Iterative design and development of the 'World of Balance' game: From ecosystem education to scientific discovery

Ilmi Yoon, Gary Ng, Hunvil Rodrigues, Trang Nguyen, Jae H. Paik, Sanghyuk Yoon, Rich Williams, Neo D. Martinez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advances in computer science are continuing to help expand a new subfield of ecology based on computational analyses of complex ecological networks where the nonlinear dynamics of many interacting species can be more realistically modeled and understood. Research has recently elucidated how the network structure of feeding relationships both generally stabilize complex ecosystems and also specifically predict effects of experimentally removing species. Still, further research is inhibited by the exponential increase of parameter space with the number of nonlinearly interacting species. Such increases prevent more thorough exploration and understanding of complex ecosystems. Here, we describe how intelligent interfaces for multiplayer games help researchers surpass these limitations. Our applications including a multiplayer online game, "World of Balance," educates players about interdependence and non-linear population dynamics among species within ecosystems while helping to explore critically important parameter space in a scientifically productive manner. Our evaluation tests found that benefits of playing World of Balance on knowledge gain and learning significantly surpassed the benefits of reading scientific articles among undergraduates. Such work efficiently leverages multiple resources to expand education and research potential within critically important areas of ecology and sustainability science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, IGIC 2013
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages283-290
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781479912445
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event 5th Annual IEEE International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC 2013 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Sep 23 2013Sep 25 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE Consumer Electronics Society's International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC
ISSN (Print)2166-6741
ISSN (Electronic)2166-675X

Other

Other 5th Annual IEEE International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC 2013
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period9/23/139/25/13

Keywords

  • Ecological Networks
  • Ecology game
  • Education game
  • Food Webs
  • Science Discovery Game

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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    Yoon, I., Ng, G., Rodrigues, H., Nguyen, T., Paik, J. H., Yoon, S., Williams, R., & Martinez, N. D. (2013). Iterative design and development of the 'World of Balance' game: From ecosystem education to scientific discovery. In 2013 IEEE International Games Innovation Conference, IGIC 2013 (pp. 283-290). [6659135] (IEEE Consumer Electronics Society's International Games Innovations Conference, IGIC). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/IGIC.2013.6659135