berta, Alessandro De Gloria, Annamaria D’ursi, Valentina Fiore, 2012)

Bellotti, F., Berta, R., De Gloria, A., D’Ursi, A., and V. Fiore, V. 2012. A serious game model for cultural heritage. ACM J. Comput. Cult. Herit. 5, 4, Article 17 (October 2012), 27 pages. DOI=10.1145/2399180.2399185 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2399180.2399185

TAGS

20123D modelling • Alessandro De Gloria • Annamaria D ursi • authoring framework • city-level analysis • cognitive targets • cognitive tasks • conceptual model • content connections • content design • content preparation • cultural heritage knowledge • discovering and exploring • discovery through games • educational effectiveness • embedded educational tasks • entertainment applications • Francesco Bellotti • game authoring • game content • graphic appeal • iconography • investigative attitude • Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH) • knowledge acquisition and retention • low-cost production • minigame • points of interest • production methodologies • quiz typologies • realistic virtual worlds • Riccardo Berta • sandbox serious game • serious games • task typologies • task-based learning theory • top-down methodology • usabilityuser motivationsuser testing • Valentina Fiore • virtual environments • visual authoring tools

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 AUGUST 2013

Thinking aloud: a method for systematically collecting and analysing data about the design process

"Suppose that you want to understand the design process of architects, the knowledge that they use, the cognitive actions that they take and the strategies they employ. How would you go about this? One obvious possibility is to ask some architects how they design a building. Interestingly enough, they will not find this an easy question to answer. They are used to do their job, not to explain it. If they do try to tell you how they go about their design work, it is quite possible that their account of it will be incomplete or even incorrect, because they construct this account from memory. They may be inclined to describe the design process neatly in terms of the formal design methods that they acquired during their professional training, whereas the real design process deviates from these methods. Psychologists have demonstrated that such accounts are not very reliable. Another possibility is to look at the architects' designs and at their intermediate sketches. However, now you are looking at the products of the thought processes of these architects, and not at the thought processes themselves. What is needed are more direct data on the ongoing thinking processes during working on a design. If you want to know how they arrive at their designs, what they think, what is difficult for them and what is easy, how they reconcile conflicting demands, a different research method is needed.

A good method in this situation is to ask architects to work on a design and to instruct them to think aloud. What they say is recorded and used as data for analysis of the design process. This is a very direct method to gain insight in the knowledge and methods of human problem–solving. The speech and writings are called spoken and written protocols. In this book we will describe a method for systematically collecting and analysing such think aloud protocols. This method can be used by psychologists and other social scientists who want to know more about cognitive processes. It is also an important method for knowledge engineers whose goal is to build a knowledgebased computer system on the basis of human expertise."

(Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard, et al., 1994, pp.1–2)

Maarten W. van Someren, Yvonne F. Barnard and Jacobijn A.C. Sandberg. (1994). "The Think Aloud Method: A Practical Guide to Modelling Cognitive Processes".

TAGS

academic researchanalysing dataarchitectural thoughtcognitive actionscognitive processescognitive psychologycognitive sciencecognitive theoriesconceptual modeldata collection and analysisdata collection techniquesdesign knowledgedesign process • design strategies • design workdirect observationexperimental knowledgeformal design methods • human expertise • knowledge engineer • knowledge-based systems • problem-solvingpsychological analysispsychological modelsresearch methodsketching ideas • social scientists • spoken protocols • task analysis • testing theories • theoretical model • think aloud (research method) • think aloud protocols • thinking processthought process • unreliable evidence • user testinguser-based evaluation • written protocols

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 MARCH 2013

Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design: Prototyping

"As design–led and practice–based research institution, CIID has expertise in directly engaging with design and technological materials to produce prototypes. Prototyping is at the center of CIID's design culture; it provides us with the methods and means to probe future scenarios, situate design discourses and test design and technical implementations in real world contexts. Our prototyping methods range from simple paper based co–creation props to functional physical prototypes of complex systems. In addition, video scenarios and various experience prototyping methods are employed, in the early stages of our research, in order to bring forward surprisingly foundational insights about the 'role' a technological object or system may have in the real world. Overall, insights derived from all prototypes feed back into our research process to re–iterate over its concepts or focus. With clear probing or prompting goals, we can better use sketches in materials, hardware and software to think and communicate about research, technologies and their societal impacts."

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 JANUARY 2011

The Fountainhead: parodying the absurdity of easy empiricism

Peter: "What do you think of this building? I'm taking a poll of the guests..." Dominique: – "A what?" Peter: "– A poll of opinion about it". Dominique: "What for? In order to find out what you think of it yourself?" Peter: "We have to consider public opinion, don't we?"

[After approaching Dominique Francon at the Enright Building opening – Peter Keating makes the assumption that Dominique Francon shares his faith in polling for deciding the worth of design.]

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TAGS

audience reaction • audience response • ballot • customer satisfaction • DCD • design by committeedesigner-centred design • Dominique Francon • easy empiricismend user studies • group opinion • impromptu straw poll • investment in mediocrity • limitations of quantitative methodologiesmediocrityopinionopinion pollsPatricia Neal • perpetuating mediocrity • Peter Keating • pollingpollspower without responsibilitypublic decision-making • public opinion • reinforcing prejudice • seeking approval • simple evaluations • straw poll • straw vote • testing perpetuates mediocritytesting processThe Fountainheaduninformed opinionuninformed perspectivesunqualified opinionusability testinguser testinguser-based evaluationwhat I reckon

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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