My mentor Skip Rizzo just appeared on CNN's TheNextList, speaking about his work on PTSD treatment and prevention. He certainly is a special person and this CNN piece portraits this perfectly. Well worth the watch!!
Games User Research (GUR) is a small but growing community of psychologists, designers, engineers and researchers with the common goal to take games to the next level. Using scientific methods GUR professionals conduct experiments, user tests, data collections and analyzes to make video and computer games more fun and to help other stakeholders make better decisions about game design and development.
Until now there have only been very few descriptions and articles about GUR in the media.
This recent article shares the scope, intent and philosophy of GUR with the world like no other article has. Enjoy the read, watch the videos and let me know what you think about GUR.
Since much of my website is focused on learning to use the Unity game engine, I am excited to see Unity Technologies putting more effort in their own learning resources. This blog post outlines the new "Learning Unity" section at Unity's own website. Will Goldstone, author of many great tutorials (http://www.unity3dstudent.com/), will take charge of content creation, so we all should be excited to see more useful Unity tutorials coming out over the next months. Go to Unity feedback and vote for (or submit) specific tutorial topics to be covered in the future.
Yay for Unity resources!
The time has come for a new version of the Unity game engine. The announcement has just been made.
Mecanim Character animation system, DirectX11 support, Linux Deployment... Nice!
While the main feature announcements sound very exciting, the little improvements will also make many developers happy.
Some questions might arise about the long-needed update to the GUI system. The current announcement states "Major optimizations in UnityGUI performance and memory usage". Will this also include any usability improvements? The current GUI system is not very intuitive to use and very limited. Let's hope that the GUI becomes as powerful and easy to use as the rest of Unity.
I'm very much looking forward to Unite 2012 in Amsterdam.
http://unity3d.com/unity4 (simplified html version)
I attended and presented at GamesForHealth 2012 in Boston last week. It was a great experience and I came back to LA with lots of exciting ideas and chances for collaborations. For me it was great to see the different concepts and models of how researchers, developers and clinicians turn "serious" applications into something meaningful. While my personal projects not necessarily can be classified as games, even simulations can touch users and patients at a deeper level that is relevant to them.
A summary of the 2012 GFH conference can be found here.
Please find this Wired.com article on our combined effort across ICT and with Cogito below. The project aims to push the limits on intelligent virtual agents, user sensing, telemed applications and much much more. Regardless of what the article might convey, SimCoach and SimSensei are not intended as virtual therapists. They are intended to provide information, first assessment and guide the service members who are in need of therapy to the approriate resources and therapists.
Unity Android and iOS are freely available at the Unity store. Go and get them now!
The folks at the HITLab New Zealand, my former research lab, have created an amazing tool for the potential treatment of spider phobia. Andreas Duenser, Adrian Clark and Sam Corbett-Davies are using a Microsoft Kinect and video-based head-mounted displays to display virtual spiders with amazingly accurate physics interactions. See for yourself (Youtube Link). I can see this technology being used for a variety of phobia treatments and also for physical/occupational therapy for reaching/grasping virtual objects.