Special Issue "Cloud Gamification"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jakub Swacha

Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Szczecin, Szczecin, Poland
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Guest Editor
Prof. Robertas Damaševičius

Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania
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Interests: sustainable software engineering; IT applications; smart learning; gamification patterns
Guest Editor
Dr. Ricardo Queirós

ESMAD/P.PORTO, Porto, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: technology enhanced learning; elearning interoperability; web systems and services

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Gamification can be defined as the use of game-design elements in non-game contexts in order to foster user satisfaction and, consequently, engage and motivate users to progress. At the same time Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) appeared as cloud computing platforms acting as a set of remote services and software development kits, allowing developers to connect their Web and mobile applications to validated services. The combination of gamification and those backend platforms has given rise to the appearance of game backend as a service platforms (GBaaS). This new type of backend platforms aims to deliver powerful real-time tools and services to be used, primarily, in games and, nowadays, with the evolution of gamification, are starting to being used for other domains such as medicine, marketing and education. Despite the tremendous success of gamification, this interesting shift unveils several issues regarding the design and implementation of gamification services. This process is still created from scratch and based on ad hoc methodologies. In fact, neither standards, specifications or frameworks regulate this hot topic.

This Special Issue tries to fill the gap between the evolution of BaaS in the cloud realm and the unregulated growth of game services. We invite designers, developers and users of gamification systems and services to present results of their work, share new trends, methodologies and best practices for the design and implementation of gamification services in the cloud context.

Topics

Application of software-based gamification to novel areas
Best practices for Gamification UI standardization
Big data and gamification
Conceptual/technical frameworks for implementing gamification in SW
Coordination of gamification services
Game data standardization
Gamification as a Service (both provider and user perspectives)
Gamification Backend as a Service
Models and architectures for gamified software systems
New concepts and techniques in gamification design and development
Open-source gamification tools and libraries
Procedures for user-testing of the gamification component
Reports on development and evaluation of innovative gamified software
Serious games for health and well-being
Player behavior modelling

This Special Issue is a follow-up of the 1st International Workshop on Cloud Gamification held in conjunction with the IEEE International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud (FiCloud 2018) 6–8 August, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. We invite both the authors who participated in the workshop to submit extended versions of their papers presented there as well as other authors with new contributions to this topic. Please note that the extended versions of conference papers must include a minimum of 30% of new content.

Dr. Ricardo Queirós
Dr. Jakub Swacha
Prof. Robertas Damaševičius
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Gamification as a Service
  • Gamified software systems
  • Gamification models
  • Game data standards

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Cloud Based Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy Service for Public Speaking Anxiety
Information 2019, 10(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10020062
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Public speaking anxiety is commonly treated using cognitive behavioral therapy. During the therapy session, the patient is either asked to vividly imagine and describe the feared stimulus or is confronted with it in the real world. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to [...] Read more.
Public speaking anxiety is commonly treated using cognitive behavioral therapy. During the therapy session, the patient is either asked to vividly imagine and describe the feared stimulus or is confronted with it in the real world. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to imagine the object of fear or to create a controllable environment that contains this stimulus. Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) can help solve these problems by placing the patient in a simulated 3D environment. While standalone VRET applications have been investigated for more than 25 years, we are analyzing the viability of a cloud-based VRET system. In this paper, we discuss the architectural and technical choices made in order to create a mobile and lightweight solution that can be easily adapted by any psychology clinic. Moreover, we are analyzing data gathered from 30 participants who have undergone a VRET session for public speaking anxiety. Finally, the collected psychophysiological signals including galvanic skin response (GSR) and skin temperature are processed and investigated in order to evaluate our cloud-based VRET system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Gamification)
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Open AccessArticle PROud—A Gamification Framework Based on Programming Exercises Usage Data
Information 2019, 10(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10020054
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 7 February 2019
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Abstract
Solving programming exercises is the best way to promote practice in computer programming courses and, hence, to learn a programming language. Meanwhile, programming courses continue to have an high rate of failures and dropouts. The main reasons are related with the inherent domain [...] Read more.
Solving programming exercises is the best way to promote practice in computer programming courses and, hence, to learn a programming language. Meanwhile, programming courses continue to have an high rate of failures and dropouts. The main reasons are related with the inherent domain complexity, the teaching methodologies, and the absence of automatic systems with features such as intelligent authoring, profile-based exercise sequencing, content adaptation, and automatic evaluation on the student’s resolution. At the same time, gamification is being used as an approach to engage learners’ motivations. Despite its success, its implementation is still complex and based on ad-hoc and proprietary solutions. This paper presents PROud as a framework to inject gamification features in computer programming learning environments based on the usage data from programming exercises. This data can be divided into two categories: generic data produced by the learning environment—such as, the number of attempts and the duration that the students took to solve a specific exercise—or code-specific data produced by the assessment tool—such as, code size, use memory, or keyword detection. The data is gathered in cloud storage and can be consumed by the learning environment through the use of a client library that communicates with the server through an established Application Programming Interface (API). With the fetched data, the learning environment can generate new gamification assets (e.g., leaderboards, quests, levels) or enrich content adaptations and recommendations in the inner components such as the sequencing tools. The framework is evaluated on its usefulness in the creation of a gamification asset to present dynamic statistics on specific exercises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Gamification)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Architecture of a Dispersed Gamification System for Tourist Attractions
Information 2019, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10010033
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
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Abstract
The paper addresses the issues of implementing e-guide-based gamification systems for tourist attractions by proposing a dispersed gamification system architecture in which its respective functional aspects are handled by multiple web services with various scopes of responsibility. The features provided by the proposed [...] Read more.
The paper addresses the issues of implementing e-guide-based gamification systems for tourist attractions by proposing a dispersed gamification system architecture in which its respective functional aspects are handled by multiple web services with various scopes of responsibility. The features provided by the proposed architecture are successfully matched to tourist attraction requirements identified during development of an e-guide gamification system for an international consortium of tourist attractions. The key contributions of the paper are: the new definition of gamification system extending beyond the concept of a set of game-based rules and including the information technology components necessary to implement it; mapping the abstract gamification system model into the domain of tourist attraction gamification and the analysis of advantages and disadvantages of various organizations of e-guide gamification systems; the introduction of a new, dispersed architecture of e-guide gamification system that addresses the identified needs of tourist attractions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Gamification)
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Open AccessArticle A Soft Body Physics Simulator with Computational Offloading to the Cloud
Information 2018, 9(12), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9120318
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
We describe the gamification of a soft physics simulator. We developed a game, called Jelly Dude, that allows the player to change and modify the game engine by tinkering with various physics parameters, creating custom game levels and installing scripts. The game engine [...] Read more.
We describe the gamification of a soft physics simulator. We developed a game, called Jelly Dude, that allows the player to change and modify the game engine by tinkering with various physics parameters, creating custom game levels and installing scripts. The game engine is capable of simulating soft-body physics and can display the simulation results visually in real-time. In order to ensure high quality graphics in real time, we have implemented intelligent computational offloading to the cloud using Jordan Neural Network (JNN) with a fuzzy logic scheme for short time prediction of network traffic between a client and a cloud server. The experimental results show that computation offloading allowed us to increase the speed of graphics rendering in terms of frames per second, and to improve the precision of soft body modeling in terms of the number of particles used to represent a soft body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Gamification)
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Open AccessArticle Cloudification of Virtual Reality Gliding Simulation Game
Information 2018, 9(12), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9120293
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2957 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cloud gaming provides cloud computing-based game as a service. In this paper we describe the development of a virtual reality base gliding game as a proof-of-concept. In the cloud, a cloud gaming platform is hosted on cloud servers with two principal components: game [...] Read more.
Cloud gaming provides cloud computing-based game as a service. In this paper we describe the development of a virtual reality base gliding game as a proof-of-concept. In the cloud, a cloud gaming platform is hosted on cloud servers with two principal components: game logic engaged in the implementation of game mechanics and game interactions, and video renderer that generates the game frames in real-time. The virtual gliding game was realized in the Unity gaming engine. To ensure smooth playability, and access for remote players, the computationally-intensive parts of the game were offloaded to a physically remote cloud server. To analyze the efficiency of the client-cloud interaction, three cloud servers were setup. The results of cloudification were evaluated by measuring and comparing computation offloading performance, network traffic, the probability of service drop, perceptual quality and video quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud Gamification)
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