What does a gorilla, toppling towers and a postdoctoral fellow from Carnegie Mellon University have in common? They are all part of the mixed platform game, NoRilla, that teachers young students physics. Nesra Yannier, the postdoc and graduate of the HCII Ph.D. program, developed the game and ran demonstrations on April 13 for the department's Demo Day.
Like the fickle Goldilocks, game players are said to seek a game experience that is not too hard and not too easy, but just challenging enough. Or at least, that has been the general assumption. It is easy to imagine that a game can be too difficult for a user to enjoy. But can a game be too easy to enjoy? Researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute developed a study to test the benefits of difficulty levels in a game environment.
"Can games be too easy, or too boring?" they asked.
It is Feb. 27, 1943, in Berlin. Anneliese Edelman returns home with some fish, a rare treat for dinner.
Her husband, Max, should be back from his double shift at the factory, but their home is empty. For Anneliese, what was an ordinary day becomes the day her soulmate disappeared.
Alexandra To of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and Elaine Fath of the Entertainment Technology Institute (ETC) brought home two awards from the Meaningful Play Conference October 20-22, 2016.
To anyone who has played a family board game or turned on a video game with a group of friends in the basement, the idea of watching games can be as common as actually playing them. In some cases, watching is the inevitable consequence of a game's player limit. Players choose to watch, but only while waiting for their turn to play. In other cases, it might be a personal preference to observe the game, rather than play.
Jessica Hammer is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, with a joint appointment between the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the Entertainment Technology Center. She is a graduate of Harvard, with a B.A. in computer science, and earned a master’s of professional studies degree in interactive telecommunications at New York University and a Ph.D. in cognitive studies in education at Columbia University.
When it comes to learning math, how much fun you are having is rarely factored into the equation. That isn't to say that game designers have not tried to turn instruction into more engaging material. For instance, there are plenty of educational games on the shelves; unfortunately, very few of them have been shown, through empirical research, to lead to improved learning outcomes, particularly in mathematics. Thanks to a team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), this is changing.
Amy Ogan, an assistant professor in the HCII and an educational technologist, is fascinated by researching ways to make learning more engaging, effective and enjoyable. Ogan is also a recent recipient of the Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship, a global fellowship program for the research on child and youth development.
Live-action role-playing (larp) combines face-to-face improvisation with game rules to create collaborative, playful narrative experiences for the participants. While many larps are created purely for entertainment, a growing number of larps strive to affect players. These larps include educational larps, larps for mental or physical health, larps for social change, larps that convey political points of view, and larps that ask players to explore ethical or moral quandaries.Education Games Faculty