As our name implies (PLAIT – also called Braid, intertwined strands of, in our case, disciplines and activities), we are braiding different disciplines together, including psychology, artificial intelligence, engineering, graphics, human-computer interaction, theatre, health sciences, and interaction design. Our goal is to create new knowledge, develop new methodologies, and promote new interventions through virtual experiences.
We specifically contribute in the following areas:
- computational techniques that enable new interactive designs for games and virtual environments. These include: developing new artificial intelligence algorithms, believable characters and agents architectures, interactive narrative architectures, and procedural systems to generate and assist in generating content for virtual environments (2D and 3D). Read more about: Procedural Content Generation.
- user research through understanding users’ behaviors (which include methods such as psychology of play, analytics, and qualitative methodologies). Read more about: Game Analytics, and Game User Research.
- new methodologies to create new knowledge. This line enables us to investigate the impact of games as tools and their use to enable creation of knowledge in fields, such as health sciences, education, and psychology. It is important for understanding the role of games for impact learning, training and health applications. Read more about: Games for Impact
The faculty have cultivated awards for their research in this area, including achievement awards: best papers, as well as grants collectively over millions of dollars to build this exciting research vision that will lead to better future games for both the serious game and entertainment game markets.