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User powered games for research

By Ben Kirman, Sean Casey, Shaun Lawson and Duncan Rowland

Abstract

This paper describes how user-generated content can be harnessed to create compelling games for research purposes. We show that by entrusting the complicated processes of asset creation and management to the players themselves, research based games can still allow for rich, deep and unique experiences - experiences that would be impossible to create manually under the typical time and resource constraints found in research projects. It is contended that “user power” as a game design element is especially powerful for use by researchers who are most likely working on their own or in small groups with limited budgets, and for whom the research objectives may be more important than the design of the game itself. The paper explores the recent history of applications that take advantage of user-generated content and discusses how these principles have been used to develop two user-powered games: Gophers and Familiars. The worlds created by the users of these games are explored and the strengths and weaknesses of using user-generated content to power games are discussed

Topics: G440 Human-computer Interaction
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:2173

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