Date of Award

6-2014

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Zoë Wood

Abstract

Incorporating the collective problem-solving skills of non-experts could ac- celerate the advancement of scientific research. Citizen science games leverage puzzles to present computationally difficult problems to players. Such games typ- ically map the scientific problem to game mechanics and visual feed-back helps players improve their solutions. Like games for entertainment, citizen science games intend to capture and retain player attention. “Juicy” game design refers to augmented visual feedback systems that give a game personality without modi- fying fundamental game mechanics. A “juicy” game feels alive and polished. This thesis explores the use of “juicy” game design applied to the citizen science genre. We present the results of a user study in its effect on player motivation with a prototypical citizen science game inspired by clustering-based E. coli bacterial strain analysis.

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