Advancement: Search Within and Across Games

Speaker Name: 
Barrett Anderson
Speaker Title: 
PhD Student
Start Time: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 11:45am
End Time: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 1:15pm
Location: 
Engineering 2, Room 280

Abstract:  Media like videogames (and novels, film, music, etc.) play an important role in most people’s lives, and the creation and comprehension of these works benefits from critical study. New information retrieval technology can automate tedious aspects of analysis, reveal hidden relationships, and enable scholars to ask questions that would not have been possible to ask without it. The work of analyzing new media contributes to our understanding of its influence, and information gleaned from this can be directly beneficial for game-makers as well as students. However, information retrieval research on videogames lags behind that for other types of media, in part because of the inherent challenges that come along with the introduction of interactivity. In an effort to meet those challenges head-on, I interviewed scholars and other experts on games (developers, streamers, speedrunners, educators, etc.), and I am developing search tools to meet ! a subset of their expressed needs. One of these tools, the Gameplay Video Explorer, can be used to extract and compare moments from videos of gameplay. Another, the Story Corpus Navigator, enables comparisons of the content and structure of choice-based interactive fiction. I intend to continue the development of these systems, and to investigate their usefulness in the context of an introductory undergraduate games course. Ultimately, I hope that this work will contribute to games studies by facilitating new kinds of readings, to information retrieval by introducing and advancing a new domain for the field, and to games education with the development of visualizations and tools for student work that add insight and inspiration.

Event Type: 
Adancement/Defense
Advisor: 
Adam Smith
Graduate Program: 
Computational Media PhD