The MIT News Office, continuing its inexorable march toward even higher-quality reportage, recently introduced a “Reporter’s Notebook” feature, first-person accounts by News Office staff about the cool things they come across on campus.
First up was our grad student/Gambit Game Lab researcher Jason Begy talking to News Office writer Peter Dizikes about a game Begy helped design, Pierre: Insanity Inspired. Dizikes helps explain Begy’s and “Pierre’s” interest in establishing what level of challenge or frustration players of video games will put up with:
Begy surveyed the results. “We would look at that and say, ‘Well, there’s certainly going to be a learning curve,'” he noted. Whether that curve charts upward, or downward in the face of frequent negative feedback, is another matter. “Pierre” is considered a difficult game.
By systematically studying how games function, GAMBIT is part of an emerging field: academic gaming studies date to the late 1990s, though scholars in the field believe they are simply looking at a new expression of an ancient social activity. “Of all the cultural forms that academics study, games are among the oldest, but they get the least attention,” Begy said.
Reporter’s Notebook: Game Theory—MIT News Office