Magy Seif El-Nasr
Vice Chair of Serious Games, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA
Talk Title: A User-Centric and Data-Driven Approach to Game Design
Games, especially Serious Games, have, for many years, been used as applications for entertainment, education, training, crowdsourcing, as well as platforms for understanding human behavior, which creates opportunities for making great societal impacts. The potential social impact of these environments elevates the importance of developing methods that can enhance the player engagement during and after production as well as evaluate the value of these designs in the long term. Towards these goals, I will discuss various visualization and behavior analysis tools and innovative methods we have developed and used over the past decade. I will also discuss a case study where these tools and methods are used. I will discuss how these tools and methods enabled us to discover design problems that impacted players’ engagement, adherence, and motivation. I will then conclude by discussing results from our current studies investigating the use of user and data-centric approaches in current esports tools used for training and engagement.
Magy Seif El-Nasr is a Professor in Computational Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Game User Interaction and Intelligence (GUII) Lab. Dr. Seif El-Nasr earned her Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Computer Science in 2003. Her research focuses on two goals (a) developing automated tools and techniques for authoring, adapting, and personalizing virtual environments (e.g., interactive narrative, believable characters, and visuals), and (b) developing evidence-based methodologies to measure the effectiveness of game environments through the development of novel indepth behavior mining and visual analytics tools. She worked in collaboration with several game companies both in the serious as well as the entertainment game spaces. She published the first book on the subject of game analytics, called Game Analytics: Maximizing the Value of Player Data. Her new book on Game Data Science follows her work on Game Data Science and Analytics, released October 2021. Her work is internationally known and cited in several game industry books. Additionally, she has received several awards and recognition within the game research community. Notably, she received four Best Paper Awards and one honorable mention. Further, she was named a HEVGA (Higher Education Video Game Alliance) Fellow. She also serves as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Games, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and Human Computer Interaction.