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  • 1.
    Backlund, Per
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Engström, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Toftedahl, Marcus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Developing games for non-leisure contexts: Identification of challenges and research gaps2017Ingår i: 2017 9th International Conference on Virtual Worlds and Games for Serious Applications (VS-Games): Proceedings / [ed] F. Liarokapis et al., IEEE Computer Society Digital Library, 2017, s. 15-22, artikel-id 8055806Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of games in non-leisure contexts is referred to as serious games. The tradition of using games for purposes beyond entertainment goes back a long time before digital games. However, with the advent of digital games, serious games development has become an issue of both game design and technology development in various combinations. This paper presents a literature review of what types of topics are studied in the realm of serious games development, and contrasts the results with challenges and problems expressed by a panel of developers and researchers in serious games and gamification to identify research gaps. Our findings indicate a lack of research on the actual usage situations of serious games. It seems that the phase of organizational deployment and use is most often overseen. Furthermore, we identified a lack of client/customer perspective in most research on the development of gamified solutions.

  • 2.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Game Development, Education & Incubation: A brief overview of Scandinavian game development, markets, education, and support structures2012Rapport (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    This brief inventory and analysis of the state of Swedish, Danish and Norwegian game development aim to highlight past and current trends within the regions’ industries and supporting structures. In a short period of time, the situation for game developers has been severely altered as a result of the closure of big players and the rapid evolution of the marketplace. The industry in each country has been able to adapt to these changes well, and we’ve seen a dramatic industry expansion in the past couple of years as the main turbulence has subsided and new companies are given space and opportunity to establish themselves.

  • 3.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Games in Formal Educational Settings: Obstacles for the development and use of learning games2013Licentiatavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    From the perspective of educators, games are viewed as a medium in which the younger generation both thrive and excel. Students navigate game environments with ease and regularly solve problems, engage in advanced collaborative efforts, and communicate complex concepts and strategies to one another during their private gaming sessions at home. Games invite the player to form an understanding of intricate systems and mechanics based on participation and experimentation rather than mere observation, and on these merits games are often prophesized as a medium that will significantly change the face of education as we know it. However, while teacher interest in using games is increasing, wide-spread and successful examples of games being implemented in formal educational contexts (e.g. schools and university courses) remain rare.

    This thesis aims to examine why this is the case and identifies some of the more prevalent obstacles educators and developers both face when embarking on learning game projects as users and creators. In order to examine the situation from both of these perspectives, the research takes a mixed-method approach that entails extensive literature studies coupled with several studies with both educators and developers. Interviews were conducted in order to investigate attitudes and experiences, and more direct researcher participation and case studies were used to examine the processes of implementing and developing learning games as they were carried out. The studied cases and literature have revealed obstacles that indicate that “traditional” entertainment game development is incommensurable with learning game development, and that the use of games in formal educational settings introduces heavy demands on the recipient organization’s infrastructure, culture, and working processes.

    The conclusion of this research is that learning games embody a unique mixture of utility and game experience, and the formal context which they are to be used in significantly influence the process of developing and using them. Learning games can’t be understood if they’re solely seen as a teaching utility or solely as a game experience and to make them viable both educators and developers need to change their internal processes, their own perceptions of games and teaching, as well as the way they collaborate and communicate with each other. There are also several obstacles that are outside individual institutions and developers’ control, for example the practicalities of the economic constraints that both developers and educators work under that put the sustainability of pursuing learning games for formal education as a business into question. However, the continuous incremental improvements on the infrastructure of educational institutions (e.g. availability of technology and teachers’ familiarity with technology) can likely alleviate many of the obstacles currently inhibiting the impact learning games can potentially have in formal education.

  • 4.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Novices Vs. Experts: Game-Based Learning and the Heterogeneous Classroom Audience2015Ingår i: Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning: Nord-Trondelag University College Steinkjer Norway / [ed] Robin Munkvold and Line Kolås, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited , 2015, s. 664-671Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines how the heterogeneity of K-12 students, as game audiences, affect the way games can beused as educational tools in formal education. When discussing the application of games in educational contexts, the realitiesof the formal educational environment are seldom brought to the fore. There has been a lot of discourse and studiessurrounding the theoretical viability of games as engaging educational tools and their properties as learning environments,but the practicalities of inserting games into classroom environments are comparatively rarely the subject of game-basedlearning research. This paper presents two five month long studies using participatory observation that details the processof putting a commercial of-the-shelf game to use in two different types of formal educational K-12 environments: a computerlab and a classroom. More specifically, this paper focuses on examining how students receive and work with a well-knowncommercial off-the-shelf game when it is introduced as a tool in their ordinary curriculum work. The study revealed severalchallenges that put many of the axiomatic assumptions practitioners and scholars frequently make regarding games’ virtuesas educational tools into question. The challenges relate to students’ perceptions of games and gaming, variations instudents’ efficacy while playing, and of exclusionary behaviour during collaborations. Commercial of-the-shelf games, whilethey might be more equipped than educational titles when it comes to living up to player expectations as far as productionvalues are concerned, can instil a certain set of faulty expectations of how the game will actually be used. If the used gameis widely recognisable by the classroom audience, the important distinction between gameplay intended for active directedlearning rather than unguided leisure activity can be difficult to establish, which can make it difficult for teachers to keepstudents in a reflexive and analytic mode of play. The classroom as a game audience also puts the educator in a tricky positiondue to the wide variation of preferences and gaming literacy among students, and creating engaging play-sessions that areinclusive to everyone in classroom environments can be an immense undertaking for teachers. While the study revealsseveral issues produced by the tension between games and the heterogeneous nature of the classroom as an audience, italso highlights the importance of managing students’ expectations, framing the play activity correctly, and fosteringcollaborative work where subject matter knowledge and gaming literacy are intertwined.

  • 5.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Out of Context: Understanding the Practicalities of Learning Games2014Ingår i: DiGRA '14 - Proceedings of the 2014 DiGRA International Conference, Snowbird, UT: DiGRA , 2014, , s. 16Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to highlight the lack of studies examining the contexts in which learning games are used. Learning game research tends to focus heavily on the game artefact by examining how different types of designs foster both engagement and learning and how well the axiomatic definitions of good game design correspond to sound learning principles. While the dissection of the anatomy of games is important, there is an overabundance of studies on learning games as isolated systems at the expense of examinations of the constraints, possibilities, and requirements imposed by their real-world context of use. Learning games that are intended to work in formal settings like K-12 classrooms constitute systems that significantly differ from the traditional game scenarios between game artefacts and their players. As of yet few researchers have set out to survey these systems in their entirety. This paper presents a small literature review of learning game research that highlight the absence of studies focused on understanding the practicalities of the development and use of learning games. The paper also juxtaposes the results of the review with outcomes of a study conducted “within” the identified gap to present arguments for why the current lack of practical research is problematic. 

  • 6.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Swedish Game Education: 2001-2016: An overview of the past and present of Swedish, academic, game-related educations2016Rapport (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    This report is written as a part of the EU Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak funded project GameHub Scandinavia. The aim of the project is to provide resources and services to developers, educators, researchers, and supporting actors that are involved in the Scandinavian game industry. The report is intended to be a continuation of a series of reports written at the University of Skövde regarding the state of Swedish game educations. The inaugural report, Spelutbildarindex 2011, provided the first inventory of Swedish game educations on the tertiary level, and intended to discuss their rapid rate of expansion and the ways in which universities and vocational schools accommodated for changing demands in the industry. A second report, Game Development, Education & Incubation, delved deeper into incubation and industry, and provided a larger, but rather brief, overview of game educations in Denmark and Norway as a supplement to the Swedish statistics.

    This report will essentially describe Swedish game education as a tale of two different eras; the pre-2013 proliferation era, and the post-2013 plateau era. Previously produced reports on the topics were written during a period where game educations were rapidly proliferating, and when the games industry was in a more volatile state than it is currently. The state of both academia and industry differs immensely between this millennium’s two inaugural decades. Throughout the ‘00s, game educations grew at a rate that seemed to favour accommodation for student interests rather than processes of quality assurance, deliberation, and programme improvement. In the ‘10s, the amount of programmes have stopped increasing, and most of the statistics regarding student numbers have plateaued, and are in some cases even decreasing.

  • 7.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Unpacking Digital Game-Based Learning: The complexities of developing and using educational games2015Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    I denna avhandling presenteras en djupgående undersökning av digitala lärospel och hur de utvecklas för, och används inom, skolutbildning. Lärospelsforskning har traditionellt sett främst fokuserat på att undersöka spels utbildningspotential ur ett produktcentrerat perspektiv där spel och spelare sätts i centrum. Detta perspektiv har bidragit till en högre förståelse av sambandet mellan olika typer av spelmekanik och pedagogiska principer, samt vad spelare lär sig av sina interaktioner med spelinnehåll. Allteftersom denna typ av forskning påvisat olika typer av positiva sammanhang mellan spelande och lärande har således även argumenten och trycket för att använda spel i skolan ökat. Men trots att vår förståelse för vad som händer i förhållandet mellan spel och spelare stärkts, så är förståelsen av de krav och förutsättningar som spel ställer som utbildningsverktyg fortfarande väldigt begränsad; prioriteringen av att förstå spelens inneboende potential har lett till ett synsätt som inte tar utbildningsmiljöers realiteter i beaktande. Resultatet av detta är att det i dagsläget finns en stor mängd argument för varför digitala spel har stor potential för lärande och därmed bör användas mer i skolutbildning. Men det finns få studier som påvisar hur denna potential faktiskt kan uppnås, eller om den ens uttrycker sig som förväntat när spel används i verkliga utbildningssammanhang.

    Med denna kunskapsbrist i åtanke undersöker och beskriver denna avhandling hur formella utbildningssammanhang och digitala spel förhåller sig till varandra både konceptuellt och praktiskt. Genom fältstudier som inkluderat både utvecklare, utbildare och elever har utmaningar som uppstår i det unika mötet mellan utbildning och spelande identifierats. Observationer från fältstudier stöds även av intervjuer där lärare och utvecklares arbetsprocesser och synpunkter kring utbildning och lärospel undersökts. De huvudsakliga utmaningarna som uppdagats i dessa studier är att den ”traditionella” synen på spelutveckling, spelande och spelare är svårförenlig med skolutbildnings realiteter, pedagogiska principer och skolan som marknad för spelkonsumtion. Kort sagt så delar spel skapade för informellt och formellt spelande (till exempel för hemmabruk respektive klassrumsanvändning) många ytliga likheter, men användningskontexterna introducerar så pass olika krav och förutsättningar att informella och formella spel och spelsituationer inte är jämförbara.

    I avhandlingen konstateras slutligen att lärospel utgör en unik blandning av användbarhet, spelupplevelser och kontextberoende aktiviteter för meningsskapande. Lärospel kan inte förstås till fullo om de endast ses som läroverktyg, eller endast som spelupplevelser. För att lärospel ska mogna och bli användbara och effektiva inom skolutbildning i större utsträckning behöver både utvecklare och utbildare förändra arbetsprocesser i sina organisationer, och metoderna genom vilka de skapar och använder spel som läromedel. Lärospel kan inte förstås som ett förhållande mellan spel och spelare då de i själva verket utgör ett stort system av aktörer, processer och användningskontexter, som var och en påverkas av individuella och lokala krav och förutsättningar. Med detta i åtanke yrkar denna avhandling för en mer systemorienterad förståelse av lärospel där spelobjektet inte separeras från kontexter och arbetsprocesser. Avhandlingen bidrar till detta systemperspektiv genom att presentera modeller som beskriver systemet som lärospel utgör, samt en serie rekommendationer som kan hjälpa utbildare och utvecklare att navigera de komplicerade processerna involverade i användandet och utvecklingen av lärospel.

  • 8.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Working with Educational Games: Fundamental guidelines for developers and educators2014Rapport (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    This short guide to using and developing games for use in classrooms was written during the European Union Interreg IV A funded project Scandinavian Game Developers. Scandinavian Game Developers is a collaboration between researchers (the University of Skövde), educators (Århus Social- og Sundhedsskole), and developers (Arsenalet and The Ranch Game Incubator), and this guide is an abridged overview of some of the important conclusions our group has reached during our work in the project. Whether you’re a game developer, teacher, or principal interested in educational video games, we hope that this guide will serve as a good tool for you to improve your understanding of what educational games are. As an educator, you’ll get some insight into what a game might bring to a classroom environment as well as the different challenges you might face when trying to use games in your regular teaching environment. For developers, we’ve put together some guidelines that will hopefully make your first educational game projects flow smoother and properly prepare you for some of the more common challenges that many educational game projects encounter.

  • 9.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Alklind Taylor, Anna-Sofia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Educational Games in Practice: The Challenges Involved in Conducting a Game-Based Curriculum2016Ingår i: Electronic Journal of e-Learning, ISSN 1479-4403, E-ISSN 1479-4403, Vol. 14, nr 2, s. 122-135Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historically, research on digital game‑based learning has focused heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games function in their int ended educational contexts and how they impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game‑based learning activities, the foci of past research is problematic as it obfuscates some of the pressing realities that highly affect games viability as tools for teaching and learning. This paper aims to highlight the demands that the implementation and use of an educational game in formal educational settings puts on te achers working processes and skillsets. The paper is based on two case studies in which a researcher collaborated with K‑12 teachers to use MinecraftEdu (TeacherGaming LLC, 2012) as a classroom activity over a five‑month long period. By documenting bot h the working processes involved in implementing the game into the classroom environment, as well as the execution of the actual game‑based classroom activities, the studies identified a wide variety roles that a teacher needs to take on if they are to ma ke games a central part of a school curriculum. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game‑based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games viability as educational tools. 

  • 10.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Alklind Taylor, Anna-Sofia
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Teachers’ Many Roles in Game-Based Learning Projects2015Ingår i: Proceedings of the 9th European Conference on Games Based Learning / [ed] Robin Munkvold and Line Kolås, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited , 2015, s. 359-367Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper examines what roles teachers need to take on when attempting to integrate and use computer games in their educational environments. The task of integrating games into an educational setting is a demanding one, and integrating games as a harmonious part of a bigger ecosystem of learning requires teachers to orchestrate a myriad of complex organizational resources. Historically, the field of digital game-based learning research has had a tendency to focus heavily on the coupling between game designs, previously established learning principles, student engagement, and learning outcomes much to the expense of understanding how games impact the working processes of teachers. Given the significant investments of time and resources teachers need to make in order to conduct game-based learning activities, this research gap is problematic. Teachers needs to have a certain amount of gaming literacy in order to actively supervise, support, and guide their students before, during, and after the play sessions. The teacher also needs to be proficient in setting up play sessions in a limited amount of preparation time and tackle eventual technical difficulties. Beyond these demands, teachers also need to serve as a conduit between the learning context and the play context, and need to know how to continuously contextualize game activities and the content that students experience in the subject matter being taught.

    This paper describes the outcomes of two five month long studies where Swedish K-12 teachers were introduced to using MinecraftEdu as a classroom activity. The study identifies the different roles that a teacher takes on throughout game-based learning processes, such as technical administrator, game administrator, game tutor, subject matter expert, lecturer, debriefer, and classroom supervisor. Ultimately, the paper highlights the importance of understanding the constraints under which teachers work, and argues that a better understanding of the contexts in which games are to be used, and the roles teachers play during game-based learning scenarios, is a necessary foundation for improving games’ viability as educational tools.

  • 11.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Dahlin, Carl-Johan
    ius information AB, Skövde, Sweden.
    Engström, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Wilhelmsson, Ulf
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    A Game-Based Approach to Support Social Presence and Awareness in Distributed Project-Based Learning2014Ingår i: International Journal of Games Based Learning, ISSN 2155-6849, E-ISSN 2155-6857, Vol. 4, nr 1, s. 1-20Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    An important factor for success in project-based learning (PBL) is that the involved project groups establish an atmosphere of social interaction in their working environment. In PBL-scenarios situated in distributed environments, most of a group's work-processes are mediated through the use of production-focused tools that are unconcerned with the important informal and social aspects of a project. On the other hand, there are plenty of tools and platforms that focus on doing the opposite and mainly support informal bonding (e.g., Facebook), but these types of environments can be obtrusive and contain distractions that can be detrimental to a group's productivity and are thus often excluded from working environments. The aim of this paper is to examine how a game-based multi-user environment (MUVE) can be designed to support project-based learning by bridging the gap between productivity-focused and social software. To explore this, the authors developed a game-based MUVE which was evaluated in a PBL-scenario. The result of the study revealed several crucial design elements that are needed to make such a MUVE work effectively, and that the acceptance towards game-based MUVEs is high, even with a rudimentary execution.

  • 12.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Engström, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    The Practicalities of Educational Games: Challenges of taking games into formal educational settings2014Ingår i: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-Games 2014) / [ed] Vanessa Camilleri, Alexiei Dingli & Matthew Montebello, University of Malta: IEEE Computer Society, 2014, s. 82-89Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The complexity of balancing educational purpose and engaging gameplay mechanics through appropriate design decisions has frequently been discussed in learning game literature. The discussion has primarily focused on highlighting connections between game design principles and learning principles and making guidelines for achieving engaging learning scenarios through game mechanics tailored to specific subject matters. Play, and the learning derived from it, is thus often studied as a phenomenon of the two disparate forces of education and gameplay colliding inside a closed system. The complexity of designing games for educational purposes is subsequently also seen as a product of the dichotomies between these two forces. However, the discussions on the design of learning games and their potential as learning tools seldom take the practicalities of formal educational environments into consideration. In this paper, learning game design principles are investigated alongside developers’ and educators’ working practices. In our analysis we identify and examine a set of issues that complicate learning game design and development. The primary conclusion of this research is that the contexts in which learning games are used significantly alter the way they can be played by introducing constraints as well as facilitating conditions to the play sessions. The paper concludes with an argument for a shift of attention from the product centric view of today to a view that takes pedagogical contexts and organizational values into better account.

  • 13.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Johannesson, Mikael
    Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för kommunikation och information.
    Children's collaboration in emergent game environments2013Ingår i: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2013), Society for the Advancement of the Science of Digital Games , 2013, s. 306-313Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 14.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Engström, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Hellkvist, Marcus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    What Empirically Based Research Tells Us About Game Development2019Ingår i: The Computer Games Journal, E-ISSN 2052-773XArtikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reviews empirically grounded research on practices in game development with the intent to give a comprehensive overview of contemporary development practices used in the video game industry. While there are many intangible elements that inform game development processes, this review specifically covers the more immediate practical challenges. The review covers a total of 48 papers published between 2006 and 2016, which were all subjected to thematic analysis by three reviewers. The results of the review show that an almost universal characteristic of game development is that it is almost impossible to accurately plan a development project in detail, largely due to the soft requirements inherent in game production which emerge mid-process during development projects, during when testing is coupled with continuous ideation and refinement. Practicing game developers have created their own frameworks that accommodate for this lack of planning. They include flat hierarchies, democratic decision-making, creative autonomy, and informal communication, which are designed to create an environment that maintains creativity and openness to product changes long into the production process. These frameworks vary significantly between studios and often between individual projects. This review also shows that the term ‘Agile’, while often used by both researchers and developers to characterize the process of game development, is not an apt descriptor of how game developers actually work. Agile is used as shorthand for unstructured and flexible development, rather than serving as a descriptor of a definable or unified work method. Finally, as companies develop more complicated hierarchies of stakeholders and staff, the desired flexibility and autonomy of game development becomes increasingly complicated to maintain, and often necessitates more formalized management processes and company structures. In these cases, inherent tensions of game development become more pronounced, and continuous creativity is hard to maintain due to a growing need to formalize processes.

  • 15.
    Brown, Ashley M. L.
    et al.
    Brunel University London.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Diversity of Horror in Video Games2015Ingår i: Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: Diversity of Play: Games – Cultures - Identities, Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) , 2015Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the diverse ways horror can be conveyed in games by investigating how games that are not associated with the horror genre can produce unsettling or scary experiences. To conduct this exploration, this study uses interaction mapping, as outlined by Consalvo and Dutton (2006), to examine a game that has thoroughly pleasant and cutesy trappings: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 2013). The interactions were analysed according to three themes prevalent within literature on horror and horror games: the loss of agency, the Freudian uncanny, and the Heideggerian uncanny. Ultimately, this paper demonstrates that a game which is not explicitly scary is occasionally made so through its rudimentary simulation of human behaviour and societal constructs as well as its autonomous functions and inclusion of real-world time, showing that games have very diverse means of conveying unsettling or horrifying experiences. The paper also shows how frameworks used to analyse games in the horror genre can be applicable to critical readings of non-horror games in order to understand the unexpected player reactions they can evoke.

  • 16.
    Dorell, Johan
    et al.
    EA DICE, Stockholm.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Starting from scratch: pragmatic and scalable guidelines to impactful games user research2018Ingår i: Games user research / [ed] Anders Drachen, Pejman Mirza-Babaei, Lennart E. Nacke, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 1, s. 431-452Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 17.
    Engström, Henrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Toftedahl, Marcus
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Game development from a software and creative product perspective: A quantitative literature review approach2018Ingår i: Entertainment Computing, ISSN 1875-9521, E-ISSN 1875-953X, Vol. 27, s. 10-22Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents the methodology and initial analysis of a systematic literature review that aims to explore how the craft and processes of game development have been studied in previous research. In particular, the review focuses on how previous research treats the inherent duality of video game development, since it both involves computer software development and creative production. Researchers are often in a position where they need to emphasize game development’s relation to one of these disciplines, and it is not unusual for game development to be treated as a direct offspring of one field with some mild influences from another. Employing a more all-encompassing review approach, that includes research conducted from the perspectives of both com- puter science and the arts and humanities equally, makes the presented study different from previous literature reviews. The results show that there is a tendency that the management of software development has a negative correlation with the management of creativity in the studied material. The heterogenity of the fields and the limited amount of studies that focus on the duality of game development suggest that there is a need for a deeper analysis of the individual components and to synthesize results from disparate fields. 

  • 18.
    Lodahl, Mikkel
    et al.
    Institute for Danish Game Development at Erhvervsakademi Dania.
    Kjæhr, Emil
    Funday Factory.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    The Business of Making Games: Guidelines and questions to get you thinking about your game studio's business strategy.2014Övrigt (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [en]

    This report is the result of the Scandinavian Game Developers (SGD) project and a distillation of experience acquired from working with the several involved incubation environments, such as the Ranch in Grenaa, the Arsenal in Viborg and Gothia Science Park in Skövde. While most other publications from the SGD project have been academic in nature, this material has been written to be more practically oriented and directly applicable in game development studios.

    It is the hope of the authors that this report will allow young start-up companies within the game business of Scandinavia to structure their thoughts and business plans more thoroughly. While there are precious few answers to give to the question of how you succeed in the games business, there are a series of productive questions to be asked. We hope that this report will help you ask the right questions in the right combination.

  • 19.
    Nyman Gomez, Christian
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    A Game-Based Tool for Cross-Cultural Discussion: Encouraging Cultural Awareness with Board Games2018Ingår i: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SERIOUS GAMES, E-ISSN 2384-8766, Vol. 5, nr 4, s. 81-98Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper studies whether a board game can effectively raise awareness of cultural differences and their impacts on everyday life. Furthermore, the paper compares whether a board game might achieve this goal more efficiently, or differently, than more traditional ‘open discussion’ exercises. To conduct this study, a board game that present players with cultural dilemmas was designed and developed based on a comparative model of individualistic and collectivistic cultures. The game’s ability to generate discussion and engagement with cross-cultural topics was evaluated and compared with traditional discussion exercises in a series of experimental studies conducted in SFI (Swedish For Immigrants) classrooms. A follow-up survey was also conducted to compare long-term effects between the board game and the traditional discussion exercise. Results indicate that the game benefited participants’ discussions and reflections regarding cultural awareness directly after the game session, and that they retained their attitudes and perceptions of cultural awareness better than participants of the non-game exercise.

  • 20.
    Toftedahl, Marcus
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Berg Marklund, Björn
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Engström, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Backlund, Per
    Högskolan i Skövde, Institutionen för informationsteknologi. Högskolan i Skövde, Forskningscentrum för Informationsteknologi.
    Global Influences on Regional Industries: Game development in Nordic countries, China and India2016Ingår i: Decoding the Academic-Industrial-Gameplay Complex: Digital Game Practice, Research and Study in China, Taiwan and Chinese-Speaking Regions, 2016Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The game development industry has historically been strongly associated with a few particularly dominant actors, namely Japan and the US. As a result, video game development processes and game content that have originated from these actors are often used as a benchmark for what game development is and can be. Discussing the games industry from these perspectives can, however, gloss over important nuances that make other game development regions unique. With this in mind, this paper intends to discuss the ways in which different cultural and regional contexts are reflected in the structure of local game development industries and, to some extent, in produced game content. To inform this discussion, the authors use the foundation and growth of game development practices in three different regions: the Nordic region, India, and China. These three regions serve as specific exemplifying cases of how video game industries and praxis can take different shapes depending on what resources and components they have available. The paper concludes that all regional games industries and game development practices are heavily influenced by the precedent set by historically dominant actors. This results in game content and development practices that often mimics pre-established standards. But, over time, the conditions surrounding the formation of regional industries manifest themselves in more locally unique content and development processes.

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