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Game research at CCIS explores the high impact of game design as a vehicle for research and an application in fields like health and education. Working in conjunction with other areas of computer science—from programming languages to artificial intelligence—and outside programs like psychology, our researchers develop new interfaces, devices, and interaction models to study and engage participants in increasingly immersive gaming and narrative environments. Through this interdisciplinary approach, CCIS is uncovering further understanding of complex human behaviors to better develop socially rich 3D environments and advance the frontier of social science and psychology research.

Areas of investigation:

  • Game evaluation
  • Gameplay analytics and visualization
  • New gaming interface design
  • Computational algorithms for interactive narrative and building 3D characters
  • Development of new evaluation methods to understand human behaviors
  • Games for crowdsourcing, human computation, and citizen science

The CCIS game research group is investigating groundbreaking methods for improving 3D worlds, developing procedural computational models, and creating new user interfaces by closely examining player behavior in social and single-player environments. Our deep collaboration with other CCIS research areas, as well as other colleges at Northeastern, creates an environment where students witness the multi-faceted impact of games in fields beyond computer science—spanning the humanities, media studies, social science, and the arts.

Notable achievements:

  • CCIS researchers created Endless Web, an experimental game that tightly integrates procedural content generation into both game mechanics and aesthetics.
  • Team members have written several establishing books in the field, including one of the first to explore the fundamentals of games for impact design, game analytics, and the use of nonverbal behaviors in virtual environments.
  • CCIS researchers served as advisory board members on the Game for Health company – Spa Play.
  • CCIS researchers have won best paper awards on their work on game visualization as well as their investigations on the game field evolution.
  • Our team has created tools and methods, such as game analytics and novel HCI methods, to enhance the game user experience.
  • CCIS researchers have pioneered the field of using video games for scientific discovery, including Foldit and Nanocrafter, which allow players to participate directly in biochemistry research.
Research Area - Games