PPAX: Play Patterns And eXperience

The project began January 2011 and ended September 2012

The PPAX project forms a novel collaboration between three Aalto schools to combine psychophysiological basic research with game design patterns, using machine learning to generate new knowledge on game design. Consolidation of existing theories for measurement and design of experience forms the basis of more extensive investigations in player personality profiling and game experience patterns.

The Media Lab within TAIK hosts the newly instigated Game Design and Production Master’s Program. Game research and education within Media Lab capitalizes on practice based design research and operates in close dialogue with industry practice. The Knowledge Media Group within CKIR/HSE has a proven track record of utilizing psychophysiological measurements for assessing media experiences, particularly with digital games. The Digital Content Communities Group at HIIT has developed considerable expertise in analyzing psychophysiological data and relevant research methodologies while implementing several biofeedback games and applications.

PPAX combines the expertise of these three institutions to address a research area which was previously unexplored. Currently, the practical application of psychophysiological research remains limited because the analytical framework is not explicitly linked to the thematic areas of interest within game design. Therefore, although current psychological models address relevant experiential phenomena they provide poor tools for actual design practices and in-development evaluation. Likewise, the benefits of combining experience data with player personality and game preference remain uninvestigated, for either design or basic research.

Pilot work has borne good results linking psychophysiology and game-play patterns; generated a journal paper, coauthored by members of all three institutions and currently under review at the journal of Simulation and Gaming’s special issue on games research in Finland. Project proposals are also submitted to Tekes, aiming to continue and extend the work.

Thus the initial proposal to the Media Factory is being realised and more.

Project lead:
Ben Cowley ( ben.cowley@helsinki.fi )
Project members:
Simo Jarvela (simo.jarvela2@aalto.fi)
Ilkka Kosunen (ilkka.kosunen@hiit.fi)
Matias Kivikangas (matias.kivikangas@aalto.fi)
Petri Lankoski (petri.lankoski@gmail.com)
Jaakko Kempianen (jakemppa@gmail.com)
Inger Ekman (inger.ekman@uta.fi)

Project files:
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