Research Log of Web Science Students

Computer Science is not simply programming

RRLs (1-5)

with one comment

Each of us was tasked to gather ten RRLs.  We presented this to Dr. Caro last July 14, 2009. The first five I have reported are the following:

1. Educational Effects of Games: An Experimental Study on an Interactive Edu-Game

This research study tests the effects of networked interactivity on educational game players’ perceptions toward learning. It aims to support their hypotheses that networked interactivity between students in an educational game has positive effects on students’ feeling of social presence, perceptions toward learning, and test performance; and feeling of social presence during the game session mediates the effect of networked interactivity on sense of rivalry and perceived efficiency of learning method.

In order to test the hypotheses mentioned earlier, they created an experimental situation in which they compare students’ perception toward learning methods (interactive game learning method, non-interactive game learning method, and lecture-based learning method) and test scores (pre-tests and post-tests) in which all their hypotheses were greatly supported.


Jeong, Eui Jun., Park, Namkee., et al.  “Educational Effects of Games: An Experimental Study on an Interactive Edu-Game” Allacademic. Retrieved on: July 5, 2009

2. Literature Review in Games and Learning (from Future Lab Series)

The central theme of this report journal is a consideration of the case for developing and using computer and video games for educational purposes. In various idiosyncratic ways, and mainly isolated instances, such games and technologies are already being used in some classrooms which are mainly in Western Countries. However, various issues relating to perceptions of games, relevance to curriculum, accuracy of content and suitability for use in timetabled classroom environments have so far prevented this nontraditional type of learning become a mainstream activity in schools.

The journal also added that before games can take on a meaningful role in formal or informal education, the education sector and the wider public and media need to better understand the potential and diversity of such ‘tools’. Furthermore, the games development industry needs to understand the constraints on schools, teachers, parents and above all children of time, resources, and the requirements of curriculum and examination if games with more direct educational value are to emerge. Though a rapidly growing and maturing body of research is helping to develop a clearer understanding of the educational potential of games, there are as yet a small number of games that have a clear contribution to make to the educational agenda.

The conditions likely to induce the flow state which I strongly agree are characterized as:

  • The activity should be structured so that the player can increase or decrease the level of challenges faced, in order to match exactly personal skills with the requirements for action
  • It should be easy to isolate the activity, at least at the perceptual level, from other stimuli, external or internal, which might interfere with involvement in it
  • There should be clear criteria for performance; a player should be able to evaluate how well or how poorly he is doing at any time
  • The activity should provide concrete feedback to the player, so that he can tell how well he is meeting the criteria of performance
  • The activity ought to have a broad range of challenges, and possibly several qualitatively different ranges of challenge, so that the player may obtain increasingly complex information about different aspects of her/himself.


Ceangal, John Kirriemuir., McFarlance, Angela. Literature Review in Games and Learning” HAL: Sciences di l’Hemme et de la Societe. Retrieved on: July 6, 2009

3. Educational Video Game Design: A Review of the Literature

In the introduction of this literature, two game design types have been differentiated – Edutainment and Educational Games. It stressed that the main characteristic that differentiates edutainment and video games is interactivity, because, the former being grounded on didactical and linear progressions, no place is left to wandering and alternatives.  Edutainment games, then, are those which follow a skill and drill format in which players either practice repetitive skills or rehearse memorized facts. As such, edutainment often fails in transmitting non trivial (or previously assimilated) knowledge, calling again and again the same action patterns and not throwing the learning curve into relief. In contrast, educational video games require strategizing, hypothesis testing, or problem-solving, usually with higher order thinking rather than rote memorization or simple comprehension. Characteristics of such games include a system of rewards and goals which motivate players, a narrative context which situates activity and establishes rules of engagement, learning content that is relevant to the narrative plot, and interactive cues that prompt learning and provide feedback.

Another important factor discussed in this literature is motivation. There are in fact, several publications examining motivation in video games. However, not all researchers entirely agree on the source of this motivation. Some attribute the compelling nature of games to their narrative context others find motivation is linked to goals and rewards within the game itself or intrinsic to the act of playing. Nevertheless, all find that motivation to play is a significant characteristic of educational.


Dondlinger, Mary Jo. “Educational Video Game Design: A Review of the Literature” The Journal of Applied Education and Technology (JAET). Retrieved on: July 6, 2009

4. New ANEO Webcam with Interactive Games

The ANEO GX-10 is a new playful web camera that comes with three interactive PC video games: Kungfu, Super Knight, and Funny Stair. It puts the player into the theme and in real-time puts ones’ moves on the screen while he/she is in front of the PC.

The sample games incorporated into this technology are the type of games and interface we would like to develop in our game thesis as it is easy and much interactive and enjoyable for children to play with. It uses motion detection algorithm (not only color detection) which would be in fact a lot easier for the program to detect and interpret accurately the child’s actions in a game.

Source: GeekAlerts (Gadgets and Design). “Web Camera with Interactive Games”  Retrieved on: July 6, 2009

5. CamSpace Brings Wii-Like Interactivity to Flash Gaming

CamSpace is another innovative technology which is an open source software (but Windows built-in only) that allows gamers to use their computer cameras to play Wii-like games. It currently has added support for Flash, making its platform accessible to a much broader range of developers.

CamSpace’s technology revolves around detecting up to four objects in real-time, and translating their movement and rotation into in-game actions. To get started, users are asked to activate their webcams with their objects out of frame for a few seconds, and then they hold them in front of the camera briefly until the system recognizes them. Any object will do, provided it is bright and has a near-uniform color, and the tracking seems to work very well provided there’s adequate light.

CamSpace is indeed not the first system to merge video with game. We tried to download the software and played with some of the games with it. The interface is what exactly we would want to develop. And if it would be possible for us to create a game using its API, then it would be a much relief for us in terms of developing because we would not bother much on motion and color detection.  The program itself still needs some work though as the interface could be confusing and actions are not precisely detected.


Web Usability Help. “CamSpace Brings Wii-Like Interactivity to Flash Gaming.” Retrieved on: July 7, 2009

– Inah V.


Written by inah

July 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Posted in EEG

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