Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Call for Papers: AMCIS 2014 Mini-Track

This year the American Conference on Information Systems will be held in beautiful Savannah Georgia in the first week of August. We invite you to send your papers to this minitrack on the use of game design principles in business information system development. 

Using Game Design in IS Development
Kafui Monu, University of British Columbia, kafui.monu@sauder.ubc.ca
Paul Ralph, Lancaster University, p.ralph@lancaster.ac.uk

Track Description
We are living in a world where many workers, employers and customers find the highly interactive medium of video games to be as common as television and film. This poses new challenges for businesses since their stakeholders are starting to demand an increased level of interactivity and engagement. This new and exciting area has had analogs in education and science but few researchers have focused on precisely how the designs of these systems influence non-game contexts.

Since games are information systems, IS research can aid the development of these gamified systems; areas of information systems research such as interface design, system analysis, IS development can inform the use of game-like systems in businesses. Game design may also inform more traditional areas of information system research. For instance, recent work has investigated how business software vendors use gamification to aid in the adoption and use of enterprise information systems.

This mini-track is designed to provide a forum for researchers how investigate how game design affects non-game IS development and how traditional IS research can be used to inform game design and development. We are interested in a variety of research, including case studies, empirical lab studies and action research.

Topics of interest include:
 - Game Design Thinking
 - Video Game Development
 - Gamification
 - Serious Games
 - Pervasive Games
 - Game Design Theory 

Deadline for submission is March 1st, 2014. To submit a paper, please follow the directions at http://amcis2014.aisnet.org/index.php/call-for-papers.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year. Full of Possibilities.

Well it is now 2014. Strange I don't feel different. But it is a good time as any to reflect about this whole blogging thing and to think about the future. So here is my list of things I learned through the experience.

1) Write. Just write.

When I first starting blogging I really didn't have any solid plans. I just needed to write. I had just finished a paper about game research in the information systems discipline and my head was full of ideas. I realised that it was not possible to write full research papers on all the topics that I was thinking about but I needed a place to write them down before my head exploded. I found it to be cathartic.

2) Writing can be fun.

I also found it to be fun. Writing helped me to coalesce some half-baked ideas that had been swimming around in my head and it was great to see them fully realised. Here were my little thoughts down on "paper", so to speak. Google Images also made it enjoyable.

3) You can only do so much.

The last two months of last year were overwhelming and I really didn't have time to take care of myself, let alone write on a little blog. This year should be better. I hope.

4) Academia is awesome.

My favourite article was my one on aesthetics and Candy Crush. I liked it because I was able to use a theoretical framework to help explain my feelings about a topic.

5) Writing begets action

This blog has given me the confidence to evangelize gaming research in my academic field. If I did not see how many interesting and important research ideas could be generated by mixing game research and information systems research then I would never try to form a Special Interest Group on the topic. However once I saw what I alone could think up I thought about what a whole research team could do. This could be amazing stuff!

As for the future, I have some topics that I want to cover. I want to take a closer look at simulations and why they are so good at helping people to learn. Also, a former student of mine asked me whether I would design my current class into a game. I have to admit that I have become somewhat curriculum-design fatigued (I have been doing it almost non-stop for three years). However I might just put down a blueprint of how to turn my class into a game. It might be an illuminating exercise. I have also decided to take a look at the not-so-cool characteristics of gaming (and gamers). What are the consequences of bringing in some of the odious charactersitics of the gaming community into non-game contexts?

Lastly, a good blog without readers is a good game without players; well crafted, interesting, and utterly pointless. If you have followed me from the beginning or are just now reading this post then.....