Breaking Boundaries with Video Games IV – Please Share Widely!

Breaking Boundaries with Video Games IV

River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

April 24, 2020

The River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester will host a one-day event on April 24, 2020 featuring presentations about interactive media, including video games, augmented reality and virtual reality, plus a video game arcade.

This is the fourth year of this annual conference, Breaking Boundaries with Video Games (BBVG), which focuses on the creation, play, study and analysis of video games. It brings together faculty, students and staff from the University of Rochester, RIT, The Strong Museum of Play and other area institutions. This event is intended as an opportunity for those using video games in their research, teaching, and artistic creation to come together to share ideas and experiences around video games. We welcome students, faculty and staff at all levels to join us in this discussion. Presentations will be brief, no more than 12 minutes, with questions from the audience.

There will also be an opportunity to present a video game that you have created in the Arcade. Selected video games from the collection in the Art/Music Library will be available to play, but you can also include your game in the Arcade.

Please submit your proposal for a presentation or a video game, including your name, research or creative interests around video games and email address, along with a brief biographical statement in Word or PDF format by February 28, 2020, to

You will receive notification of acceptance by March 10, 2020.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Stephanie Frontz,

Thank You!

You can download a copy of this call here

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Promotional Video


Promotional videos that might inspire you from industry:

From other capstones:


M February 17: Video Production: Capture Workshop (Wade) / Group Meetings.

W February 19: Video Production: Capture Workshop (Wade) / Group Meetings. 11:15 am Promotional Videos examples in 307.

M February 24 : Video: Ethics in Video Production (re: captioning; Pre-Production, Shot lists and Storyboards. (just Wade today, Steph’s here)

W February 26 : Adobe Premiere, editing workshop (Wade). Bi-Weekly Report Due

M March 2:  Group meetings.

W March 4:   Group meetings. Rough Cut Due


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2/17 and 2/19: Basics of Video Capture and Lighting Workshops

On 2/17 I’ll take Equa and Viridescent  over to the video studio for a workshop on lighting and camera techniques. Cram, KIND, and protégé will participate on Wednesday 2/19.

While video is easier to capture today than ever before, there is still no substitute for footage taken with proper lighting and professional equipment. In this workshop, you’ll get some hands on time with a couple examples of shooting setups, and an introduction to the video studio. This will be a refresher for some of you, and you’re welcome to jump in and share your own expertise! After the demo on Monday, we’ll be breaking down the studio for the following group. On Wednesday, we’ll be setting up.

There’s a ton of great info online, as I’m sure you know! But I found a few useful links that I’ve attached here:

Video Production Tips: The Basics of Lighting And Camera Angles

15 Tips for Filming and Editing Marketing Videos

Video Tutorial: How to Shoot Product Videos on a Budget

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Schedule Change for Next Week

Because of some time conflicts in the video studio, we’re tweaking next week’s schedule a bit:

Both Monday, 2/17 and Wednesday, 2/19 will be group work days AND video workshop days. On either day, half the class will also participate in a video workshop in the studio.

Stay warm!

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Testing your prototypes ethically

IDEO has published a new book The Little Book of Design Research Ethics that guides their prototype testing. IDEO’s three principles mean in practice are:

  • Responsibility: We act to protect people’s current and future interests. We make participants aware of how we will use the information they share, and we take carefully considered steps to safeguard their information. Our priority is making sure our research is not harmful to people in any way.
  • Respect: We honor participants’ limits and value their comfort—because participants are people, not subjects. We strive to be considerate of their cultural expectations and sensitivities at play.
  • Honesty: We’re truthful and timely in communication, and we want to help participants make informed choices about what they share, when they share it, and how they share it. Consent is key, and every action taken should be with the user in mind. Our goals and motives must remain as transparent as possible.
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Prototyping and User Surveys

You are all likely familiar with Likert scaling. If you have ever been asked to “Please rate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements “then you have participated in a survey that used Likert scaling.”

As you prepare for your prototype testing considering referencing these articles:


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In the news…Ethics and Face Recognition

The Daily:

Democracy Now:

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Additional Prototyping Info

2 things:

1. David will be taking on the role of scribe for the prototyping exercise. Please contact him at:

2. Another resource for thinking about apps:

“The walkthrough method: An approach to the study of apps,” Jean Burgess and Stefanie Duguay

Burgess and Duguay lay out a critical method for studying an app’s functions: You can access the article here.

“This paper describes a method,grounded in a combination of science and technology studies with cultural studies,through which researchers can perform a critical analysis of a given app. The method involves establishing an app’s environment of expected use by identifying and describing its vision, operating model, and modes of governance. It then deploys a walkthrough technique to systematically and forensically step through the various stages of app registration and entry, everyday use, and discontinuation of use. The walkthrough method establishes a foundational corpus of data upon which can be built a more detailed analysis of an app’s intended purpose, embedded cultural meanings, and implied ideal users and uses.”


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Prototype Walkthrough

Prototyping, Walkthroughs, and UX.

Design Thinking has a bias toward action. This means that you should not spend too much time deliberating on what to build, and how to build it — just go out there and start testing! Sketches, paper prototypes, storyboards (video), physical models…GO!

Participatory design has borrowed or developed a wide variety of methods for evaluating interactive prototypes. A key strategy is to involve users in the evaluation process – user experience. 

Begin to plan out what types of the prototype will work best for your group. Choose one that provides an easily-accessible way for users to participate in the evaluation and give feedback that is directly relevant to the design. The purpose is to identify potential design problems and suggest concrete ways of improving them. 

Walkthrough:  A “walkthrough” is a peer group review of a design/product: Here, we are interested in the design from the user’s perspective.

The rules are very simple but very important:

Groups should be small (3-7 people), the presenter should prepare in advance, everyone must be on time and the review should be limited to at most one hour. The goal of the walkthrough is to identify as many problems as possible, not to discuss solutions.

Roles: In the presentation group, one person should act as the presenter, who explains the basic idea presents the prototype step by step. Another member of the group might manage the interaction by manipulating the prototype as the presenter goes through the storyboard. The session should be recorded for reference, the camera person should come from the capstone group. (3ppl). One member of the group of testers should act as the scribe, noting the comments and ensuring that the discussion stays positive.

W February 26 :  Group Meetings. Bi-Weekly Report Due

Exercise: Find several people who have not participated in the design and invite them to help you evaluate the prototype.  The presenter should begin explaining the prototype from beginning to end, then give a more detailed step by step. Participants should ask questions about the design and make constructive criticisms either about specific design questions or general usability. The presenters should explain, but not defend, their design choices. The scribe should list all the design problems identified. At the end, the user group should decide whether the design is acceptable, needs minor revision or needs major revision.

DUE in the W February 26 :   Bi-Weekly Report This Document: Prototype Walkthrough

Remember: the goal is to identify problems, not correct them. After the walkthrough, participants should hand their notes (on the storyboard) to the presenter, who can revise the design accordingly.

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Design Ethics: What if we designed for inclusivity?

Here’s a small snippet to get you started thinking about designing for inclusivity.

Hostile Architecture in the US includes the debate over the human toll of anti-homeless “defensive design” projects in public spaces.

Sinead Burke, has an inspiring talk on the right to a human’s dignity why design should include everyone:

Then there is the NYC Cashless ban and the debate whether it’s designed to discriminate against the poor?

In Graphic Design we can think about how to design for Dyslexia:



More important stuff to check out outside of class:

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Invisible Women




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