A Framework for Exploring and Evaluating Mechanics in Human Computation Games

Kristin Siu, Alexander Zook, Mark O. Riedl

Human computation games (HCGs) are a crowdsourcing approach to solving computationally-intractable tasks using games. In this paper, we describe the need for generalizable HCG design knowledge that accommodates the needs of both players and tasks. We propose a formal representation of the mechanics in HCGs, providing a structural breakdown to visualize, compare, and explore the space of HCG mechanics. We present a methodology based on small-scale design experiments using fixed tasks while varying game elements to observe effects on both the player experience and the human computation task completion. Finally we discuss applications of our framework using comparisons of prior HCGs and recent design experiments. Ultimately, we wish to enable easier exploration and development of HCGs, helping these games provide meaningful player experiences while solving difficult problems.

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