The Science Of Games

Research game, 2012

Tiltfactor Laboratory [US]

Tiltfactor Laboratory will offer visitors to GAME [aged 18 and older] the opportunity to participate in an actual game research study at Science Gallery. The first round of research sessions will be held on November 16 and 17, and participants who sign up will have the chance to play a Tiltfactor-designed game before providing their feedback on a post-game assessment questionnaire.

Each study session will last less than one hour, including a thorough debriefing at the end of the session that will give participants the chance to engage in a dialogue with a Tiltfactor researcher about their game design and research methodologies, the psychological principles that helped inform the creation of the game, and the general effectiveness of games at creating significant personal and social change. In addition to conducting the formal game study, members of the Tiltfactor team will also be running on-site game design workshops and offering informal demonstrations of a number of games designed by the lab.

The project primarily aims to engage people in enjoyable, deep discussions about the meaning of games, their role in society, and the ways that scientific research can interact with the everyday experience of games. Through engaging in a cross-cultural dialogue about games research, Tiltfactor hope to make research approachable and accessible to a broad audience.

The research will collect valid, accurate data that adds a significant contribution to the fields comprising the science of games with an eye toward publication of the results in a respected peer-reviewed journal and if possible, to design at least one aspect of the study that is longitudinal [to track both short-term and long-term effects of game play]. This exposé into games research will both help the public understand how research works and also show other researchers the importance of conducting carefully controlled, scientifically valid experimental games research.

The Science Of Games A trio of Tiltfactor’s “mad scientist” interns plotting their next move Photo: Sukdith Punjasthitkul, 2012
The Science Of Games

"“We aim to conduct a full, randomised, experimental game study with patrons [ages 18 and older] who volunteer to participate, with the goal of producing publishable results by the conclusion of the exhibition. By formally testing the efficacy of one of our games, we not only hope to shed light on factors that influence the ability of games to change people’s hearts and minds, but also to engage visitors to the exhibition in a meaningful dialogue about games and game research. The research procedure and materials will be subject to the approval of the ethics committees at Dartmouth and Trinity College Dublin, and participants will be required to give their written consent to take part in the study.”"

—Tiltfactor Laboratory [US]