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  • 1. Linderoth, Jonas
    et al.
    Sjöblom, Björn
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Being an Educator and Game Developer: The Role of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Non-Commercial Serious Games Production2019In: Journal Simulation & Gaming, ISSN 1046-8781, E-ISSN 1552-826X, Vol. 50, no 6, p. 771-788Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background and aim. Previous literature has discussed tensions between the field of game design and the field of education. It has been emphasized that it is important to address this tension when developing game based learning (GBL). In order to find potential ways of approaching this problem, we investigate the development of GBL when performed by those who have both pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and experience in game development. Method. Two case studies about serious games production were conducted, a game section at a national defense college and a university course in educational game design. The cases, as well as individual development projects within the settings, were analyzed with a focus on the role of PCK during serious games development. Results. While the developers and instructors at the defence college, who designed games for their in-house needs, had both PCK and knowledge about game development, these competencies varied a lot among the participants at the university course. The results show that educational goals added complexity to the design process. By comparison, some studied game projects at the university course avoided this complexity. These projects legitimized their games as educational by suggesting unproven far transfer. In other cases, where the developers did have PCK, the instructional goals where taken as a starting point that guided the whole development process. This lead to games that were designed to match highly specific educational contexts. The developers, instructors and teachers in both of the settings who used their PCK tended to break a number of established game design heuristics that would have been counter productive in relation to the learning objectives of the games. Conclusions. The paper suggests that there is a need for people with pedagogical content knowledge AND knowledge about game development. Enhancing these dual competencies in game workers could forward the field of GBL.

  • 2.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Niedenthal, Simon
    Ehrndal, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Zakrzewska, Marta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Wartel, Andreas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Beyond Smell-O-Vision: Possibilities for Smell-Based Digital Media2017In: Journal Simulation & Gaming, ISSN 1046-8781, E-ISSN 1552-826X, Vol. 48, no 4, p. 455-479Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research Problem: The purpose of this research synthesis is to identify new opportunities for smell-enabled games based upon current olfactory research, and to present early game concepts that have emerged from our empirical assessments.

    Literature Review: We briefly summarize key projects in the history of scent technologies for film and media. Human-Computer Interaction researchers have also explored a number of uses for scent delivery in interactive digital media. Recent developments in olfactory psychology and neuroscience research suggest that a fruitful avenue for exploration is to develop learning games that expand olfactory capacity.

    Methodology: We have conducted two studies of computer-based perceptual and cognitive olfactory tasks. 

    1. Mixture perception experiment: We designed a perceptual experiment where the task was to correctly estimate the intensity of odor components in a blend of coffee and tea. Blended odors were presented to 10 healthy adults by means of a computer-controlled olfactometer. Following each stimulation, the participant used a computer interface to estimate the intensity of components of the blend.

    2. Event-based memory experiment: We have developed a digital olfactory version of the children’s game “Memory.” The game interface consists of 32 white squares that are presented in a grid pattern on the screen and that, when participants click on them, triggers the release of one of eight possible smells from the olfactometer. Fifteen healthy adult participants were tested in 10 laboratory sessions distributed over three weeks.

    Results and Conclusions: Our empirical results suggest that smell training through learning games holds promise as a means of improving cognitive function. The results of our event-based memory experiment suggest that both olfactory and visual memory capacities might have benefitted from olfactory game training. The results of our mixture perception experiment indicate that binary odor mixtures might provide a suitable starting point for perceptual training, and we suggest that a smell-enabled game might include adaptive difficulty by progressively introducing more complex mixtures. We have used event-based memory and mixture perception as “olfactory targets” for game mechanic development, and present early design concepts for “Smelly Genes” and “Scenter.” Finally, we discuss future directions and challenges for this new, interdisciplinary research topic.

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