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Applying thematic analysis to define an awareness interpretation for collaborative computer games

Indices de calidad: Índice de impacto: 1.569, Q1 Posición que ocupa la revista en la categoría: 16/106 Número de citas: 3 Context Collaborative computer games have evolved from single-player to massively multiplayer awareness-demanding games, usually involving collaboration to achieve team goals. As a consequence of such evolution, these players should be provided with awareness information that enables them to perform collaborative tasks with other team members. Objective The objective of this work is the analysis of current awareness interpretations in order to develop an awareness interpretation that collects the awareness needs of such games. Method This analysis has been conducted by means of a step-by-step Thematic Analysis of current interpretations that led us to extract the most relevant awareness elements defined in existing interpretations. The developed awareness interpretation was empirically evaluated by means of several surveys aimed at assessing whether the implementation of the interpretation elements in a game would improve the players enjoyment. Results The Thematic Synthesis Analysis concluded that none of the current awareness interpretations can deal properly with collaborative computer games, specifically due to collaboration and social & group dynamics. This Thematic Synthesis Analysis led us to coin Gamespace Awareness, a new awareness interpretation based on a combination of the previously analyzed awareness interpretations, which is suitable for collaborative computer games. The interpretation was positively evaluated for two games, namely a first person shooter and a real-time strategy game. Conclusions Gamespace Awareness combines the potential awareness elements needed for collaborative computer games, making it possible to identify the awareness requirements of these games from the very beginning.

Autores: Miguel A. Teruel / Elena Navarro / Pascual Gonzalez / Víctor López-Jaquero / Francisco Montero / 
Palabras Clave: Awareness - Collaborative computer games - Empirical evaluation - Game development - Gamespace awareness - Thematic synthesis

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