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Multiplayer Games for collecting data on cultural factors in negotiation. Michael Lewis. Why data from online multiplayer games is needed. Access to difficult to reach populations Access to larger (perhaps demographically separable) samples Access to behavior in context and over time

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multiplayer games for collecting data on cultural factors in negotiation

Multiplayer Games for collecting data on cultural factors in negotiation

Michael Lewis

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

why data from online multiplayer games is needed
Why data from online multiplayer games is needed
  • Access to difficult to reach populations
  • Access to larger (perhaps demographically separable) samples
  • Access to behavior in context and over time
  • Provides negotiation trace for modeling
    • Reveals process parameters such as N exchanges to agreement, step choices in proposals, etc.
    • Allows incremental development & testing
  • Provides validation environment for computational models
  • Allows tests of theory with manipulations and experimental control

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

online games as basic research infrastructure
Online games as basic research infrastructure
  • Users play simple abstract games against known strategies
  • Users select from among available decisions in thematic scenarios
  • Users negotiate with other users
  • Agents developed to model user traces
  • Users negotiate with developed agents

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

slide4

Do the subjects we need have the skills for online/computerized data collection?

Dec 2007 internetworldstats.com

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

other possibilities
Other Possibilities
  • Leave behind laptops for schools & rec centers
    • Individual attention & trust
  • Experiments with Ex-pat communities in US

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

what is a cross cultural internet game
What is a “Cross-Cultural Internet Game”?
  • We included these in the proposal in order to have some way to collect relatively large samples of negotiation traces

but

  • What should they look like?
  • How should they behave?
  • What are the important characteristics?
  • How will we attract participants?

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

what should they look like
What should they look like?
  • Abstract
    • Cultural effects for neutral situations- behavioral economics, simple games, resource use/sharing

Are there general cultural predispositions toward negotiations?

  • Presume that these predispositions will extend to concrete problems.

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

what should they look like8
What should they look like?
  • Concrete
    • Familiar/commonplace culturally relevant situations

Should we investigate only commonplace situations in order to observe normal naturalistic decision making?

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

what should they look like9
What should they look like?
  • Culturally challenging
    • Situations involving conflict/closely held beliefs

Are cultural factors most prominent and of interest for closely held issues bearing on cultural identity and should data collection concentrate on such situations?

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

abstract 2d games
Abstract 2D games

In robocup rescue simulation players coordinate and command

Fire brigades to stop the spread of fires.

Non threatening & relatively culturally neutral.

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

slide11
Chat?

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

abstract games
Abstract Games

Pros:

Less likely to be culturally biased

More easily programmed interfaces

Provide data in more easily modeled form such as bid or probability (econ) or move or action selection (sim)

Cons:

Lack cultural context

Must be highly constrained to provide useful data from free text

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

concrete games
Concrete Games
  • Formats & presentation styles
  • Example-1 (from Stitt Feld Handy)
  • Flash is awfully canned
  • Choice of alternatives limits responses to those favored by culture of programmer
  • Would be difficult to script out for multiple players

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

serious games with relevant story line
Serious Games with relevant story line?

from Global Conflicts Palestine

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

game engine based simulations
Game-engine based simulations
  • Avatars are difficult to control without prior experience
  • Maps are easy to get lost in
  • Focus on action may not bring out types of negotiation behavior we are after

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

online games supply data to other parts of this muri
Online Games supply data to other parts of this MURI
  • Collecting online game data addresses:
    • Cultural hypotheses developed in other parts of the project
    • Parameters/interactions meaningful to the computational models being developed
    • Provides complementary data, for example, allow comparison between statements on surveys and actions taken

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

common problems
Common Problems
  • How important is context & association with familiar situations/objects?
  • How can we avoid problems with language and intelligibility?
  • How can we design games that are not “unconsciously” culturally biased?

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

prior work in games simulations for research
Prior work in Games & Simulations for Research
  • Web-based data collection

1997 web-based information visualization experiment

2004 terrain analysis for IPB

  • Agent aiding for human Teams

1998 NEO scenario 1998

1999 MokSAF route planning

    • Team-based scavenger hunt

Game-based software

    • edited CACM special issue on Game Engines for research
    • - CaveUT game-based cave software
    • - USARSim 30,000+ download robotic simulation

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

other problems
Other Problems
  • IRB and online research
    • Typical policies deal with solicitation
      • Approved ad OK
      • Spam & SMS closely regulated
    • Consent
      • Looks pretty much like offline but submit/discard option replaces signature
    • Confidentiality
      • Most IRBs require use of SSL encryption
  • International study
    • Host country approval/collaborator

MURI 14 Kickoff June 3, 2008

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