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Bai, H., Berg Marklund, B. & Wilhelmsson, U. (2023). A Model for Balancing Clarity and Appeal in Serious Game Visuals. In: Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning: . Paper presented at The 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL, 5 - 6 October 2023, Enschede, Netherlands (pp. 46-52). Academic Conferences International Limited
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Model for Balancing Clarity and Appeal in Serious Game Visuals
2023 (English)In: Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, Academic Conferences International Limited , 2023, p. 46-52Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In serious game development, graphic design needs to be eye-catching, while also depicting subject matter content in a responsible, accurate, and clear way. Previous research has shown that abstract and symbolic game visuals seem to be preferable for learning and providing an engaging experience. Our research focuses on describing the challenges involved in creating effective visual communication through game graphics in cross cultures. In particular, we’re interested in examining if certain styles of visual communication are more or less effective between different cultural demographics. To examine this, we have created a serious game which aims to promote healthy food and nutrition habits to teenagers in both Nepalese and Swedish schools and by doing so also motivate behavioral changes toward healthier eating habits. We are currently conducting studies to see whether preferences and image recognition differ between the two demographical spheres. This paper will only discuss the exploratory study done in Nepal. Ultimately, this paper aims to contribute development guidelines that can aid developers in creating more effective visual communication in their serious games, and we primarily focus on exploring what we call the compromise of ‘clarity’ and ‘appeal’ in the creation of game graphics. We present an initial model for choosing at what level in terms of realism/abstraction and taxonomic hierarchy the graphical components of serious games optimally should be produced in order to solve the dilemma of precise, unmistakable, yet appealing visuals in serious games. It all comes down to two primary decisions: defining the taxonomic hierarchy of the items to depict, and choosing the style in which to depict them. With a better understanding of when different game visuals are more or less appropriate, both in terms of style and in which objects are represented, game developers will be able to balance production costs better while also creating something that strikes the compromise between clarity and appeal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences International Limited, 2023
Series
Proceedings of the European conference on games-based learning, ISSN 2049-0992, E-ISSN 2049-100X ; 17:1
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Interaction Technologies
Research subject
GAME Research Group
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-23296 (URN)10.34190/ecgbl.17.1.1633 (DOI)2-s2.0-85179006436 (Scopus ID)978-1-914587-88-7 (ISBN)978-1-914587-89-4 (ISBN)
Conference
The 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL, 5 - 6 October 2023, Enschede, Netherlands
Available from: 2023-10-06 Created: 2023-10-06 Last updated: 2024-04-15Bibliographically approved
Shakya, D., Flodin, K., Thapa, D. R., Bankler, J. V., Bai, H., Wilhelmsson, U., . . . Krettek, A. (2023). Gaming the Way to Cardiovascular Health in Nepal: A Digital Approach in Adolescents. Paper presented at EPI|Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2023, Boston, MA, USA, February 28-March 3, 2023. Circulation, 147(1), Article ID AP641.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaming the Way to Cardiovascular Health in Nepal: A Digital Approach in Adolescents
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2023 (English)In: Circulation, ISSN 0009-7322, E-ISSN 1524-4539, Vol. 147, no 1, article id AP641Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Heart Association, 2023
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Interaction Technologies
Research subject
GAME Research Group; Research on Citizen Centered Health, University of Skövde (Reacch US)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-22320 (URN)10.1161/circ.147.suppl_1.P641 (DOI)001002143900601 ()
Conference
EPI|Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2023, Boston, MA, USA, February 28-March 3, 2023
Available from: 2023-03-09 Created: 2023-03-09 Last updated: 2023-12-27Bibliographically approved
Bai, H. (2023). Happy Heart: A Game about Healthy Lifestyles for Nepalese Teenagers. In: GSGS'23: 8th International Conference on Gamification and serious games. Paper presented at GSGS'23, 8th International Conference on Gamification and serious games, June 26-30, 2023, Neuchâtel, Switzerland (pp. 22-22). Switzerland: Gamification & Serious Game Symposium
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Happy Heart: A Game about Healthy Lifestyles for Nepalese Teenagers
2023 (English)In: GSGS'23: 8th International Conference on Gamification and serious games, Switzerland: Gamification & Serious Game Symposium , 2023, p. 22-22Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Today non-communicable diseases (NCD) are the main drivers of morbidity, disability, and mortality in low- and middle-income countries, and are expected to increase due to unhealthy lifestyles in the wake of ongoing societal changes. In Nepal, heart disease is the most common NCD, causing a majority of the country’s hospitalizations.

Previous research found that this issue stems from a lack of information regarding nutrition and healthy activities. Our project initially mapped out the details of this knowledge gap by producing a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice report based on field studies conducted in Nepal. Based on this report, we have created a mobile serious game - Happy Heart - that aims to fill the identified gaps by providing information, but also by presenting it in a way that we hope changes peoples’ attitudes towards healthy lifestyles. The game presents four main challenges: identifying and categorizing food items based on nutrition, preparing healthy meals, and planning a healthy weekly calendar.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Skövde (Sweden), Kathmandu Medical College, and Patan Academy of Health Sciences (Nepal).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Switzerland: Gamification & Serious Game Symposium, 2023
Series
Gamification & Serious Game Symposium, E-ISSN 2297-914X
Keywords
Game-based learning, attitude and behaviour change, cross-cultural serious games, health, Nepal
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
GAME Research Group
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-23004 (URN)978-2-940387-29-8 (ISBN)
Conference
GSGS'23, 8th International Conference on Gamification and serious games, June 26-30, 2023, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Available from: 2023-07-07 Created: 2023-07-07 Last updated: 2023-07-07Bibliographically approved
Bai, H., Berg Marklund, B. & Zhang, R. (2022). An Exploratory Study on Nepalese Teenager’s Visual Recognition and Preferences in Serious Games. In: Proceedings 2022 IEEE International Conference on e-Business Engineering ICEBE 2022: 14-16 October 2022 Bournemouth, United Kingdom. Paper presented at IEEE International Conference on E-Business Engineering (ICEBE), 14–16 October 2022 Bournemouth, United Kingdom (pp. 13-18). IEEE Computer Society
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Exploratory Study on Nepalese Teenager’s Visual Recognition and Preferences in Serious Games
2022 (English)In: Proceedings 2022 IEEE International Conference on e-Business Engineering ICEBE 2022: 14-16 October 2022 Bournemouth, United Kingdom, IEEE Computer Society, 2022, p. 13-18Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In serious game development, effective communication through both languages, sounds, and icons can be crucial for a game to have its intended impact. While this is also true for entertainment games, serious games have added layers of challenges as they are a) often played by audiences outside of the “typical” game ecosystem, and b) miscommunication can lead to players missing important lessons or even learning incorrect information. When a serious game is intended to be used in different parts of the world, however, clear visual communication gets an added layer of complexity: culturally informed symbol interpretation and visual preference. In order to examine how these might affect players’ experiences when playing serious games, this paper presents the results of a mixed-method study conducted in two schools in Nepal. The study included 10 participants, between 13-16 years old, who played a prototype of a mobile game currently in development, which has the purpose of teaching young players about food nutrition and healthy habits. After playing the prototype, they took a short survey where they were asked to identify different food types, and they were also interviewed to discuss their opinions of the game’s visual style. The results of the study indicate that, while higher fidelity images were much easier to correctly identify by the participants, the participants’ preference for visual fidelity varied to a large degree.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2022
Keywords
serious games, educational games, visual fidelity, visual preference, healthy habits, art direction
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Interaction Technologies
Research subject
GAME Research Group
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-21988 (URN)10.1109/ICEBE55470.2022.00011 (DOI)2-s2.0-85148649716 (Scopus ID)978-1-6654-9244-7 (ISBN)978-1-6654-9245-4 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Conference on E-Business Engineering (ICEBE), 14–16 October 2022 Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Available from: 2022-10-31 Created: 2022-10-31 Last updated: 2023-08-21Bibliographically approved
Bai, H., Zhang, R., Berg Marklund, B. & Wilhelmsson, U. (2022). Game graphics and effective learning: A review of visual communication research in serious games. In: Katherine Blashki (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2022, Game and Entertainment Technologies 2022: . Paper presented at 16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2022 and Game and Entertainment Technologies 2022 (MCCSIS), 19-22 July 2022, Lisbon, Portugal (pp. 165-173). IADIS Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Game graphics and effective learning: A review of visual communication research in serious games
2022 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2022, Game and Entertainment Technologies 2022 / [ed] Katherine Blashki, IADIS Press, 2022, p. 165-173Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The visuals of a game is a crucial element when it comes to providing good player experiences. Visuals are also an incredibly complex subject in a game context since different modes of visual representation can be more or less “appropriate” for different settings. For example, while one can look at photo-realism as an impressive feature of a game due to its technical complexity and functionally accurate representation of real-world objects, it might still not be a fitting choice for different audiences, or for different pedagogical strategies. Serious game research seldom focuses on understanding the design of these components or their applicability to different types of learning, and it more often focuses on games’ mechanics and how well they manage to capture subject matter content while still being engaging. The aim of this paper is to explore the gap in visual communication research, describing what studies tend to focus on providing some valuable context. This review was conducted on papers that dealt with visual aspects of serious games. The results show that visual communication is rarely addressed in serious game development research. Future research would benefit from taking visual communication in detail to facilitate the effectiveness of serious games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IADIS Press, 2022
Keywords
Serious Games, Literature Review, Visual Communication, Visual Design, Game Design, Learning Outcome
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences Human Computer Interaction
Research subject
GAME Research Group
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-21691 (URN)2-s2.0-85142268771 (Scopus ID)978-989-8704-41-2 (ISBN)
Conference
16th Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems, International Conferences Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2022 and Game and Entertainment Technologies 2022 (MCCSIS), 19-22 July 2022, Lisbon, Portugal
Note

ADIS – International Association for the Development of the Information Society

Available from: 2022-08-18 Created: 2022-08-18 Last updated: 2023-02-14Bibliographically approved
Backlund, P., Bai, H., Bankler, V., Krettek, A., Wilhelmsson, U. & Zhang, R. (2022). Teaching cardiovascular health through a purposeful game. In: Collection of materials: II International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference "Innovative Solutions in Economy, Business, Public Communications and International Relationships", April 21, 2022, Dnipro: Volume 2. Paper presented at II International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference "Innovative Solutions in Economy, Business, Public Communications and International Relationships", April 21, 2022, Dnipro (pp. 391-396). Dnipro: Університет митної справи та фінансів / Universytet mytnoyi spravy ta finansiv, 2
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching cardiovascular health through a purposeful game
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2022 (English)In: Collection of materials: II International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference "Innovative Solutions in Economy, Business, Public Communications and International Relationships", April 21, 2022, Dnipro: Volume 2, Dnipro: Університет митної справи та фінансів / Universytet mytnoyi spravy ta finansiv , 2022, Vol. 2, p. 5p. 391-396Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Games for health is one of the most prominent areas for serious games, i.e. games with a purpose beyond only entertainment. The purpose of a health game may be to inform about health related issues; promote healthy lifestyles and even to drive behavioral change. This paper outlines the initial game design considerations and some future research directions for a game focusing on cardiovascular health. As the overall aim of the project is to promote a healthy lifestyle through diet and physical activity to prevent future cardiovascular disease, we focused on “taking care of your heart” as the basis for the game. Hence we call the game Happy Heart and use a heart symbol as a non-playable character (NPC) that the player needs to take care of. To some extent we are inspired by the electronic Tamagochi toys (Bandai) where players need to take care of a digital pet. The heart symbol is universal and is also an ideograph that expresses the concept of love and as such it transcends language barriers.

The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) is rapidly increasing across the world. Today they are the main drivers of morbidity, disability, and mortality in low- and middle income countries (LMICs), and are expected to increase due to unhealthy lifestyles in the wake of ongoing societal changes [1]. Among the major risk factors in many LMICs are poor diet, insufficient physical activity, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and exposure to hazardous substances, e.g. from air pollution. LMICs currently contribute three quarters of the deaths from NCD.

Among the NCD, cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of hospitalization in Nepal [1]. Digitalization and collaboration with the education sector (e.g. community schools) in health promotion interventions could further improve children’s behavior by targeting factors that affect their lifestyle outside the family environment [4]. Hence, the Digital Game Based Learning approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dnipro: Університет митної справи та фінансів / Universytet mytnoyi spravy ta finansiv, 2022. p. 5
Keywords
educational game, cardio vascular disease, games for health
National Category
Engineering and Technology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Interaction Technologies
Research subject
GAME Research Group; Research on Citizen Centered Health, University of Skövde (Reacch US)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-21329 (URN)
Conference
II International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference "Innovative Solutions in Economy, Business, Public Communications and International Relationships", April 21, 2022, Dnipro
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2457
Available from: 2022-06-20 Created: 2022-06-20 Last updated: 2023-08-21Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-0977-1285

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