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Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 2 • Date June 2013

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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games publication information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C2
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  • Guest Editorial: Brain/neuronal - Computer game interfaces and interaction

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 77 - 81
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  • Games, Gameplay, and BCI: The State of the Art

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 82 - 99
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1514 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and basic computer games have been interconnected since BCI development began, exploiting gameplay elements as a means of enhancing performance in BCI training protocols and entertaining and challenging participants while training to use a BCI. By providing the BCI user with an entertaining environment, researchers hope to assist users in becoming more proficient at controlling a BCI system. BCIs have been used to enrich the experience of abled-bodied and physically impaired users in various computer applications, in particular, computer games. BCI games have been reviewed previously, yet a critical evaluation of “gameplay” within BCI games has not been undertaken. Gameplay is a key aspect of any computer game and encompasses the challenges presented to the player, the actions made available to the player by the game designer to overcome the challenges and the interaction mechanism in the game. Here, the appropriateness of game genres (a category of games characterized by a particular set of gameplay challenges) and the associated gameplay challenges for different BCI paradigms is evaluated. The gameplay mechanics employed across a range of BCI games are reviewed and evaluated in terms of the BCI control strategy's suitability, considering the genre and gameplay mechanics employed. A number of recommendations for the field relating to genre-specific BCI-games development and assessing user performance are also provided for BCI game developers. View full abstract»

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  • Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential-Based Computer Gaming on a Consumer-Grade EEG Device

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 100 - 110
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1342 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we introduce a game in which the player navigates an avatar through a maze by using a brain-computer interface (BCI) that analyzes the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) responses recorded with electroencephalography (EEG) on the player's scalp. The four-command control game, called The Maze, was specifically designed around an SSVEP BCI and validated in several EEG setups when using a traditional electrode cap with relocatable electrodes and a consumer-grade headset with fixed electrodes (Emotiv EPOC). We experimentally derive the parameter values that provide an acceptable tradeoff between accuracy of game control and interactivity, and evaluate the control provided by the BCI during gameplay. As a final step in the validation of the game, a population study on a broad audience was conducted with the EPOC headset in a real-world setting. The study revealed that the majority (85%) of the players enjoyed the game in spite of its intricate control (mean accuracy 80.37%, mean mission time ratio 0.90). We also discuss what to take into account while designing BCI-based games. View full abstract»

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  • Toward Contextual SSVEP-Based BCI Controller: Smart Activation of Stimuli and Control Weighting

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 111 - 116
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (755 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are becaming more available to the general public, and have already been used to control applications such as computer games. One disadvantage is that they are not completely reliable. In order to increase BCI performances, some low-level adjustments can be made, such as signal processing, as well as high level adjustments such as modifying the controller paradigm. In this study, we explore a novel, context-dependant, approach for a steady-state visual-evoked potential (SSVEP)-based BCI controller. This controller uses two kinds of behavior alternation: commands can be added and removed if their use is irrelevant to the context and the actions resulting from their activation can be weighted depending on the likeliness of the actual intention of the user. This controller has been integrated within a BCI computer game and its influence in performance and mental workload has been addressed through a pilot experiment. Preliminary results have shown a workload reduction and performance improvement with the context-dependent controller, while keeping the engagement levels untouched. View full abstract»

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  • Thinking Penguin: Multimodal Brain–Computer Interface Control of a VR Game

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 117 - 128
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1270 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we describe a multimodal brain-computer interface (BCI) experiment, situated in a highly immersive CAVE. A subject sitting in the virtual environment controls the main character of a virtual reality game: a penguin that slides down a snowy mountain slope. While the subject can trigger a jump action via the BCI, additional steering with a game controller as a secondary task was tested. Our experiment profits from the game as an attractive task where the subject is motivated to get a higher score with a better BCI performance. A BCI based on the so-called brain switch was applied, which allows discrete asynchronous actions. Fourteen subjects participated, of which 50% achieved the required performance to test the penguin game. Comparing the BCI performance during the training and the game showed that a transfer of skills is possible, in spite of the changes in visual complexity and task demand. Finally and most importantly, our results showed that the use of a secondary motor task, in our case the joystick control, did not deteriorate the BCI performance during the game. Through these findings, we conclude that our chosen approach is a suitable multimodal or hybrid BCI implementation, in which the user can even perform other tasks in parallel. View full abstract»

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  • Controlling a Tactile ERP–BCI in a Dual Task

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 129 - 140
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1708 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    When using brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to control a game, the BCI may have to compete with gaming tasks for the same perceptual and cognitive resources. We investigated: 1) if and to what extent event-related potentials (ERPs) and ERP-BCI performance are affected in a dual-task situation; and 2) if these effects are an area function of the level of difficulty of a concurrent task. Ten participants performed an ERP-BCI task that involved attending to a target location in sequences of tactile stimuli. The ERP-BCI task was performed either in isolation or secondary to a visual n-back task with two levels of difficulty. We observed: 1) a decreased P300 and BCI bit rate, and an increased level of subjective mental effort for both dual-task conditions compared to the BCI-only condition; the decreased classification accuracies were still well above chance, but arguably too low for effective BCI control; and 2) we did not find an effect of task difficulty on the P300, bit rates, and subjective mental effort. We discuss reallocation of attention caused by a concurrent task, but unaffected by task difficulty, and the role of task priority. Concluding, control of a tactile ERP-BCI in a dual-task situation is feasible, but performance is degraded. View full abstract»

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  • Adapting the P300-Based Brain–Computer Interface for Gaming: A Review

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 141 - 149
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (711 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The P300-based brain-computer interface (P300 BCI) is currently a very popular topic in assistive technology development. However, only a few simple P300 BCI-based games have been designed so far. Here, we analyze the shortcomings of this BCI in gaming applications and show that solutions for overcoming them already exist, although these techniques are dispersed over several different games. Additionally, new approaches to improve the P300 BCI accuracy and flexibility are currently being proposed in the more general P300 BCI research. The P300 BCI, even in its current form, not only exhibits relatively high speed and accuracy, but also can be used without user training, after a short calibration. Taking these facts together, the broader use of the P300 BCI in BCI-controlled video games is recommended. View full abstract»

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  • Evaluation and Comparison of a Multimodal Combination of BCI Paradigms and Eye Tracking With Affordable Consumer-Grade Hardware in a Gaming Context

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 150 - 154
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (525 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper evaluates the usability and efficiency of three multimodal combinations of brain-computer interface (BCI) and eye tracking in the context of a simple puzzle game involving tile selection and rotations using affordable consumer-grade hardware. It presents preliminary results indicating that the BCI interaction is interesting but very tiring and imprecise, and may be better suited as an optional and complementary modality to other interaction techniques. View full abstract»

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  • On the Use of Games for Noninvasive EEG-Based Functional Brain Mapping

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 155 - 163
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1020 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The use of statistical models and statistical inference for characterizing the interplay between brain structures and human behavior (functional brain mapping) is common in neuroscience. Statistical methods, however, require the availability of sufficiently large data sets. As a result, experimental paradigms used to collect behavioral trials from individuals are data centered and not user centered. This means that experimental paradigms are tuned to collect as many trials as possible, are generally rather demanding, and are not always motivating or engaging for individuals. Subject cooperation and their compliance with the task may decrease over time. Whenever possible, paradigms are designed to control for factors such as fatigue, attention, and motivation. In this paper, we propose the use of the Kinect motion tracking sensor (Microsoft, Inc., Redmond, WA, USA) in a game-based paradigm for noninvasive electroencephalogram (EEG)-based functional motor mapping. Results from an experimental study with able-bodied subjects playing a virtual ball game suggest that the Kinect sensor is useful for isolating specific movements during the interaction with the game, and that the computed EEG patterns for hand and feet movements are in agreement with results described in the literature. View full abstract»

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  • Electroencephalogram and Physiological Signal Analysis for Assessing Flow in Games

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 164 - 175
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1321 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Passive brain-computer interaction (BCI) can provide useful information to understand a user's state and anticipate intentions, which is needed to support adaptivity and personalization. Given the huge variety of audiences, a game's capability of adapting to different user profiles-in particular to keep the player in flow-is crucial to make it ever more enjoyable and satisfying. We have performed a user experiment exploiting a four-electrode electroencephalogram (EEG) tool similar to the ones that are soon likely to appear in the market for game control. We have performed a spectral characterization of the video-gaming experience, also in comparison with other tasks. Results show that the most informative frequency bands for discriminating among gaming conditions are around low beta. Simple signals from the peripheral nervous system add marginal information. Classification of three levels of user states is possible, with good accuracy, using a support vector machine (SVM) classifier. A user-independent classification performs worse than a user-dependent approach (50.1% versus 66.4% rate). Personalized SVM training and validation time is reasonable (7-8 min). Thus, we argue that a personalized system could be implemented in a consumer context and research should aim at improving classifiers that can be trained online by end users. View full abstract»

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  • Experiencing BCI Control in a Popular Computer Game

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 176 - 184
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1034 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are not only being developed to aid disabled individuals with motor substitution, motor recovery, and novel communication possibilities, but also as a modality for healthy users in entertainment and gaming. This study investigates whether the incorporation of a BCI in the popular game World of Warcraft (WoW) has effects on the user experience. A BCI control channel based on parietal alpha band power is used to control the shape and function of the avatar in the game. In the experiment, participants (n=42) , a mix of experienced and inexperienced WoW players, played with and without the use of BCI in a within-subjects design. Participants themselves could indicate when they wanted to stop playing. Actual and estimated duration was recorded and questionnaires on presence and control were administered. Afterwards, oral interviews were taken. No difference in actual duration was found between conditions. Results indicate that the difference between estimated and actual duration was not related to user experience but was person specific. When using a BCI, control and involvement were rated lower. But BCI control did not significantly decrease fun. During interviews, experienced players stated that they saw potential in the application of BCIs in games with complex interfaces such as WoW. This study suggests that BCI as an additional control can be as much fun and natural to use as keyboard/mouse control, even if the amount of control is limited. View full abstract»

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  • Two Brains, One Game: Design and Evaluation of a Multiuser BCI Video Game Based on Motor Imagery

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 185 - 198
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1713 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    How can we connect two brains to a video game by means of a brain-computer interface (BCI), and what will happen when we do so? How will the two users behave, and how will they perceive this novel common experience? In this paper, we are concerned with the design and evaluation of multiuser BCI applications. We created a multiuser videogame called BrainArena in which two users can play a simple football game by means of two BCIs. They can score goals on the left or right side of the screen by simply imagining left or right hand movements. To add another interesting element, the gamers can play in a collaborative manner (their two mental activities are combined to score in the same goal), or in a competitive manner (the gamers must push the ball in opposite directions). Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance and subjective experience of users in the different conditions. In the first experiment, we compared a single-user situation with one multiuser situation: the collaborative task. Experiment 1 showed that multiuser conditions are significantly preferred, in terms of fun and motivation, compared to the single-user condition. The performance of some users was even significantly improved in the multiuser condition. A subset of well-performing subjects was involved in the second experiment, where we added the competitive task. Experiment 2 suggested that competitive and collaborative conditions may lead to similar performances and motivations. However, the corresponding gaming experiences can be perceived differently among the participants. Taken together our results suggest that multiuser BCI applications can be operational, effective, and more engaging for participants. View full abstract»

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  • Call for Papers: General Game Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 199
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  • MyIEEE

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 200
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  • IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C3
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  • IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games information for authors

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C4
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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (T-CIAIG) publishes archival journal quality original papers in computational intelligence and related areas in artificial intelligence applied to games, including but not limited to videogames, mathematical games, human–computer interactions in games, and games involving physical objects. Emphasis is placed on the use of these methods to improve performance in and understanding of the dynamics of games, as well as gaining insight into the properties of the methods as applied to games. It also includes using games as a platform for building intelligent embedded agents for the real world. Papers connecting games to all areas of computational intelligence and traditional AI are considered.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Graham Kendall