This year, the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society launched the Games, Entertainment, and Media (GEM) conference series, following the success of the previous International Games Innovation Conferences. Uniting the worlds of research and industry expertise, the conference serves as a platform for examining the current state of the art in game development and user research.

The conference, chaired by Dr. Bill Kapralos of UOIT and held in Toronto, brought together an impressive array of publications, workshops, presentations, and insightful discussions regarding the applications of games in entertainment, education, science, healthcare, and social progress. Members of the HCI Games group were honoured to have their work recognized at GEM, including a collection of papers accepted at the conference.

Introducing a Biometric Storyboards Tool for Games User Research, co-authored by Dr. Nacke and Dr. Mirza-Babaei, proposes new combinatorial measures for user research. Integrating both quantitative data from physiological measurements (such as monitoring neural activity) and subjective player reporting (through the use of questionnaires), the method aims to create a unified analysis of the gameplay experience. As it continues to evolve, this tool will prove incredibly useful to designers and researchers alike, streamlining the evaluation of the player experience from multiple perspectives.

Acrophobia treatment by in vivo CAVE exposure, by James Robb, João Costa, and Lennart Nacke, examines the use of virtual reality and motion tracking technologies in a clinical context. Specifically, the team worked to develop a mixed integration of these technologies with the intention of creating an immersive, game-like application for the treatment of acrophobia, or the fear of heights. The team’s work is highly valuable as a therapeutic tool, as it simulates the effect of ‘live’ treatment while avoiding the risks associated with physical exposure to high altitudes.

Design Guidelines for Gamifying Reading Applications, by Rina Wehbe, James Robb, Jessica Clarke, João Costa, and Lennart Nacke, investigates the use of gamification to encourage a motivation to read. The team suggests a multitude of gamified elements to increase engagement, including a sense of tangible progression and achievement, as well as social connectivity and competition. The research concludes that the development of gamified reading has the concrete potential to enhance the literacy and motivation of the general population.

Conferences like GEM serve as key gatherings for those from academia and business to share and discuss their recent work, advancing the course of game research and development worldwide.

Read more about the conference at the IEEE GEM website.


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