Research on computer games and gaming, social simulation, agent theories and models (AI and social ontology), norms and behaviour.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Online Video Games Research
2020. Harko Henricus Verhagen, Magnus Johansson, Wander Jager. SAGE Research Methods FoundationsChapter
Digital Games-Based Teaching in Swedish Compulsory and Upper Secondary Schools
2019. Melinda Máthé, Harko Verhagen, Mats Wiklund. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, 503-511Conference
The interest in research around digital games in education has been significant; however, the integration of games in teaching and teachers´ practice-based use is still somewhat an unexplored area. In this study, we investigate digital game implementation practices and challenges of teachers in Swedish compulsory and upper secondary schools and investigate how factors such as age, gender, and teaching-gaming background may influence digital game-based teaching practices. This study is the first to collect a comprehensive set of data in the Swedish context. Data were collected during March and April 2019 through an online survey consisting of 37 questions from 181 respondents. Our findings show that teachers in our sample apply gamification tools and a variety of digital games across different subject areas, typically to motivate student and practice knowledge. We find that slightly more females use gamification tools and educational games than males while males and young teachers are more likely to use entertainment games for teaching. Teachers report motivational and cognitive outcomes of digital games-based learning but perceive games as less effective for teaching communicative and analytical skills. The access to good quality resources applicable to the curriculum is a concern among all the teachers. However, teachers new to digital games-based teaching are mostly concerned about the integration of games and their unfamiliarity with game-related technologies. Teachers with experience in the area are mostly concerned about game costs, access to good quality resources and preparation time. Future work will include a broader analysis of the data and results may be used to support the customization of game-based teaching tools and professional development programs to meet the needs of teachers.
Multi-Agent-Based Simulation XIX
2019. Paul Davidsson, Harko Verhagen.Conference
This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-conference proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Multi-Agent-Based Simulation, MABS 2019, held in Stockholm Sweden, in July 2018 as part of the Federated AI Meeting, FAIM 2018.
The 10 revised full papers included in this volume were carefully selected from 15 submissions. They focus on finding efficient solutions to model complex social systems in such areas as economics, management, and organisational and social sciences. In all these areas, agent theories, metaphors, models, analysis, experimental designs, empirical studies, and methodological principles, converge into simulation as a way of achieving explanations and predictions, exploration and testing of hypotheses, better designs and systems.
Handbook of Normative Multiagent Systems
2018. Amit Chopra (et al.).Book (ed)
A Manifesto for Conscientious Design of Hybrid Online Social Systems
2017. Pablo Noriega (et al.). Coordination, Organizations, Institutions, and Norms in Agent Systems XII, 60-78Chapter
Online Social Systems such as community forums, social media, e-commerce and gaming are having an increasingly significant impact on our lives. They affect the way we accomplish all sorts of collective activities, the way we relate to others, and the way we construct are own self-image. These systems often have both human and artificial agency creating what we call online hybrid social systems. However, when systems are designed and constructed, the psychological and sociological impact of such systems on individuals and communities is not always worked out in advance. We see this as a significant challenge for which coordination, organisations, institutions and norms are core resources and we would like to make a call to arms researchers in these topics to subscribe a conscientious approach to that challenge. In this paper we identify a class of design issues that need attention when designing hybrid online social systems and propose to address those problems using conscientious design which is underpinned by ethical and social values. We present an austere framework to articulate those notions and illustrate these ideas with an example. We outline five lines of research that we see worth pursuing.
A model of non-player character believability
2017. Henrik Warpefelt, Harko Verhagen. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 9 (1), 39-53Article
In this study we aim to describe in what ways non-player characters (NPCs) affect believability. To this end, we have conducted an online survey, where respondents were asked to classify and describe NPCs. Furthermore, we also examined recordings of NPCs in games. These data sources were examined using a model for NPC believability in order to describe the effect on believability by different types of NPCs. Based on this, we were able to construct a model of NPC believability, based on the NPC’s level of complexity and ability to handle a mutable social context. As described by the model, NPCs are currently less capable of handling changing social contexts. They do, however, show promise, and given current emerging technologies it is feasible that new types of more socially capable NPCs will arise within the near future.
The simplicity of complex agents
2016. Corinna Elsenbroich, Harko Verhagen. Mind & Society 15 (1), 131-143Article
Collective dilemmas have attracted widespread interest in several social sciences and the humanities including economics, sociology and philosophy. Since Hardin’s intuitive example of the Tragedy of the Commons, many real-world public goods dilemmas have been analysed with a wide ranging set of possible and actual solutions. The plethora of solutions to these dilemmas suggests that people make different kinds of decision in different situations. Rather than trying to find a unifying kind of reasoning to capture all situations, as the paradigm of rationality has done, this article develops a framework of agent decision-making for social simulation, that takes seriously both different kinds of decision making as well as different interpretations of situations. The Contextual Action Framework for Computational Agents allows for the modelling of complex social phenomena, like dilemma situations, with relatively simple agents by shifting complexity from an agent’s cognition to an agent’s context.
Simulation of Complex Systems
2017. Paul Davidsson, Franziska Klügl, Harko Verhagen. Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science, 783-797Chapter
Understanding and managing complex systems has become one of the biggest challenges for research, policy and industry. Modeling and simulation of complex systems promises to enable us to understand how a human nervous system and brain not just maintain the activities of a metabolism, but enable the production of intelligent behavior, how huge ecosystems adapt to changes, or what actually influences climatic changes. Also man-made systems are getting more complex and difficult, or even impossible, to grasp. Therefore we need methods and tools that can help us in, for example, estimating how different infrastructure investments will affect the transport system and understanding the behavior of large Internet-based systems in different situations. This type of system is becoming the focus of research and sustainable management as there are now techniques, tools and the computational resources available. This chapter discusses modeling and simulation of such complex systems. We will start by discussing what characterizes complex systems.