Record, Replay & Reflect -- a framework for understanding (serious) game play

Anton Eliëns, Zsofia Ruttkay

Creative Technology / University Twente
multimedia @ VU / Amsterdam

application context(s)

virtual heroes

Serious games and simulations are poised for a second revolution. Today's children, our workforce and scientists are increasingly playing, learning, and inventing in visually intensive "virtual" environments. In our increasingly experiential economy, immersive educational and training solutions are needed to advance the workforce of tomorrow. Game-based learning and technologies meet this challenge.


benefit(s) of symbolic machinima

level(s) of behaviour

web server

user action(s) / choice point(s)

  behavior      = [ choice = measures, action = reduction ]
  context       = [ context = debate, challenge = flooding ] 
  preference(s) = [ control(human_influence) = true ]

reference model

service management game(s)

desired/norm behaviour(s)

     a_1  = [ planet = green, profit = high ]
     a_2  = [ planet = green, people = happy ]
     a_3  = [ planet = red, profit = high ]
     a_4  = [ planet = red, people = happy ]

then we may, in an abstract fashion, deduce that if d( a_1, a_2 ) < d( a_1, a_3 ) then r(profit) < r(planet) , for a rating funtion r.


goal(s) of analysis

In this paper we have sketched the outline of a framework for understanding game play, which may be used for providing meaningful feedback to (serious) game players, allowing for replay on a sufficiently abstract level by deplaying semantic-enabled machinima.

Although we have partially implemented aspects of our approach in the XIMPEL platform, addititional research is needed to arrive at a sufficiently complete representation scheme for capturing events, user actions and resulting game state changes. It seems that, in particular, we must pay more attention to the domain ontology underlying a game, to enable the construction of user profiles using inferential reasoning based on the actions taken by the player when confronted with choices or challenges in the pursuit of a mission or scenario.

[GamePatterns] Björk S. and Holopainen J. (2005),
Patterns in Game Design, Charles River Media
[Prediction] Cesa-Bianchi N. and Lugosi G. (2006),
Prediction, Learning, and Games, Cambridge University Press
[OO] Eliens A. (2000),
Principles of Object-Oriented Software Development, Addison-Wesley Longman, 2nd edn.
[Dossier] Eliens A., Wang Y. van Riel C. and Scholte T. (2007),
3D Digital Dossiers -- a new way of presenting cultural heritage on the Web, In Proc. Web3D 2007, ACM SIGGRAPH, pp. 157-160
[Climate] Eliens A., van de Watering M., Huurdeman H.,
Bhikharie S.V., Lemmers H., Vellinga P. (2007), Clima Futura @ VU -- communicating (unconvenient) science, In Proc. GAME-ON 07, Nov 20-22, University of Bologna, Marco Roccetti (ed.), pp. 125-129
[Mashups] Eliens A. Feldberg F., Konijn E., Compter E. (2007) ,
Mashups in Second Life @ VU, In Proc. GAME-ON 07, Nov 20-22, University of Bologna, Marco Roccetti (ed.), pp. 130-134
[Serious] Eliens A. and Chang T. (2007),
Let's be serious -- ICT is not a (simple) game, In Proc. FUBUTEC 2007, April 2007, Delft
[Decision] Eliens A. and Wang Y. (2007),
Expert advice and regret for serial recommenders, In Proc. EUROMEDIA 2007, L. Rothkrantz and Ch. van der Mast (eds), Eurosis, pp. 111-118
[XIMPEL] Eliens A., Huurdeman H., van de Watering M.,
Bhikharie S.V. (2008), XIMPEL Interactive Video -- between narrative(s) and game play, In Proc. GAME-ON 2008, Valencia, Spain
[HalfReal] Juul J. (2005),
Half Real -- Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds, MIT Press
[VideoGame] Gee J.P. (2003),
What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy, Palgrave Macmillan
[Trainer] Ruttkay Zs., Zwiers J., van Welbergen H. and Reidsma D.,
Towards a Reactive Virtual Trainer, Proc. of IVA 2006, LNAI 4133, pp. 292-303. 2006.
[Hybrid] Van Setten M. (2005),
Supporting People in Finding Information -- Hybrid recommender Systems and Goal-based Structuring, Ph.D. Thesis, Telematica Institute Netherlands