Adventure Games for Learning and Storytelling

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1 Adventure Games fr Learning and Strytelling A Futurelab prttype cntext paper: Adventure Authr by Teresa Dilln CONTENTS 1. Intrductin 2. Aim f the review 3. What are adventure games? 4. Histry and classificatin f adventure games 5. Adventure games tday 6. Games as a frm f literacy 7. Embedding elements f strytelling within games 8. Games fr learning 9. Summary and main cnclusins 10. Pints t cnsider when designing game authring tls fr the develpment f strytelling 11. Glssary f key terms 12. External links 13. Bibligraphy

2 1. INTRODUCTION The aim f the review is t prvide a general intrductin fr thse wh are interested in the design and use f cmputer games fr adventures and strytelling. This review stems frm an explratry phase f research and cncept develpment between Futurelab and Dr Judy Rbertsn, University f Glasgw and Dr Judith Gd, University f Sussex n their prject Adventure Authr. Adventure Authr is a game-authring prttype designed t supprt interactive strytelling skills thrugh the use f game technlgies. Originally cnceived and develped by Dr Judy Rbertsn and Dr Judy Gd with supprt frm Futurelab and graphic artist, Mick Lckwd, the game draws n traditinal rle-playing techniques, by mving away frm first-persnshter game frmats by emphasising character, plt and dialgue. Fr further details n hw the game was develped refer t the Futurelab shwcase at 2. AIM OF THE REVIEW As the fcus fr first phase f the Adventure Authr prject was interactivity, character, plt and dialgue the current review prvides: glssary f key terms definitin f adventure games histry f adventure games current theretical debates embedding fictinal structures within game design research n creating believable characters and plts within games review f current research n games fr learning. 3. WHAT ARE ADVENTURE GAMES? Generally speaking an adventure game is a sftware prgram which presents an artificial envirnment with which the user must interact in rder t slve the prblems presented in the game wrld (Cavallari, Hedberg and Harper 1992). The game wrld is usually like a stry, in which the user players a character. The player mves thrugh the stry slving prblems and interacting with ther nn-player characters (NCPs) and bjects in the game wrld. Adventure games are ften cnsidered as a frm f interactive fictin. Interactive fictin (IF), is a brad term, that generally refers t a medium thrugh which yu can influence the utcme f a stry (eg Chse Yur Own Adventure bks with their branching stries. Key characteristics f adventure games: Game play is primarily driven by a narrative thrugh which the player mves as the game prgresses. Other narrative-based art frms are heavily drawn n, such as film, nvels and cmic bks. The player generally cntrls the main character. Games are ften based arund quests r puzzles, which are slved thrugh interactin with the game wrld and its bjects this is ften integral t the game experience. Emphasis is n explratin, thught and prblem-slving abilities ver the fast reflexes f mre actin-styled games. Fundamental elements include: 1

3 Game rules defined by the authr, the rules gvern the peratin and the functining f bjects and characters in the game wrld. Players may be made aware f the rules prir t the game r have t discver rules thrugh play. Game wrld - island, cave system, magic wrld and their relevant ppulatins. Plt usually cntains infrmatin abut what happened prir t the player entering the game wrld and details f what they shuld expect in rder t archive the gal and cmplete the game. Typically the plt is full f dangers and can ften be nn-linear in that there maybe several ways t successful cmplete the game. Theme the underlying mral theme f the game. Fr example ften in adventure games the player s quest invlves restring balance r harmny t the wrld. Characters bth player and nn-player characters (NCP s) tend t prcess certain traits r attributes (magic pwers; special features, such facial scars etc; unique knwledge r histry). Objects/items have an imprtant rle and are usually cllected and used by the player t slve prblems. Often they player has t have a particular skill r knwledge in rder t use them. Text, graphics and sund cntemprary adventures invlve a cmbinatin f text, graphics and sund, althugh this was nt always the case. Animatin adventure games ften cntain pre-prgrammed animatin sequences which are embedded within the game wrld (especially characters mvements; prperties f bjects). They serve t enhance the game play and immerse the player in the stry. User interface the bservable n-screen features which allw the user t cmmunicate in a meaningful way with the cmputer via the selectin f text, graphics, sund and animatin. Depending n the style f gameplay, adventure games can be bradly categrised int text based, graphic and actin adventure. The fllwing sectin discusses each type. 4. HISTORY AND CLASSIFICATION OF ADVENTURE GAMES An verview f adventures games prvides a greater understanding f this particular game genre and the early histry f gaming. The fllwing table prvides an accunt f the majr advancements in gaming. Table 1: Chrnlgical verview f adventure games Perid Graphics Nne 2D 2D Digitised 3D film Interactin Textual Textual Menu based Menu based Menu based Nte: Table reprduced frm web article: Adventure, (retrieved 17 January 2004) 4.1 Text-based adventures The idea f interactive strytelling within games can be traced back t early develpments in text adventures such as Adventure (Crwther and Dn 1977) and Infcm s Zrk trilgy (1981; 1981b; 1982). Bth games were decisive in shaping game histry, with the Zrk series becming a seminal game hit and the first adventure game where the NCPs had persnality traits. Characteristics f text-based adventures (later called interactive fictin): 2

4 Cmputer and player interactin driven by language, ie mvement and interactin initiated slely by text. Early versins (eg Crwther and Dn s Adventure) typically used a verb-nun parser t interact with the user. Fr example, release bird r dwn steps. Later versins (eg Infcm's Zrk trilgy 1981; 1981b; 1982) used text parsers, which prvided players with richer textual experiences because it understd full sentences and nt just simple verb-nun relatinships and added humur t the gaming experience. Fr example, the player might type in Hit mailbx. T this the game might respnd I ve knwn strange peple, but fighting a small mailbx? Plt and character develpment and the player becming part f the stry central t the experience. Due t the narrative lgic f text adventures they became affiliated t the nvel, with Adventure and Zrk serving as tls fr literary therists t discuss the relatinship between authr, text and reader and pst-mdern interests in reader autnmy. The relatinship between literacy and games will be discussed in mre detail later. Other examples f text adventures: The Hitchhiker's Guide t the Galaxy, Infcm (Adams and Meretzky 1984) 4.2 Graphic adventures During the 1980s interactive fictin became mre visual. Rn Gilbert a graphic designer wrking fr Lucasfilm Games (nw knwn as LucasArts) made a significant develpment, by creating a script-writing system SCUMM (Script Creatin Utility fr Maniac Mansin) and the pint-and-click interface. Instead f having t type a cmmand t the syntax analyser, as in the previus text adventure, this system was cntrlled by means f icns and menu bars. Key t the success f SCUMM was the arrival f the muse, which further led t textual interactin been replaced by graphical interfaces. With the intrductin f SCUMM the days f text adventure games were numbered. LucasArts dminated many f the advances during this perid f develpment and menu-bar systems, which they intrduced, still remain an essential part f gameplay. Unfrtunately, fr a variety fr reasns, Infcm, the cmpany wh were pivtal t kick-starting game culture, have since clsed dwn. Characteristics f graphic based adventures: Text-based parser replaced with graphical pint-and-click interface. Cmputer and player interactin visually triggered via icns representing an bject in their inventry, r n a part f the image. This system was used fr the first time in the game Maniac Mansin (LucasArts 1987). The cmputer muse key t navigating the experience. Less emphasis n plt develpment, with smaller scenaris when cmpared t text adventures. Players immersin in the game driven by the graphics, when they were first released sme fans f text adventures thught the graphics limited their imaginatin. Other examples f early graphic games: The Mnkey Island Series, , LucasArts (Gilbert, Schafer, Grssman and Card) The Gabriel Knight Series, , Sierra (Jensen) 3

5 4.3 Revival in adventure games In the early 1990s, interactive fictin made smething f a cmeback with games such as Myst, Cyan (Miller and Miller 1991) in which the players explred a wrld and slved a variety f puzzles. Myst was built using HyperCard with each card cnsisting f a three-dimensinally rendered scene. Characteristics f Myst and similar games: Abandned cartn like graphics in favur f detailed graphics and a ultra-real lk, which prvided users with new levels f immersin. Gameplay cnsisted f a first-persn jurney thrugh an interactive wrld. Purpsefully mve away frm using graphic accunts f vilence and death, with a return t using puzzles t create games that were based n plt and characterisatin. Fr example within Myst the player had n enemies and there was n threat f dying. Nnlinearity where players take different paths t cmpleting the game is a cmmn part f the playing experience. Literary references are used liberally, with the intrductin t the game explaining hw the player arrived in the wrld via a bk called Myst, with the image f the player entering the stry. Drew heavily n science fictin and the wrk f authrs such as Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury. Other examples f games similar t Myst: The Labyrinth f Time, Terra Nva Develpment (1993), released by The Wyrmkeep Entertainment C (2004). 4.4 Actin-based adventures Actin-adventure games are vide games that cmbine elements f the adventure game genre with varius actin elements frm ther game genres. Characteristics f actin-based adventures: Marries general qualities f adventure games such as, puzzle-slving, explratin and gathering items with cmbat r reflex based game play and cmputer rle-playing games. Nnlinear game play is cmmn. Games are usually played n vide game cnsles. Example f actin based adventures: The Legend f Zelda series, , Nintend (Miyamt 1985) Despite the revival in adventure games that Myst brught abut, advances in graphic design led t the increasing ppularity f first persn games, where special effects, bld, guts and gre became the flavur f the day. This had an impact n the adventure game genre, leading t actin-adventure games, which are the mst ppular subgenre f adventure games. Their success has als led t further subgenres called survival hrrr. Survival hrrr games are: A vide game subgenre f actin-adventure games r first-persn shters. The gal is generally t escape thrugh shting and puzzle slving in an enclsed, islated lcatin (eg huse r twn) that is inhibited by varius mnsters and zmbies. 4

6 Players are typically armed, but nt t the same extent as in a shter game. Enclsure and islatin is ne f the mst recurrent themes within this genre. Hrrr is the defining characteristic f the game and hrrr film references are used liberally thrughut the game. Can be difficult t classify as they als marry ther styles f game plays such as beat em ups; rle playing games; first-persn shter and text adventure games. Other examples f actin-based adventures: Alne in the Dark, Lin Gate, (Bll, 2003) The Resident Evil (Biharzard) Series, 1996-current, Capcm (Mikami) 5. ADVENTURE GAMES TODAY Despite the seminal cntributin f adventure games t the develpment f game culture, tday they are nt as cmmercially successful as in their heyday f the 1980s and early 1990s when several adventure games were published a year. In cntrast in the 2000s this has been reduced t ne r tw a year, with majr players in the sectr such as Sierra and LucasArt lking t ther markets. The reasns fr this decline are difficult t ascertain althugh advances in cmputer graphics and 3D mdelling, changes in gamers tastes, mtivatins and attitudes have all cntributed t transfrmatins in game culture. In additin many famus graphic adventure games cannt be run n mdern cmputers because they were built fr lder mdels such as the C64 and Amiga. T address this emulatrs such as the pen surce prject ScummVM 1 have been develped and prvide a free engine fr sme f the LucasArts graphic adventure games t run n mdern cmputers. On the ther hand bth because text adventure games use simpler frmats they can run n mst cmputers and are als suitable fr running n hand-held, persnal digital assistants (PDAs). Cnsequently althugh traditinal adventure games are rare tday, actin-adventure games, rle-playing games (eg The Final Fantasy series, Sakaguchi, and MMORPGs that fcus n character and plt, cntinue their legacy by cmbining elements f adventure games with ther game styles. In additin since publishing cmpanies have ceased prducing as many adventure games, a new frm f develpment has emerged - fan adventures. Fan adventurers are gamers wh prgramme frm scratch r use authring tls 2. They are keeping the genre alive and reflect the cntinually evlving nature f game culture. 6. GAMES AS A FORM OF LITERACY One f the first cmmentatrs t therise game play as a frm f literacy was Aarseth (1997). Aarseth analysed games and ther sftware as texts by linking games and interactive fictin t the literary traditin f labyrinthine r ergdic texts. Ergdic texts refer t stries, such as mystery bks, that d nt have a linear structure, and in which yu chse what the character des next. Aarseth specifically drew cmparisns between cmputer games and ancient ergdic texts, such as the I Ching, where meaning is determined by hw the reader respnds r acts n the interpretatins prvided in the text. Althugh Aaresth drew cmparisns between games and ther literary traditins he was cautius in advcating a 1 2 Fr examples f game authring envirnments refer t: Adventure Game Studi Visinaire 5

7 thery f games that was defined thrugh ther narrative traditins and disciplines. Despite his cautin, Aarseth s early validatin f games as an area f serius academic study paved the way fr the therising f games bth as a frm f narrative and ludlgy. 6.1 The nature f narrative As Lindely (2002) has discussed, althugh much has been made f the tensins between narrative and gameplay in cmputer games. The relatinship is nt straightfrward, particularly as the nature f narrative is cmplex and the term is used in many different ways depending n the cntext and nature f the research. Bradly speaking narrative thery fcuses n hw stries are 1) narrated that is hw they are tld and the linguistic and representatinal prcess that are invlved and 2) the narrated events - that is the activity and dimensins f the narrated situatin which give rise t the stry prcess. Distinguishing between hw the stry is tld and the events r circumstances which give rise t it enables us t understand certain effects f strytelling, such as temprality, speed and pace. Fr example, dense descriptin in the narratin may equate t slw place f events in the stry wrld. While shallw descriptin may relate t fast events. Frm this perspective cmputer games have been described as slw and fast narratives. Fr example, Cyan s Myst (Miller and Miller 1991) is cnsidered a slw narrative because f its descriptive detail. While idsftwares Dm ( is cnsidered a fast narrative in that it uses blcky plygnal graphics, attack strategies and fast reflexes Different perspectives Aristtle and the Victrian nvel Extending the idea f narrative within games, the American dramaturgist and cmputer therist Brenda Laurel (1991; 1990) prpsed a system fr generating well-frmed plts as defined by the ancient Greek philspher Aristtle in his Petics. In this system the cmputer prgram takes the rle f the authr. Cnsequently as the game prgresses, any actin by the player must be reflected in the system. In this respect the system begins t adapt t the player, increasing the pssibility f making an interactive, fictitius wrld that is c-created by the cmputer and the player. The interactive drama/strytelling/narrative paradigm advcated by Laurel has been the leading the design f mst videgames. Taking a different starting pint Murray (1997) built n Laurel s wrk by incrprating the qualities f the Victrian nvel int gaming. Murray advcated that instead f creating simple stry structures f frking paths (yes/n ptins etc) it is necessary t create mre flexible systems, capable f adapting t the actins f the player and ensuring that there are a variety f chices with multiple rather than single r frked narrative paths. 6.2 Ludlgy - emphasising gameplay In reactin t Laurel and Murray, Frasca (2000) called fr a mve away frm such appraches t ne f explring vide and cybertexts as games in and f themselves. Frasca s riginal aim was t cmplement narrative analyses f cmputer games by better understanding the specifically game like features f games, in ther wrds, understanding what distinguishes games frm narrative. Frasca defines ludlgy as including videgame thery but ging beynd it t include all games and frms f play and stresses that ludlgy is the study f games. In sum the ludlgist psitin attempts t mve away frm the psitin f Laurel, Murray and thers wh explre similarities and cntinuities between s called new and ld media by examining games thrugh existing media (theatre, film etc). Instead ludlgists aim at examining the game-specific dynamics f games, such as the relatinship between rules, strategy and game utcmes (Frasca 2001). 6

8 6.3 Cntemprary debates In sum cntemprary game thery is in part driven by the debate between ludlgist and narratlgist. Ludlgy cnsiders itself as the true apprach t game study as it attempts t addresses the medium n its wn merits rather than brrwing extensively frm ther mre established disciplines. On the ther hand, narratlgists cnsider vide and cmputer games as part f an extended traditin f hw humans use tls t express themselves and tell their stries. Frm bth perspectives interesting wrk has and cntinues t emerge. 7. EMBEDDING ELEMENTS OF STORYTELLING WITHIN GAMES One f ur main challenges in wrking n the Adventure Authr prject was t explre hw we culd supprt yung authrs t create nnlinear stries with believable and intriguing pltlines and characters. Over the last decade much wrk has been carried ut in this area, with heated debates between narrative and ludlgists fuelled by the cmplexities and interpretatins f terms such as narrative and interactivity (fr further discussin refer t Aarseth 1994; Smith 2002). T fcus ur thughts this review discusses sme f the nging research in this area drawing n examples f hw prgrammers have drawn n ludlgy, narrative and cgnitive psychlgical theries t supprt their thinking and creatin f believable plts and characters. Ludlgists such as Frasca (2000; 2001) and Juul (2001b) have fcused n the difficulties in prgramming cmputer generated stries. Juul ntes that ne f the mst cmmnly used tactics is t cde basic knwledge f the needs and interactins f characters and their gals int the prgram, which they act ut in a fictitius wrld. Accrding t Juul, t make a gd stry it is necessary fr prgrammers t g beynd such basic character levels and t create situatins where bth the plt and characters develp and frm relatinships. Juul believes this can increase the pssibilities fr creating mments f tensin, climax and s frth which are necessary fr strytelling. Hwever fr a cmputer t generate such stries it needs t have a sufficient knwledge f the wrld and sme precnceived ntins abut what kind f stry it and the authr want t tell. Fr thse wrking within this area Juul s (2001a; 2001b) research is wrth explring (see links belw). Juul als has a frthcming bk n game thery Half Real cming ut in the summer f Als directly relevant t this area is an existing three year prject ( ) running at the Institute fr Educatin, Centre fr the Study f Children, Yuth and Media at the University f Lndn called Making Game s (see belw link). This prject is partly funded by the Department fr Trade and Industry (DTI) with the aim f develping a pre-cmpetitive prttype sftware envirnment fr the authring f cmputer games by yung peple and t research its design, uses and benefits. Further research links: Japers Juul s website: The centre fr Cmputer Games Research, IT University f Cpenhagen: Institute fr Educatin, Centre fr the Study f Children, Yuth and Media at the University f Lndn, Making Games prject 7.1 Creating believable characters and plts T address the cmplexities f marrying gd plt lines and character develpment within games, designers have mst cmmnly used quests as a means f integrating strytelling elements int games, where the player becmes the prtagnist. Over the last few years 7

9 Japanese 'cmmunicatin games' such as Dk Dem Issy and Nintend s Animal Frest 3, have adapted ideas frm Pkemn and Gameby t create games in which players build relatinships with characters. In these games cmmunicative interactin, narrative creatin and character develpment are central t the experience. In such games the idea is t influence and cntribute t the unflding plt. The plt creates the circumstances in which a player must, via the characters, select between different pssibilities. These games draw n the traditins within interactive fictin and the symbitic relatinship between plt and character by using different cmputer mdelling appraches t create believable characters Narrative appraches Drawing n the wrk f narrative therists, Yung (2004) discusses hw the challenge fr games designers is t peratinalise cncepts frm narrative thery and translate abstract cncepts int cncrete, frmal mdels capable f being used in the creatin f an interactive virtual envirnment. Riedel and Yung (2003) classify wrk by prgrammers in this area int three brad categries, thse that create authr-centric, stry-centric and character-centric systems. Authr-centred systems mdel the thught prcesses f authrs. Stry-centric systems mdel structural and grammatical prperties f stry texts. Character-centric systems mdel the gals, beliefs, and plans f characters in the stry-wrld with the intentin that the stry emerges as characters pursue autnmus gals and interact with each ther; this is als referred t as emergent narrative. Accrding t Riedel and Yung (2003) ne f the main challenges fr designers in this area is hw t recncile the trade-ffs between plt cherence and character believability. Further research links: Mark Riedel: The Liquid Narrative Grup at the Department f Cmputer Science, Nrth Carlina State University: The Institute f Creative Technlgies, University f Suthern Califrnia: Psychlgical appraches Laakslahit, Perssn and Pal (2001) develped a character-centric system fr their game Katus, which draws n wrk carried ut within cgnitive psychlgy n attributin thery, emtinal appraisal and persnality traits (refer t Bates, Lyall and Reilly 1992; Rseman, Antniu and Jse 1996). The aim f Katus was t explre hw in using such sci-emtinal respnsive characters ne culd push the character-player dyad int situatins in which they had t act and react, which in turn they believed culd draw the player mre int the stry. Their game used a set f scenes r situatins in a hyper-linked structure, which were nt static but depended n the emtinal state f the players c-characters (eg if the character is angry with yu they may refuse the player certain actins). What was interesting abut their apprach is they use predefined sets f statements displayed in a dialgue windw, thrugh which the player culd interact with the character. Once the player selected a statement, this was sent t an emtinal reasner, which was mdelled n Rseman et al s wrk. The reasner assesses the emtinal cnsequences f the situatin, taking int accunt the character s gals, persnality type, mtive, cnsistency and incnsistence and s frth. In relatin t this prject Laakslahit and clleagues wrk highlights hw sme researchers have attempted t create believable characters within game wrlds using cgnitive psychlgical mdels rather than narrative based theries. 3 8

10 8. GAMES FOR LEARNING Alngside the issues arund designing and mdelling games frm a cultural perspective, sme researchers (eg Gee 2003) have discussed the kinds f practices that gaming creates. Frm this perspective the definitin f game play as a new literacy and the use f games as a means f teaching and learning literacy skills have recently been the subject f significant attentin by educatrs (Buckingham and Scanln 2002; Gee 2003; Prensky 2001). Sme cmmentatrs argue that games cannt be said t require a specific games literacy (Buckingham 2004) and that the critical and creative aspects f literacy are ignred in many discussins f literacy and games. This debate, hwever, is lcated within a wider re-evaluatin f the nature and purpse f literacy in cntemprary media-rich scieties. Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001) fr example, argue that being literate means having the ability nt nly t create and interpret traditinal frms f literacy such as reading and writing but als means engaging with multiple representatins ften at ne time (eg websites and games which cmbine written visual, audi and gestural mdes f cmmunicatin). Taking a multimdal sci-cultural perspective, Gee (2003) argues that children learn thrugh infrmal cmputer games play t participate varius semitic dmains. Gee uses the term semitic dmain t mean a set f artefacts that can take n meaning, eg wrds, gestures r pictures, in specific cntexts and cmmunities (fr example, the specialist language that develps arund DJ-ing and snwbarding). Williamsn s (2003) review f Gee s bk summarises Gee s key arguments: Gee begins by describing games as multimdal texts (texts that mix wrds and pictures) belnging t distinct semitic dmains that emply a range f strategies cntributing t new frms f literacy in which images and wrds, sunds, music, mvement and bdily sensatins are factrs, and their recgnitin and prductin evidence f the learning f these emerging literacies. Fr Gee, vide games are a family f semitic dmains defined by the characteristics f specific genres such as first-persn shters, fantasy rle-playing games, real-time strategy games and s n, althugh these generic dmains verlap just as they might in certain branches f science. Such dmains are als, Gee pints ut, far frm static bjects defined nly by their cntent, but rather they are predicated n lived, histrically changing sets f distinctive scial practices in which cntent is cntinually renegtiated and transfrmed. (Williamsn 2003) Central t Gee s psitin is that semitic dmains are shared by grups f peple, described as affinity grups, (similar t Lave and Wenger s (1991) cncept f cmmunities f practice ) in which participants share knwledge, skills, tls and resurces t frm cmplex systems f interrelated parts. Within an affinity grup, learners gain resurces frm fellw members that equip them t slve prblems within, and perhaps utside f, the specific dmain. Fr Gee, hwever the crucial aspect f this practice is critical learning : The learner needs t learn nt nly hw t understand and prduce meanings in a particular semitic dmain that are recgnisable t thse affiliated with the dmain, but, in additin, hw t think abut the dmain at a meta level (and) hw t prduce meanings that, while recgnisable, are seen as smehw nvel r unpredictable. (Gee 2003, p23). Frm this perspective players must understand what they are ding and develp their cmprehensin f bth a game s internal design grammar, and the ways in which its cntent is presented, and its external design practices that determine the principles and patterns thrugh which members f the dmain recgnise all the activities and practices which cmprise it. Accrding t Gee such systemic thinking allws players t think abut and critique games as systems and designed spaces rather than simply mment-by-mment playable envirnments. Hwever, as Williamsn (2003) ntes such critical thinking is nt nly absent in many schling practices, but ges unnticed in much appreciatin f what games can ffer in terms f learning. Further research links: 9

11 Prfessr James Gee: Mark Prensky: 8.1 Skills and cmpetencies In attempting t ascertain the nuts and blts f what games can ffer fr learning tw recent reviews (Kirriemuir and McFarlane 2004; Mitchell and Savill-Smith 2004) have attempted t summarise the wrk that has been cnducted within the area ver the last few years. Kirriemuir and McFarlane (2004) prvide a digestible verview n the area nting that the majrity f wrk has been mainly cncerned with the develpment f related cmpetences and literacies during game play, and the rle f games in the frmatin f learning cmmunities either while gaming r related t game play. While Mitchell and Savill-Smith (2004) g int mre depth, fcusing n eleven reviews that have examined the educatinal benefits f games. They nted that the incnsistency between studies in the area is due t the variatin in researchers theretical rientatin; methdlgical practices; sample sizes and age ranges; participants prir experiences; subject and dmain area; cntext; cntent and design. Fr example Randel, Mrris, Wetzel and Whitehill (1992) were amng the earliest t highlight the ptential fr cmputer games t supprt students wh lack the mtivatin t learn. They als fund that the success f games fr learning depended n the subject areas where the games were used. Frm their verview f early studies (up t 1991) they nted that the best results were fund t be in the areas f maths, physics and language arts (as ppsed t scial studies, bilgy and lgic). Randel and clleagues cncluded that the beneficial effects f gaming were mst likely t be fund when specific cntent was targeted and bjectives precisely defined. Drawing n a different bdy f wrk Dempsey, Rasmussen and Lucassen (1994) in their review fund games can ptentially facilitate a range f different learning styles such as tutring, practice and self-directed learning. Imprtantly they fund that games can supprt these mdes f learning in an entertaining way, which can lead the learner t change their attitude abut a particular subject. Many researchers have als nted the lgical thinking, scial and cmputer literate skills that game playing can supprt. Fr example Higgins (2000) fund that games via their trial anderrr apprach t vercming challenges r bstacles can supprt lgical thinking. Much f this research has fcused n strategy r adventure games, which encurage students in explratry quest-like scenaris with a high degree f cntrl ver their prgress (Malne and Lepper 1987; Russell 1990). While McFarlane, Sparrwhawk and Heald (2002) fund that teachers and parents recgnised that games play can supprt valuable skill develpment such as strategic thinking, planning, cmmunicatin, applicatin f number, negtiatin skills, datahandling and grup decisin skills. Mackereth (1998) has discussed hw playing cmputer games supprts multi-media cmpetences and cnfidence in using prfessinal sftware packages. While the scial skills that games facilitated has been discussed by Greenfield (1994); Fmme (2003) and Tbin (1998); these researchers have bserved hw game playing (e.g., within arcades and nline) is embedded within cmplex scial interactins. Cntrary t thse wh have fund a psitive relatinship between games and learning, Emes (1997) and Harris (2001) fund n clear causal relatinship between academic perfrmance and the use f cmputer games. Hwever, as Mitchell and Savill-Smith (2004) nte, it is difficult t cmpare Emes and Harris study with fr example Dempsey and clleagues wrk. Dempsey had included 94 studies in their review, while Emes nly three and Harris nly tw, cnsequently due t the differences in samples sizes it is difficult t make any final cnclusins. While recent studies at Futurelab (refer t Astrversity, have raised sme questins as t whether children are in fact able t mve frm intuitive prblem slving in the game t an understanding f effective prcesses fr identifying prblems and generating hyptheses and slutins in ther cntexts. 10

12 Mre recently there have been majr surveys carried ut with UK teachers wh had r wuld cnsider using games with their classrms (Kirriemuir 2002; McFarlane et al 2002). The results frm these studies highlight that the mst frequently perceived r actual bstacles in using games within classrms cntexts were: 1. Lack f relevance f gaming playing t the curriculum and assessment. 2. Difficulty in persuading ther schl stakehlders (gverning bdies; parents etc) as t the ptential/actual educatinal benefits f cmputer game. 3. Lack f time available t teachers t familiarise themselves with the game and prduce apprpriate teaching methds. 4. Irrelevant cntent r functinality in a game, which culd nt be remved r ignred, thus wasting valuable lessn time. 5. Effrt and time it takes t keep pupils n track when playing games. This bdy f wrk suggests a grwing cnsensus that games can prvide mtivating experiences thrugh which particular cgnitive and scial skills can be supprted. In attempting t ascertain why games are s cmpulsively mtivating and fun envirnments many researchers (Malne 1981; Amry et al 1988; MacFarlane 2002) believe that their appeal lies in the merging f fantasy, challenge and curisity. This balance is crucial t successful game experiences and amidst the wrk been carried ut n learning it is imprtant that these dimensins are nt frgtten. Further research links: elearning Centre, Games research library: 9. SUMMARY AND MAIN CONCLUSIONS Despite the amunt f wrk that has been carried ut n the use f games fr learning, the current curriculum structure within the UK des nt easily supprt their applicatin within classrm cntexts. In additin it is nly relatively recently that cncerted effrt linking educatinal research with mainstream cmputer games technlgies has emerged (ntwithstanding earlier research int games designed specifically and frm scratch fr educatinal purpses). In this respect the area is still in its infancy and fr these reasns the Adventure Authr prject prvides the pprtunity t explre relevant issues within this area. In additin much f the wrk carried ut n the use f games within learning has fcused n the decisin making, reflex skills and cmmunities f learners that they can supprt. Althugh there has been much theretical debate abut games as a frm f literacy there remains a dearth f games that are specifically designed t supprt particular literacy and particular strytelling skills. 10. POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING GAME AUTHORING TOOLS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF STORYTELLING Psitin yur wrk: What d yu think are the imprtant aspects f gaming? Wuld yu cnsider yurself mre a narrative than a ludlgic therist? Thinking abut where yu psitin yur wrk will help yu structure the experience yu are trying t achieve. Establish yur strytelling gal: What kind f stry d yu want the game t supprt? D yu want authrs t wrk within a particular stry genre? Yur stry dmain and genre is imprtant t plan prir t yur build as it will help yu make decisins abut what kinds f affrdances yu will create within the prgramme. 11

13 Where is the stry set (eg huse, frest, sea)? Yur genre and stry setting will als dictate the graphic lk and feel f the game. It is extremely imprtant in gaming that the frnt end design cmplements the stryline. Establish yur target grup: What age ranges are yu interested in supprting? Are yu aware f the needs f the age range and what they find difficult abut strytelling? Have yu invlved the target age grup in the develpment prcess? Within games research and develpment there is still a lack f user-infrmed centred design, where the end users are engaged within the design prcess. Establish yur learning gals: What particular aspects f strytelling d yu want t supprt d yu want t fcus n hw t make gd characters; develp pltlines; create nnlinear stries; develp gd scenes? Establishing clear learning gals prir t building yur prgramme will help yu decide which aspects f strytelling yu want t fcus n and supprt. This will help yu make gd prgramming decisins. Fr example draw n exiting appraches and research n supprting yung peple s reading and writing skills. Such research can prvide insight in hw t structure the learning experience and achieve yur gals Establish the game wrld interactins: Hw d yu want the players t be able t interact with the wrld? Fr example: Hw big is the game wrld and will players have a map f the wrld? Hw d players interact with each ther, NCPs and bjects? Are interactins indicated by texts and graphics? If yu are using text based interactin hw are yu structuring such interactins? Again draw n examples frm ther genres and dmains t prvide yu with supprt in thinking thrugh hw players interact within their game wrld. It is essential that a map f the wrld is prvided as this nt nly allws authrs t easily lcate their scenes and plt hw characters navigate the wrld but als prvides them with ther surces f inspiratin. Create gd pltlines: Within the authring tl it is necessary t think abut hw yu are ging t supprt authrs t map multiple chice, strylines and hw yu are ging t supprt them in creating dramatic mments in the stry. One slutin wuld be t create a basic interface which allws authrs t link scenes tgether and which graphically represents mments f tensin and cnflict within the game. Create believable characters: The fllwing are a series f cnstructive hks that are wrth thinking abut embedding with game authring tls, as they prvide ways fr yung authrs t think mre meaningfully abut their characters: Emtinal attributes prvide authrs with the pssibility t select their characters emtinal traits. Bear in mind yu will als need t ensure that the graphics are f sufficiently high standard t reflectin individual character emtinal states. Appearance f the character - eg if the character is gd it has t lk gd; if it is evil it has t lk evil. Prvide authrs with apprpriate tls t select their character prfiles. Clthes, accessries, unusual facial r bdily scars are visual hks, which can prvide yung authrs with the tls t think mre deeply abut their characters. Relatinships the characters relatinship t their envirnment and ther is what drives a stry, prviding cues thrugh which the authrs can think abut their characters relatinships t their envirns is imprtant (eg embed particular questins abut relatinships within the authring tl). 12

14 11. GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS Actin games: Vide games that cmbine elements f the adventure game genre with varius actin elements frm ther game genres. Adventure games: Cmputer games where the user must interact in rder t slve the prblems presented in the game wrld. Ergdic texts: Nn-linear stries, where the reader chices what t d next. Graphic Adventures: Adventure games that use a graphical pint-and-click interface. Interactive fictin: Generally nn-linear narratives where the player influences the utcme f the stry. Adventure games are a specialised frm f interactive fictin. MMORPGs: Massively Multiplayer Online Rle Playing Games. Narrative: The structure f hw stries are tld and the linguistic and representatinal prcess invlved. NCPs: Nn-character players in the game wrld. Rle-playing games (RPGs): Cmputers games where yu assume the life f yur character (avatar). Survival hrrr: A vide game subgenre f actin-adventure games r first-persn shters that draws n hrrr films. Text adventures: Cmputer games where the interactin is initiated slely by text. 12. EXTERNAL LINKS Games research centres: Centre fr Cmputer Games Research IT University f Cpenhagen, Denmark: Sny Cmputer Entertainment US Research and Develpment: Games Lab, New Zealand: Internatinal Centre fr Cmputer Games and Virtual Entertainment, Dundee, Sctland: Centre fr Learning Games, Denmark: General games research links: Games Research: Digital Games Research Assciatin (DIGRA): Digiplay Initiative, Research int Games and the Industry they are part f: General games develpment resurces: Special Interest Grup in Cmputer Graphics (SIGGRAPH): Jurnal f Game Develpment: Games Develper Cnference: Internatinal Games Develpers Assciatin: Industry Calendar f Events: Adventure gamer publishers/makers: Clssal Cave Adventure: Sierra's website: A site n Infcm: LucasArts site: Cyan's site: 13

15 13. BIBLIOGRAPHY Aarseth, EJ (1994). Nnlinearity and literary thery. In GP Landw (ed), Hyper/Text/Thery (pp51-86). Baltimre: Jhns Hpkins University Press Aarseth, EJ (1997). Cybertext: Perspectives n Ergdic Literature. Baltimre: Jhns Hpkins University Press Adams, D and Meretzky, S (artist) (1984). The Hitchhiker's Guide t the Galaxy, Infcm (publisher) Andersn, T, Blank, M, Daniels, B and Lebling, D (artist) (1981). Zrk. Infcm (publisher) Andersn, T, Blank, M, Daniels, B and Lebling, D (artist) (1981b). Zrk. Infcm (publisher) Andersn, T, Blank, M, Daniels, B and Lebling, D (artist) (1982) Zrk. Infcm (publisher) Bates, J, Lyall, B and Reilly, S (1992). An architecture fr Actin, Emtin and Scial Behaviur. Carnegie Melln: Schl f Cmputer Science, University Pittsburgh, PA Bll, U (artist) (2003). Alne in the Dark. Lin Gate (publisher) Buckingham, D and Scanln, M (2002). Educatin, Entertainment and Learning in the Hme. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press Cavallari, B, Hedberg, J and Harper, B (1992). Adventure games in educatin: a review. Australian Jurnal f Educatinal Technlgy, 8(2), Crwther, W and Dn, W (artist) (1977). Adventure Dempsey, JV, Rasmussen, K and Lucassen, B (1994, 6 20 February 1994). Instructinal gaming: implicatins fr instructinal technlgy. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting f the Assciatin fr Educatinal Cmmunicatins and Technlgy, Nashville, TN Emes, CE (1997). Is Mr Pac Man Eating ur Children? A Review f the Impact f Vide Games n Children. Retrieved 15 December 2004 frm Frasca, G (2000). Ludlgy Meets Narratlgy: Similitude and Differences Between (Vide)Games and Narrative. Retrieved 15 December 2004 frm ludlgy.rg/index.php and Frasca, G (2001). Simulatin 101: Simulatin Versus Representatin. Retrieved 15 December 2004 frm Frmme, J (2003). Cmputer games as a part f children s culture. Game Studies, 3(1) Gee, J Paul (2003). What Vide Games Have t Teach Us Abut Learning and Literacy. New Yrk: Palgrave MacMillan Gilbert, R, Schafer, T, Grssman, D and Card, OS. The Mnkey Island Series , LucasArt (publisher) Greenfield, PM (1994). Vide games as cultural artefacts. Jurnal f Applied Develpment Psychlgy, 15, 3-12 Harris, J (2001). The Effects f Cmputer Games n Yung Children a Review f 14

16 the Research (N 72). Lndn: Research, Develpment and Statistics Directrate, Cmmunicatins Develpment Unit, Hme Office Higgins, S (2000). The lgical zmbinis. Teaching Thinking, 1(1) Jensen, J. Gabriel Knight Series, , Sierra (publisher) Juul, J (2001a). A Clash Between Game and Narrative: A thesis n Cmputer Games and Interactive Fictin. Retrieved 15 December 2004 frm Juul, J (2001b). Games Telling Stries. Game Studies, 1 Kirriemuir, J (2002). A Survey f the Use f Cmputer and Vide Games in Classrms. British Educatinal Cmmunicatins and Technlgy Agency (Becta) Kirriemuir, J and McFarlane, A (2004). Literature Review in Games and Learning. Bristl, UK: Futurelab Laakslahti, J, Perssn, P and Pal, C (2001, Octber 23-26). Evaluating Believability in an Interactive Narrative. Paper presented at the Secnd Internatinal Cnference n Intelligent Agent Technlgy (IAT2001), Maebashi City, Japan Laurel, B (1991). Cmputers as Theatre. Addisn-Wesley Laurel, B (ed) (1990). The Art f Human-Cmputer Interface Design. Addisn-Wesley Lave, J and Wenger, E (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participatin. Cambridge: University f Cambridge Press Lindely, CA (2002). Cnditining, Learning and Creatin in Games: Narrative, the Gameplay Gestalt and Generative Simulatin. Paper presented at the wrkshp n narrative and interactive learning envirnments, Edinburgh, Sctland LucasArts (artist) (1987). Manic Mansin, LucasArt (publisher) Mackereth, M (1998). Girls Perceptins f Vide Games. Unpublished BEd Hnurs Thesis, Flinders University, Adelaide Malne, TW and Lepper, MR (1987). Making learning fun: a taxnmy f intrinsic mtivatins fr learning. In RE Snw and MJ Farr (eds), Aptitude, Learning and Instructin III: Cgnitive and Affective Prcess Analysis (pp ). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assciates McFarlane, A, Sparrwhawk, A and Heald, Y (2002). Reprt n the Educatinal Use f Games. Bristl: TEEM (Teachers Evaluating Educatinal Multimedia) Mikami, S. Resident Evil Series current, Capcm Miller, R and Miller, R (artist) (1991). Myst. Cyan (publisher) Mitchell, A and Savill-Smith, C (2004). The Use f Cmputer and Vide Games fr Learning: A Review f the Literature. Learning and Skills Develpment Agency: Ultralab; m-learning Miyamt, S (artist) (1985). The Legend f Zelda. Nintend (publisher) Murray, J (1997). Hamlet n the Hldeck. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press Prensky, M (2001). Digital Game-Based Learning. New Yrk: McGraw-Hill 15

17 Randel, JM, Mrris, BA, Wetzel, CD and Whitehill, BV (1992). The effectiveness f games fr educatinal purpses: a review f recent research. Simulatin and Gaming, 23(3), Riedel, M and Yung, M (2003, Nvember 20-21). Character-Fcused Narrative Planning. Paper presented at the Internatinal Cnference n Virtual Strytelling, Tuluse, France Rseman, I, Antniu, A and Jse, P (1996). Appraisal determinants f emtins: cnstructing a mre accurate and cmprehensive thery. Cgnitin and Emtin, 10(3), Russell, G (1990). Cmputer Adventure Games and Educatin. Unpublished MEd thesis, Mnash University, Melburne Sakaguchi, H. Final Fantasy Series , Final Fantasy (publisher) Smith, JH (2002). The Rad Nt Taken - The Hw's and Why's f Interactive Fictin. Game Research, frm Tbin, J (1998). An America taku (r a by s virtual life n the net). In J Seftn-Green (ed), Digital Diversins: Yuth Culture in the Age f Multimedia. Lndn: University Cllege Lndn Press Williamsn, B (2003). Review f Gee s What Videgames Can Teach us Abut Learning and Literacy'. Retrieved 15 December 2004 frm Yung, M (2004). Stry and Discurse: A Bipartite Mdel f Narrative Generatin in Virtual Wrlds. Retrieved 3 March 2004, frm 16

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